The ESPYS are supposed to throw a nudge and a wink in the direction of typical award shows that take themselves too seriously. Athletes get all dolled up in dresses and suits, the host runs through some comedic skits, and the sporting world congratulates itself on the red carpet, all of which has appeal to the average viewer, because the sports world is usually unglamorous for the other 364 days of the year.
For the 2013 ESPYS, ESPN seems to have taken that care-free attitude to a whole new level, a level that borders on creative laziness. Amazing athletes and sporting events “happened.” For example, Robert Griffin III tells us that Gabby Douglas “happened,” and Lebron James “happened, with authority.” ESPN worked with creative agency 77 Ventures to produce a dozen or so spots in advance of the July 17 show that covers just about every positive sports story from the previous year. They all happened. Which makes you want to hit your head and let out a rhetorical, “duh?” ESPN wasted the chance to use its biggest stars like RGIII, Derek Jeter, Danica Patrick, and Ray Lewis to sell great games and plays. We know they happened. These inspiring sports stories can pretty much sell themselves, but this “Happened” campaign pushes the limit of less is more. For once, less is less. Less happened.
You can watch three more promos after the jump.