Tony Hawks the Sidekick in Digital Heavy Campaign

Former pro skater-turned entrepreneur Tony Hawk helped design the new T-Mobile Sidekick, and appears in the advertising campaign created by Publicis West.

A user of the device since it first came out in 2002, Tony Hawk was the obvious choice when it came time to choose a spokesperson for a limited edition Sidekick LX. A previous limited edition of the Sidekick was designed by NBA All-Star and NBA champion Dwyane Wade in 2007.

T-Mobile is marking the release of the new handset — whose original manufacturer, Danger, Microsoft acquired earlier this year — with a Web site and supporting rich media campaign. Tony Hawk didn’t stop with the design of the handset; he also participated in the creation of the campaign.

“Tony was overwhelmingly involved in the process, in a good way,” said Ted Koszuta, associate creative director and art director at Publicis West. “He was involved from the day our concept reached feasibility. All approvals went through him.” Koszuta said Hawk made sure the campaign was authentic, true to life. “He doesn’t want to sell anything that he wouldn’t do or say.”

The Web site, Tony’s World, is a 3D environment with integrated high-definition video overlaid in several environments, such as a skate park, warehouse, red carpet, and the Hawk’s Nest or home. In each setting, video of Hawk demonstrates the phone in different scenarios — including filming video, a new capability for the Sidekick.

“Because he would use it as a device every day, when there was a shot of him interacting with the device, he was really interacting with the device,” Koszuta said. He was calling or texting his wife, taking pictures of his son.”

Hawk designed the device with grip tape, giving it the feel of a skate board, and skinned the handset with blue and white accents.

An online media buy handled by Optimedia includes sites like MySpace, Underground Games, Addicting Games, Funny Or Die, VH1, Adam Films, Spike.com, and GameTrailers.com. All videos running on GameTrailers.com have a Tony Hawk stamp. Sidekick also has a sponsorship during the video game trade show E3 last week.

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