Ad of the Day: NFL

The league celebrates the opening of a season that might never have been

The NFL's regular season will kick off Thursday, to the delight of football fanatics. But unlike most years, it wasn't a foregone conclusion. While the specter of a lockout didn't slow down TV ad sales much, jittery fans spent more than four long months in limbo, wondering whether they'd get their fix.

So, when the owners and players finally struck a deal, the crowd breathed a collective sigh of relief. This new spot, "The Ball," part of a series of "Back to Football" ads from Grey in New York (some brand new, some repurposed from last year's spots with new voiceovers), seeks to capture that return to certainty. It's a relatively simple concept: A range of all-American characters toss a pigskin around, passing it from scene to scene. The spot hinges more or less on the transitions, which are notably smooth, and the tranquil atmosphere set by the soundtrack, singer-songwriter Josh Ritter's "Change of Time." Overall, the commercial conveys more sentiment than narrative, but after a young player boots the ball down a deserted practice field into a packed pro stadium and into the hands of Green Bay Packer Jordy Nelson, the tagline makes the message clear enough: "It's good to be back."

The stars aligned. Order and sanity are restored to the universe. Everybody is happy. Game on.

Client: National Football League
Spot: "The Ball"
Agency: Grey, New York
CCO: Tor Myhren
Creative Director: Eric Segal
Art Director: Zack Menna
Copywriter: Rich Singer
Director, Broadcast Production: Bennett McCarroll
Producer: Alison Horn
Music Producer: Amy Rosen
Account: Jon Holding, Max Kislevitz
Director: Joaquin Baca-Asay
Productioin Company: MJZ
Editor: Ted Guard, Rock Paper Scissors
Postproduction: The Mill
Mix: Phil Loeb, Sound Lounge