Ad of the Day: ESPN

Rabid sports fandom is its own gift in Wieden's slow-motion homage

So you're not a brain surgeon or a record-shattering athlete. Even if you lack the razor-sharp intellect and/or physical prowess of humanity's elite, you might be blessed with a different sort of forte: intense loyalty to your sport of choice.

Some call it zealotry. ESPN, in a new spot for the British market by Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam, calls it "The Gift." A paean to the everyman and everywoman fan, the ad handily captures, and celebrates, the devotion of spectators as they sit glued to their games. "You are all super. And you are heroes," the ad's voiceover affirms. Without ever showing a television, it also affectionately pokes fun at its couch-potato subjects and their powerful reactions. The idea isn't totally original: At least one other recent ad has capitalized similarly on awkward, overly informative footage of slow-motion antics for comic effect. But overall, the flattering copy and unflattering imagery complement one another well, and the spot benefits from such unexpected gems as an airborne dachshund. Now, someone just needs to tell the guy in the gray polo shirt that Michele Bachmann wants her eyes back.

Client: ESPN U.K.
Group Marketing Director, ESPN Europe, the Middle East and Africa: Mike McKibbin
Associate Marketing Director, ESPN Europe, the Middle East and Africa: Alex Lowe
Spot: "The Gift"
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam
Executive Creative Directors: Mark Bernath, Eric Quennoy
Art Director: Barney Hobson
Copywriter: Rick Chant
Broadcast Director: Erik Verheijen
Agency Producer: Ross Plummer
Planner: Dan Hill
Group Account Director: Andrew Kay
Account Director: Philip Jacobson
Art Buyer: Annette Krutzik
Project Manager: Sharon Kwiatkowski
Business Affairs: Marieke van Helden
Production Company: Coy!
Directors: Mark Denton, Sean De Sperango
Director of Photography: Will Bex
Producer: Cathy Green
Executive Producer: Sara Cummins
Editing Company: W+K Amsterdam AV
Editor: Rene Pannevis
Audio Post: Wave Sound Studios, Amsterdam
Sound Designer/Mixer: Alex Nicholls-Lee
Executive Producer: Monique Wichard
Music: Michael Kneebone, "The Gift"
Music Company: Toolbox
Music Supervisor: Michael Kneebone
Postproduction: Glassworks Amsterdam
Flame: Lise Prud'homme, Kyle Obley
Telecine: Ben Rogers
Producer: Hannah McDonald