Conscious Minds Helps Kevin Durant Spark Young Fan’s Imagination in Spot for Panini America

Los Angeles/Portland-based creative agency Conscious Minds (CM) has launched a collaboration with Panini America, the exclusive trading card partner of the NBA as they looked to leverage the Association’s superstar Kevin Durant’s new role as a global league spokesman for the brand and its newest extension of Panini’s “Who Do You Collect” campaign.

In “Simon Says”, the digital short marking the brand’s announcement of Durant as spokesperson, Durant follows the whims of an passionate young fan, Simon, who amplifies the Oklahoma City Thunder phenom’s prowess on the court with each move to the hoop in the two-minute spot, which Conscious Minds in conjunction with Panini America wrote, produced, directed and designed as a film. According to CM, which essentially played multiple roles as creative agency, production and post company on the project, “Simon Says” is a narrative extension of Durant’s love of all things hoops. “Kevin is just a big kid that loves basketball,” says the studio’s Jonathan Green, who served as co-director and co-writer alongside fellow Minds, Julian King and Michael Bishop, respectively. “Put a ball in his hand, and he can’t keep from shooting it. We wanted to capture that passion for the game, and use it to build a connection with this kid. So that inspiration came from Kevin and Panini. Ultimately, ‘Simon Says’ is meant celebrate basketball and imagination.”

While the shoot with Durant itself merely lasted a few hours, CM says that the basketball pro was immersed in the ad, which is aimed at a younger crowd of basketball fans. “On a creative level, it brings to life a fantasy that every basketball-obsessed 12-year-old has, to play with a basketball superstar like Kevin,” Green says. “In the film, the Panini NBA cards are that imagination catalyst. We wanted to create a story that 10-13-year-olds would want to watch as a piece of entertainment versus, say, the typical television spot.”

According to Panini’s Vice President of Marketing, Jason Howarth, “We had a number of objectives for the campaign. Connect with young collectors where they live on digital. Demonstrate KD’s love for the game of basketball and bring about the connection that collectors – young and old have when they open up a pack of Panini NBA trading cards and find their favorite players. Kevin was a natural for this spot and we felt it was the perfect celebration for our new partnership with him.”

In addition to the extended spot, CM worked with Panini to develop a :30 spot that is airing on the Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Disney XD and produced a :15 tease video which Panini had Kevin Durant leverage to promote the digital spot. Panini is also planning several other executions for the campaign.

CM’s latest collaboration with Panini follows its numerous projects which have included NBA superstar/Panini spokespeople Kobe Bryant and Andrew Luck for Panini’s FIFA World Cup collection, as well as NFL rookies and NBA rookies for Panini’s related products as part of its ongoing “Who Do You Collect” campaigns.



Client Panini America
Title: “Simon Says” #WhoDoYouCollect
VP of Marketing: Jason Howarth
Director of Hobby Marketing: Tracy Hackler

Agency: Conscious Minds
Managing Partner: Blake Heal
Account Director: Travis Harper
Creative Director: Cameron DeArmond

Production Company: Conscious Minds
Directors: Jonathan Green, Julian King
Director of Photography: Julian King
Executive Producer: Blake Heal
Producer: Jeff Keith
Writers: Michael Bishop, Jonathan Green
Editor: Peter Garriott

Post Production: Conscious Minds
Editor: Peter Garriot
Color: Jeremy Ian Thomas
Music Composition: Bryan Scary
Sound Mix: Joe Basile

About Conscious Minds:

Conscious Minds is a passionate and nimble team of thinker/makers. We serve brands and agencies alike with our brains and our brawn.