LOS ANGELES-As any serious fan of professional football knows, watching the game on TV has its problems.
A new TV campaign for ESPN’s cablecast of the National Football League’s Sunday night games gives viewers “instructions” on how best to enjoy the action without the hassle.
Wieden & Kennedy’s Portland, Ore., office produced the nine spots, which begin airing on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNews this week.
Entitled “Punt, pass and sit,” the campaign features a die-hard NFL fan trying to overcome various obstacles between himself and his TV set. The fan is comically played by actor John Carroll Lynch, who appeared in the movie Fargo as the husband of the police chief. In one ad, he tries to perfect his viewing technique by placing his couch and snacks strategically; in another, he counters attempts of would-be channel changers. His goal is to watch the NFL game on ESPN uninterrupted. Each of the 15-second and 30-second spots are takeoffs on NFL playbooks, complete with animated diagrams.
“This guy represents everyman-the viewer,” said Canice Neary, W&K’s copywriter on the campaign. “The spots provide a humorous instruction manual on how to deal with obstacles so you don’t miss a minute of the game on ESPN.”
Judy Fearing, ESPN’s senior vice president, consumer marketing, explained that the spots reflect ESPN’s efforts to see the world through the “eyes of our viewers. Viewers will identify with the fan in the spot because we have all experienced the little interruptions that seem to occur just when our favorite sports program is on,” she said.
The ads will run through the remainder of the regular football season. The first Sunday night NFL game airing on ESPN is Nov. 2.
The creative team also includes Vince Engel and Jerry Cronin, creative directors; Hal Curtis, art director; LeMoine/Miller, directors, Cherie Appleby, agency producer.
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