Deutsch Shrinks NFL Stars for Sunday Ticket Ads

Star NFL players are conjured up as figments of the imagination in DirecTV’s latest ads for its NFL Sunday Ticket service, which offers viewers up to 14 games every Sunday.

Three 30-second commercials from Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif., break Aug. 4. In them, tiny football players visible only to the customers appear on their shoulders, giving pep talks and guiding them through the decision to install DirecTV. The 2-year-old tagline, “Feel the joy,” continues.

Agency vp and associate creative director Mike Bryce said the shop felt that “using the players as miniatures would become the perfect metaphor for fan enthusiasm.”

The promotion is one of the year’s largest for Direc TV, said client vp of advertising and creative services Francine Harsini. “This package is really a differentiator for us from cable,” she said.

Spending on the campaign was undisclosed.

In one spot, a customer offers the installer guy a soda. Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning then appears on the customer’s shoulder and urges him to run with the drink, while fellow QB Kordell Stewart of the Pittsburgh Steelers encourages him to pass it.

The second ad shows Brett Favre encouraging a woman to ask the installer about Green Bay games after her husband wants to know about the Bears. The third has Marshall Faulk of the St. Louis Rams telling a guy to do a more enthusiastic dance to celebrate the installation.

“Last year the players were the customer,” said agency vp and associate creative director Mark Musto. “The campaign was really successful and everyone loved it, but it didn’t showcase the regular guy.”

TV spots will air through Oct. 12. The campaign also includes two radio spots and newspaper ads.

Mad Dogs & Englishmen was recently tapped to create a Sunday Ticket effort for the NFL itself.