There might be no crying in baseball, but there’s plenty of (half-hearted) apologizing in Canadian basketball, according to a new PSA from the sport’s governing body.
Canada Basketball is marking the sport’s 125th anniversary with a new pro bono ad called “Sorry” (“Pardon” in French) which playfully pokes fun at Canadians’ tendency to apologize even when they’ve done nothing wrong.
Shot over three days across 13 Toronto locations, the 30-second spot from SapientNitro features several of Canada’s biggest basketball luminaries – including former two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash, Toronto Raptors point guard Cory Joseph, and two-time Olympic gold medalists Kia Nurse, Tamara Tatham and Miah-Marie Langlois.
Also featured are members of the 2016 Rio Paralympic wheelchair team and Kitchener, Ont. native Jamal Murray, the Denver Nuggets’ seventh overall pick in the recent NBA draft.
The spot shows players apologizing for such “transgressions” as coming out of a door while someone is trying to enter or brushing someone’s hand on public transit.
They continue to apologize as the spot transitions to the basketball court, though those apologies are delivered with a smirk as they swat away shots and drain 3-pointers. The spot ends with the Canada Basketball logo and the hashtag #SoSorry.
“Canada is starting to come out of its shell in some ways, but [apologizing] is still one of our nice little quirks,” said SapientNitro creative director Chad Borlase. “This is a nod in that direction, while also being proud about who we are and what we can achieve on the world stage.”
The spot is currently running on broadcast outlets including TSN, and has garnered more than 130,000 views on the Canada Basketball Facebook page. The organization also plans to release a “making of” spot.
While Canada would easily top the world apologizing rankings, our women’s basketball team is currently ranked ninth in the world and the men’s team 26th, according to the current International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rankings.
However, Canada is currently having what is called a “basketball moment,” with Canadians including Joseph and Thornhill’s Andrew Wiggins earning NBA roster spots and the Toronto Raptors’ recent run to the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals.
“There’s a giant feeling and mood behind basketball right now, as there should be,” said Borlase. “We want to help Canada Basketball spur that and leverage it and help them tell a better story.
“We’re going to partner with them long-term, and this PSA is designed to give them some more awareness and solidify their ability to train athletes.”
The spot was directed by OPC’s Max Sherman, a recent Gold Lion recipient in the Young Director Award (Short Film) category in Cannes for his film But I’d Really Have to Kill You. Other production partners include Saints (editing), Alter Ego (post-production), Boombox (audio) and Fort York (visual effects). The Government of Canada provided funding for the project.