Grey New York and DirecTV Check in with ‘Peyton on Sunday Mornings’

By Erik Oster 

Grey New York launched a new campaign for DirecTV called “Peyton on Sunday Mornings.” As you might expect, the Peyton in question is (unfortunately) Peyton Manning.

What you might not expect is Lionel Ritchie retooling his 1977 hit with the Commodores, “Easy,” changing the lyrics from “easy like Sunday morning” to “Peyton on Sunday Mornings.” Each spot opens with Ritchie sitting at a piano playing the revamped song, followed by Manning pitching DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket offering in a scenario that makes playful use of Manning’s retirement.

In the spot “In a Park Watching NFL Sunday Ticket,” for example, a robe-clad Manning meanders his way onto a park bench. While watching a game on his phone, he tells the man next to him about NFL Sunday Ticket letting him watch any game. The man tells him that he’s retired but misses work and that Peyton should “Work as long as you can.”

In “Phone Call,” Peyton invites his little brother Eli Manning over to watch some games, but he’s a little busy quarterbacking the New York Giants. “Groceries” let’s us know that Manning now has time to clip coupons for groceries (as if he’d need them with all that Papa John’s money). The 30-second broadcast spots will be supported by print and social components.

Would it be too much of us to suggest that at a time when advertising’s gender equality issues and sexual harassment scandals are making headlines, perhaps hiring a retired NFL quarterback who is an alleged perpetrator of sexual assault might come across as a little tone deaf? Is there even an upside here?

The riff on “Easy” comes across as a bit too, well, you know. But Manning is undoubtedly a big name, even if he presumably comes with a price tag to match.

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