Cam Newton Is a ‘Prince With 1,000 Enemies’ in Droga5’s Latest for Under Armour

By Erik Oster 

Droga5 launched a new spot for Under Armour starring Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton entitled “Prince With 1,000 Enemies” which makes a couple of unusual decisions for the sporting goods brand.

The voiceover, provided by Cam’s mother, Jackie Newton, quotes Richard Adams‘ 1972 debut novel Watership Down. That voiceover is set to a dark scene of Newton running through the woods as if something is chasing him, literally tearing through trees as he plows forward at full speed. He finally stops to catch his breath as he makes it out of the woods to a nearby road. 

It’s an odd approach for the brand, undoubtedly, but a captivating one. Adams’ words somehow fit the new context, and Jackie Newton does a fine job of delivering them. While something of an anomaly for the category, the spot is not entirely without precedent, as the agency’s March spot starring Michael Phelps and July effort with Bryce Harper also included some intriguing stylistic choices, but nothing so out of ordinary as borrowing from Watership Down.

“Our two creative leads at Droga—Alex [Nowak] and Felix [Richter], who are awesome—they came up with this idea,” Under Armour senior vice president,  global brand development Adrienne Lofton explained to Adweek. “…it was all about these rabbits breaking out from their tribe in order to bring their crew to safety. They experienced all of these temptations and perils along the way, but kept their heads down until they got to a place of safety.”

We wanted to tell this story around footwork, and footwear, as you see in the spot, but we wanted to tell it differently,” she added. “We took him off the field, we took the ball out of his hands, and we created this metaphorical environment that is about crushing through your challenges. Those trees represent barriers he’s broken through every step of the way through his career.”

Cam Newton’s involvement with the spot was such that “we almost called him a creative director with this spot,” Lofton said. “He chose his wardrobe, he added flair.”

Indeed. Turns out Newton isn’t just a guy who performs badly in the clutch, loses the Super Bowl and then acts like a kid who got his candy stolen!

Credits:
Client: Under Armour
Campaign: “It Comes From Below”
Spot: “Prince With 1000 Enemies”
Agency: Droga5
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
Group Creative Directors: Felix Richter, Alex Nowak
Senior Copywriter: Thom Glover
Senior Art Director: Eoin McLaughlin
Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
Executive Producers: David Cardinali, Ross Plummer
Senior Broadcast Producer: Bill Berg
Associate Producer: Troy Smith
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Head of Strategy: Harry Roman
Strategy Director: Sam Matthews
Head of Communications Strategy: Colleen Leddy
Communications Strategy Director: Hillary Heath
Communications Strategist: Kathryn Ruocco
Data Strategist: Kaveri Gautam
Executive Group Director: Julian Cheevers
Group Account Director: Shane Chastang
Account Supervisor: Lucy Santilli
Project Manager: Connor Hall
Client: Under Armour
Chief Executive Officer, Founder: Kevin Plank
Chief Marketing Officer: Kip Fulks
Senior Vice President, Global Brand Management: Adrienne Lofton
Senior Vice President, Global Communications: Diane Pelkey
Vice President, Global Creative: Brian Boring
Vice President, Global Consumer Engagement: Jim Mollica
Senior Director, Global Brand Management: Leon Duncan
Senior Director, Integrated Brand Communications: Jack Daley
Director, Campaign Integration: Teresa Oles
Manager, Campaign Integration: Bené Eaton
Production Company: Somesuch / Anonymous Content
Director: Aoife McArdle
Partners, Somesuch: Sally Campbell, Tim Nash
Managing Director, Anonymous: Eric Stern
Executive Producer, Anonymous: SueEllen Clair
Producer: Laurie Boccaccio
Director of Photography: Steve Annis
Production Manager: Yianni Papadopoulos
Editing: Final Cut
Editor: Dan Sherwen:
Assistant Editors: Geoff Hastings, Dan Berk
Executive Producer: Sarah Roebuck
Head of Production: Jen Sienkwicz
Producer: Jamie Nagler
Postproduction: BlackSmith
Executive Producer: Charlotte Arnold
Producer: Megan Sweet
Visual Effects Supervisor: Iwan Zwarts
Color Transfer: Company 3
Artist: Tom Poole
Coloring Assitant: Kath Raisch
Producer: Clare Movshon
Sound Design: Factory U.K.
Final Mix: Sound Lounge
Engineers: Tom Jucarone, Justin Kooy, Seth Phillips
Producer: Liana Rosenberg
Executive Producer: Mike Gullo

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