How Bounce and Drake brought an NBA meme to center court

by Nick Cicero on May 04, 2014

When hip-hop star Drake was named the Toronto Raptors’ Global Ambassador last fall, the club knew that leveraging the hip-hop star would create a fair number of stories about the club, and basketball in general.

Few would have guessed that one of the biggest stories so far would come from a laundry product.

During Game 2 of the NBA playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets, the “Started From the Bottom” rapper was caught on TV lint rolling his pants court side, sparking a chain of memes (including this series of A+ GIFs by the folks over at Slate) and even a joke from Drake himself on Instagram.

And while the internet was having a field day, Proctor & Gamble’s Bounce brand (yes the very Bounce that actually makes lint rollers, dryer sheets and other fine laundry products) stepped in to make the meme a reality.

Just a few short days after the clip went viral, the Toronto Raptors announced that at the April 30th game they’d be giving away limited edition Drake x Bounce x OVO Lint Rollers.

Last month we wrote about how Ford was able to take over the Tonight Show by being active and participating in real-time conversations happening about their brand, and Bounce has done the same thing here. Instead of simply making a clever post or photo about the lint roller, they actually went the extra step and created one!

The response was just as big as the original clip, opening up promotional opportunities for Bounce from nearly every corner of the sports and music world. Think about it, how often would entire articles be dedicated to Bounce lint rollers on sites like, The Source, SPIN, HLN, XXL, and HipHopDX in the same week?

Not only were these highly newsworthy, they were pretty valuable. With just 1200 rollers available, one recently went as high as $55,100 on eBay last week.

Keeping a lint-free story alive

I had a chance to chat with Corinne Durieu, Communications Manager at P&G Canada to get some more information about how Bounce was able to turn on this meme so fast and bring it to life:

Question: How did you first hear about Drake lint rolling his pants?

P&G: We heard about Drake lint rolling his pants in the media. Since Bounce sheets help keep the hair and lint away from your favorite black clothes (where it doesn’t belong) and of course, Bounce lint rollers remove unwanted lint, it only made sense that we continue the story by helping fans stay lint free.

Lint roller on the court

Question: How did Bounce get involved so fast? Two days after the internet exploded, a fan photo comes out with a mockup of what a Drake Lint Roller might look like, then about a week later they’re real.

P&G: We had an existing partnership with the Raptors as Swiffer is certified for the Raptors hardwood so we were able to move very quickly to extend the partnership to Bounce. It required agility from many different partners.


Question: What interactions did you have with the Raptors and/or Drake?

P&G: Given our existing partnership with the Raptors through Swiffer, we work regularly with the team on various projects. The Raptors work closely with Drake and his team as he is their Global ambassador so the existing partnerships naturally came together. 

Question: It seems like this is definitely outside the typical content that Bounce posts to their accounts (Meaning Drake and the Raptors), what has been the response been so far? Do you think this has opened up your team to new creative partnerships in the future?

P&G: The response has been positive. So many people had already taken to the court-side lint rolling episode so this was a natural extension to the story. We are always looking for creative opportunities and partnerships for Bounce.

Moving fast in a large corporation

Question: P&G is a large corporation, is it tough to execute these types of promotions so fast?

P&G: It can definitely be a challenge to move quickly but we push ourselves to be agile and take some measured risks. 

Question: Like I mentioned before, we wrote about Ford last month taking over the Jimmy Fallon show by using real-time social monitoring to inform an ad buy with the show. Do you have any advice for other brands who want to take advantage of a pop culture moment like this?

P&G: It’s important to pay attention and listen to what people are talking about, push for culture change in your organization to support agility and recognize when your brands can have an authentic reason to be part of the conversation.


Post Author

Nick Cicero is the Editor at Social Fresh and a Digital Marketing Consultant. Formerly of Expion and Livefyre, Nick has experience building social campaigns for Sony PlayStation, Winn-Dixie, Eminem, Teen Vogue and more. He’s a fan of playing...