Reebok tries to be edgy but is outdone by the sheer unedginess of hoops and ballers.

Have you seen the new Reebok commercial with dark sinister undertones of The Grudge-an schoolgirl malevolence?

I have enjoyed the magnetic commercial enough that I’ve downloaded it and am blogging about it. It’s wickedly enticing. Entrancing, even.

If you’ve never seen the original Japanese horror flick, Ju-on, or its later American incarnation, The Grudge, this Reebok spot won’t evoke that familiar dread you felt when watching the movie.  In which case, the commercial might appear odd and nightmarishly absurd and a whole lot of kooky, but it won’t strike that special chord of dreadful recognition you once felt.

And the real goal of this commercial seems edginess.

Superficially weird, dark, yes, baffling, for sure; edgy? Maybe, but I don’t think it’s edgy for one simple fact: it involves sports, and furthermore, it involves “urban sports.” There is absolutely nothing edgy about sports, much less urban sports. Edgy is a niche reserved for people who did not enjoy bouncing balls on blacktops or spiraling egg-shaped rubber across a rectangular brain-cell-snuffing patch of grass.

Edgy is quite unlike a basketball, it’s quite unlike the inner city. Edgy is a subtle form of derangement, and there is nothing subtle about sports, or the hood.

The first time I saw this commercial, my intrigue was snuffed out quickly by the devolution to the basketball context.


Reebok spent much effort seeking to squeeze edgy from a mundanely normie pastime populated by mundanely normie participants.

As Jordan Peele has proven, a horror movie can be mundanely un-edgy, and Reebok is bolstering this claim.