The National Football League will unleash a TV spot this weekend to encourage online voting on its Web site dedicated to the Super Bowl, NFL.com/SuperAd.
The spot, a collaborative effort between NFL Films and BBDO, New York, is a spinoff of last year's NFL Super Bowl ad starring teammates Chester Pitts and Ephraim Salaam. The NFL is once again asking consumers to select their favorite player's life story, and the winning pitch will be used in an upcoming NFL Super Bowl ad. NFL.com/SuperAd currently features life stories of 210 players. The polls will remain open starting today through Dec. 17.
Sunday's TV spot shows Salaam convincing Pitts that they have another shot at starring in a Super Bowl ad. "You know I really loved being in the Super Bowl ad last year," Salaam says. "Yeah, it'd be nice to do that again," Pitts responds. This time, however, Salaam insists on telling his side of the story. The spot concludes with Salaam good-humoredly trying to convince his teammate to tell his story, but Pitts doesn't buy into it. Voiceover says: "Go to NFL.com/SuperAd and vote for the new story you want to see in the NFL Super Bowl commercial."
NFL advertising director Rob Stecklow said the campaign is part of the sports organization's push to bring out the "human interest" angle behind key talent. "It's not just about football. We're not trying to tell stories about stats and what happens on the field," he said. "People love great stories and if we can take 60 seconds out of the game and tell a great story about one of our players, then we've done our job."
Marti Barletta, CEO of The TrendSight Group in Winnetka, Ill., a brand consultancy that specializes in marketing to women, said the campaign reflects the NFL's strategy of attracting more female Super Bowl viewers through human-interest stories.
"The NFL has always been ahead of other sports in terms of reaching out to women," Barletta said. "One of the barriers people have said in the past about football was that the players are kind of invisible under all that padding and helmets, and bringing them out from under their armor is a really smart move."
In another effort to reach out to women, the NFL last Sunday launched a TV campaign for its e-commerce site, NFLshop.com. The effort evolved from internal research, which showed that 60 percent of the NFLShop.com's holiday business came from female shoppers.