When the San Antonio Spurs hit the locker room during halftime of the season opener Wednesday night, fans will get another glimpse of their favorite players when H-E-B’s newest television ads debut.
The first two in a series of six ads featuring Spurs players, legends, and the furry Coyote mascot shilling H-E-B products in humorous fashion will air for the first time this season when the Spurs play host to the New York Knicks.
The launch marks the 15th consecutive year that H-E-B has produced ads starring Spurs players, said Cory Basso, group vice president, H-E-B Advertising. He said the ads often garner 1 million to 3 million views each on the grocer’s social media channels.
“Fans wait every year for them,” Basso said, adding that they’ve also been recognized with awards in the advertising industry. A 2004 segment titled “Cooking with Timmy,” featuring Tim Duncan, is the series’ most popular.
Four current players appear in this year’s ads while seven retired players also play roles. In the “Legends” segment to air at a later date, Duncan will present Tony Parker with an ATV – “All Tony Vehicle” – that was designed by the Duncan-owned BlackJack Speed Shop.
The first of this year’s ads debuting Wednesday night has the Coyote attempting to cook during a podcast hosted by current players Patty Mills, Rudy Gay, and DeMar DeRozan. The other commercial adds LaMarcus Aldridge and Bryn Forbes – dressed as pirates – to the lineup in a spot promoting the store’s seafood.
“Every time we’ve done it, with all of the teams, especially the Spurs, you get to see the camaraderie they have,” Basso said. “Practice is usually pretty serious. This is a chance for them to laugh a lot. When one of them messes up a line, it’s just ruthless, they go after each other – all in fun, obviously.”
Dallas agencies The Richards Group and Sugar Film Production created the ads and also are responsible for H-E-B’s commercials featuring the Houston Texans and Houston Astros.
The first H-E-B commercial of the season featuring Astros players aired during the opener of the World Series on Tuesday.