For the uninitiated, Cobra Kai is an official continuation of the Karate Kid franchise. It stars Ralph Macchio, who played main character Daniel LaRusso in all three original films, and William Zabka, who played the primary antagonist, Johnny Lawrence, in the first two films. In Cobra Kai, the duo butt heads once again after Johnny reopens a down-and-out karate dojo. The series’ first season was critically lauded and received a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score. The pilot episode, which is free, has passed 50 million views.
YouTube’s campaign, which launches today, will run for six weeks in the U.S., Variety reports. It comprises a Cobra Kai takeover of Enterprise’s airport kiosks (where posters, counter mats, and vehicle hang tags will all feature branded imagery) and Enterprise’s website, as well as a 30-second ad and in-show integration.
The ad features Macchio and Russo as themselves, trading playful barbs as they both rent Enterprise vehicles. You can watch it below:
As for in-show integration, that happened in the fifth episode of the series’ upcoming second season. During the episode, Daniel’s car dealership, LaRusso Auto Group, will have a display with cars from Enterprise’s exotic and luxury collection. (This isn’t the first time, by the way, that YouTube’s teamed up with a car brand to promote one of its Originals, although maybe this time around, it’ll be better received…)
Marc Weinhouse, YouTube’s global head of brand partnerships, told Variety the entire campaign is structured in a way that lets the audience choose whether to support Johnny or Daniel as the campaign’s (and therefore the show’s) hero. “The work we did with Enterprise, the show executive producers, and talent demonstrates what’s possible through true strategic and creative collaboration,” he said.
Cobra Kai’s second season will be available to YouTube Premium subscribers, so folks who want to tune in will have to shell out $10 per month for access — or wait until 2020, when YouTube’s new “Single Slate” strategy will see all Originals made ad-supported and free to watch.