James Harden Gets Weird On TV, Social, For Trolli

The Houston Rockets' James Harden — and his famed beard — are proudly displaying some decidedly weird behavior in a new TV ad and social activation for the Trolli sour gummi brand.

The efforts are part of the latest extension of the Ferrara Candy brand's "Weirdly Awesome" campaign, launched in 2013.

The 30-second TV ad from Periscope, which will start airing nationally on a variety of cable channels on Feb. 3, gives new meaning to the sports cliché "getting inside your opponent's head."

The spot takes viewers on a hallucinatory tour inside Harden's skull — which turns out to be filled with Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers.

Come spring, fans will be able to buy a new variety inspired by the NBA star, called Sour Brite Weird Beards. Other new products and marketing efforts will also be introduced during the brand's partnership with Harden, which will run through year-end. 



Trolli is also using some offbeat social media creative to kick off the campaign.

On Feb. 2, the brand posted a "press conference" with Harden's beard — a 60-second video (also from Periscope) combining animation and live footage of reporters — on its Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr channels.

For that day, fans were invited to tweet, using the newly-coined hashtag #BeardlyAwesome, to get live responses to their questions from "the beard" via Trolli's Snapchat account.

In addition, fans can check out a "never-ending Harden beard" that's taken over Trolli's Instagram page.

Everything about Harden — who is known for his "crazy faces" and signature dance moves, as well as the beard — is "weirdly awesome," says Jill Manchester, SVP marketing and brand strategy for Ferrara. "He's the perfect ambassador to inject a little of the un-ordinary into our consumers' day-to-day lives."

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