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Ads We Like: Serena channels LL Cool J in Chase spot that knocks you out


By Bennett Bennett, Staff writer

August 22, 2018 | 4 min read

Chase released a new spot starring new mother Serena Williams as she goes back to work in preparation of the US Open.

Chase Serena

Serena Williams gets back to work in a new Chase spot, reminding her haters to not call her return from pregnancy a 'comeback.' / Droga5

Queen seems a theme for the commercial, which showcases the tennis superstar putting her daughter Olympia Jr to bed before getting herself back to her office - the tennis court. Williams channels her inner rapper, reciting LL Cool J’s ‘Mama Said Knock You Out.’

Nedal Ahmed, senior copywriter from Droga5, calls it a 'happy coincidence', but adds: "Serena Williams has been known as the “comeback queen” throughout her career, because you could never fully count her out in a match. But we felt her return from motherhood wasn’t exactly like that.

"Unlike being down in a match," Ahmed adds, "motherhood isn’t something Serena needs to come back from or shake off. It’s just the start of a new chapter in her legacy."

The original lyrics, written back in 1990 and based off of a real conversation the rapper had with his grandmother, take on a modern meaning for the 23-time grand slam champion. “I've been here for years, I'm rockin' my peers, puttin' suckers in fear.”

Ahmed said that those words felt 'even more perfect for this film. "Serena's giving herself a pep talk while sending out an empowering message about motherhood as a whole.

Behind an ominous hum that makes the scene feel like a spiritual, viewers take in Serena’s moments of preparation. Her hands are a main focus, both capable of serving in the triple-digits and holding her young Wimbledon champion. Cuts to the beach and court where palm leaves blowing in a rough breeze: a storm is coming and Williams’ chant comes off as a poised declaration.

“I’m gonna knock you out,” Serena growls to the screen, before quoting the title track.

This spot is the latest in a series of spots between the athlete and her brand partner since 2015, Serena has helped the brand establish its "Make More of What's Yours" campaign. As part of her current media push in advance of the tennis tournament, Williams and Chase hosted a family night at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, where the new mother of one talked about the joys and pains of working motherhood.

Kate Schoff, executive director of sports and entertainment at JPMorgan Chase said to The Drum of its spokeswoman, and of its partnership with the Open: “JPMorgan Chase has a strong commitment to women and this campaign really underscores that. Our sponsorship of the US Open created the opportunity to reach a captive audience of tennis-lovers to share in our collective support of Serena and moms everywhere. We couldn’t be prouder to have Serena as part of the JPMorgan Chase family.”

Of her LL Cool J rendition, the agency said in a statement: "We see the vulnerability that comes with being a new parent, but we also see that she draws strength from it. Motherhood is not something that’s holding her back. It’s giving her the strength to press forward."

And, based of the energy she gave in her latest commercial, the strength to be #thismama (the campaign's hashtag) on the court in Flushing Meadows in the summer.

Chase: advert-top-1 by Droga5

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