LeBron James is back for GMC in “King of CrabWalk,” where he’s unexpectedly greeted by a crab consortium at his beach-side home, set to the classic tune of Missy Elliott’s 'Get Ur Freak On.' The film promotes the brand’s “CrabWalk” feature that enables all four wheels to turn at the same angle to allow for diagonal movement (like a crab).
The spot by creative agency Leo Burnett Detroit, which debuted during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game, features hundreds of crustaceans leaving the beach for the big city. After a confronting encounter where they find their shrimp relatives served on a lunch platter, followed by an afternoon testing out a neighbor's chlorinated pool, they make their way to LeBron’s house where they’re relieved to find him driving GMC’s Hummer EV Edition 1 pickup with CrabWalk – a feature they can get behind.
"The playfulness of the creative ensured this would be an enjoyable collaboration to be a part of,” said Framestore Creative Director, Alex Thomas. “From the beginning, it was important to define what behavioral liberties should be taken in service of the narrative, whilst still remaining grounded in the reality of our crabs. We created realistic movement cycles based on footage of each species, but needed to adjust here and there so that the group of crabs, despite their mixture of scales and diversity, could still travel cohesively.”
Working closely with director Jacob Rosenberg, it was essential to the client and creative team that the crab collective has character, but remained non-threatening or invasive. Viewers can watch as the creatures remain relatively orderly in their journey, stopping at crosswalks, staying on the path and generally well-behaved (but that’s not to say the team didn’t explore alt versions where some crabs decided to go rogue).