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Tennis aces become superheroes in Sony Ericsson push

LONDON - Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic and Serena Williams are turned into superheroes in a 'Charlie's Angels' -style global ad campaign for the Sony Ericsson Women's Tennis Association Tour.

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The "Looking for a hero" campaign, created by WPP Group agencies Grey, Schematic and GCI Group, will be rolled out across 75 countries over the next 18 months and features over 30 players.

The TV ad asks the question "Looking for a hero?" and bills the tour's players as superheroes both on and off the court.

The spot begins with shots of 10 female tennis players, dressed in casual clothes, going about their daily lives. Each player receives a call on their Sony Ericsson phone and in 'Charlie's Angels'-style dashes off and re-emerges dressed in her tennis kit, ready to compete.

The focus of the first part of the campaign, which will begin to run globally at the end of August, is to elevate the star power of the tour's players and to drive awareness of the tour's end of season Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha Qatar, where the top eight singles players and top four doubles teams in the world will compete.

Sony Ericsson WTA Tour expects to invest $15m (£7.6m) in the campaign, which will also include print and digital ads, over the course of the next three years.

Over 30 players took part in the film and photographic shoot for the campaign, which took place at various locations in Rome at the start of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia tournament in May.

Serena Williams, who appears in the ad, said: "Women's tennis is a premier sport for all women athletes, and I think it was a great opportunity to have the best athletes, female athletes, get together and be part of such a wonderful advertisement."

Matthieu Mantovani, the commercial director of the ad, said: "Once I first received the brief my inspiration was to demonstrate the energy and high-intensity lives of these modern, successful, professional women.

"It is perhaps simple to point to features from the film world which helped shape and grow the vision but, for me, stylistically, elements of 'Charlie's Angels', 'Ocean's 11' and 'Mission Impossible' are reflected in this campaign."

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