MARC ‘Toons Up Miami ‘Canes

MARC USA’s new campaign for the University of Miami Hurricanes transforms college football’s national champions into comic-book superheroes.

Using Japanese anime techniques, three TV spots show ‘Canes quarterback Ken Dor-sey, wide receiver Andre Johnson and head coach Larry Coker as huma-noids gifted with “mutant abilities.”

“We want this campaign to break out and live up to the reputation the Hurricanes built last year,” said Evan Contorakes, president of the Miami agency. “This is an unreal team and the campaign needs to communicate that concept in a powerful way.”

The commercials, which tout season-ticket packages, are running on spot broadcast and cable outlets in the Florida counties of Broward, Dade and Monroe.

Each spot, part of a TV and radio campaign taglined “Feel the fury,” is built around a back story depicting how Dorsey, Johnson and Coker developed their super powers.

Dorsey’s story, for example, plays off the old Superman tale: “… forced to crash land, he discovered he possessed new-found mutagenic football skills capable of saving an entire planet from certain doom.”

Animation overcomes a problem typical of marketing efforts incorporating athletes: dull and lifeless acting and narration. In the two commercials, a voiceover handles most of the important copy points. Dorsey utters one sentence; coach Coker is allowed a wink.