Best known for his rap flow, Diddy is now getting noticed for his curling delivery.
The famous American musician/mogul is featured in a new curling-themed commercial for Cîroc — a high-end vodka brand in which he owns a stake — that’s been sweeping social media.
In the spot, a curler who has been digitally altered to look like Diddy executes a perfect draw to the button, followed by the tag line “perfectly smooth.”
“It’s a funny commercial and really cool they went the curling route,” says Canadian skip Brad Jacobs. “It’s not perfectly accurate to curling but I’m not sure that necessarily matters.”
Indeed, a trained curling eye will notice that, as Diddy slides out of the hack, he throws an in-turn draw. But when the video cuts to a shot of the house, the rock curls in from the opposite direction.
Jacobs doesn’t mind, though. The 2014 Olympic champion says the commercial will bring awareness from people who may not otherwise pay attention to the sport.
“It’s going viral and I think it’s really smart for them to make an ad like that at this time, because of the Olympic fever,” Jacobs says.
Ben Hebert, an Olympic gold medallist in 2010, agrees. He’s thrilled to see his sport connected to Diddy, whose real name is Sean Combs but is better known by the various stage names he’s adopted over the years.
“I’m so old, I don’t call him Diddy. I call him Puff Daddy,” Hebert says. “I like his music. I’m not afraid to get down to a little bit of rap.”
Hebert says when he first saw the commercial he couldn’t stop laughing. He thinks it breaks some curling stereotypes but also honours some of them too.
“It kind of fits perfectly with our sport,” he says. “Curlers aren’t afraid to have the odd vodka soda.”
Considered one of the best sweepers in the game, Heber can’t help but marvel at how Diddy’s teammates are able to get his in-turn draw to curl in the opposite direction.
“Only in 2016 could you do that, when you had the carving brooms,” he jokes, referencing the now-outlawed equipment. “It’d be tough to do it now.”
Jacobs helps pinpoint the exact game that was used for the raw footage in the ad — an early round-robin matchup between Canada and the United States at the 2010 world championships in Italy. The skips that day were American Pete Fenson and Canadian Kevin Koe.
“You see Koe’s bald head,” Jacbos laughs. “When I saw that, I knew it was him right away.”
Another clue: the scoreboard behind the sheet next to Diddy’s features the team acronyms “DDY” and “CHN.” The “DDY” has clearly (and incorrectly, since Diddy is playing on the adjacent sheet) been superimposed digitally, but a quick check of the archived results reveals that China was indeed playing on the sheet next to the Canada-U.S. game.
That day, Koe was making his world-championship debut alongside teammates Blake MacDonald, Carter Rycroft and Nolan Thiessen. They beat Fenson’s team 6-3 and went on to win the world title.
Koe, who would capture the title again in 2016, recently won a spot in the 2018 Olympics with current teammates Marc Kennedy, Brent Laing and Hebert.
“I know Diddy isn’t short on funds,” Hebert laughs. “We might have to call him for some royalties.”