Fallon's latest campaign for Sports Illustrated uses the magazine's logo as a template for describing what's inside. The effort also incorporates TV spots for the first time.
Five commercials, the first of which broke last week, take a narrative approach, with a smattering of sound effects and images. "Pinch hitters" begins with the crack of a bat and unfolds via a voiceover that describes the "sweaty-palmed, knock-kneed art." The spot ends with the onscreen phrase "Pressure Illustrated" morphing into "Sports Illustrated."
Similarly, five print ads carry headlines such as "Fury Illustrated," in which a football lineman is shown screaming with his helmet off, and "Awe Illustrated," which features a line of children gazing at a one-legged marathoner with crutches.
Explaining the strategy, agency ecd Kevin Roddy said SI has a name that "totally describes what the product does." He added, "The Sports Illustrated masthead is such an American icon."
The New York shop's previous campaign also used emotive photography, but focused more on potential advertisers. The magazine typically spends about $15 million in measured media annually.