Heat Would Like You to Start Von Miller on Your Madden NFL 17 Team

By Erik Oster 

Last year, San Francisco-based agency Heat went big for EA Sports’ Madden franchise, with the (intentionally) over-the-top “Madden: The Movie,” featuring Dave FrancoChristopher Mintz-PlasseJulio JonesRob GronkowskiColin KaepernickAntonio Brown and Rex Ryan. This year the agency teamed up with Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller, who parodies spoiled Canadian manchild Justin Bieber‘s unfortuante 2015 hit “Sorry” with “Start Me.”

The song, and music video, is Miller’s plea for viewers to start him on their Madden team in the latest version of the game. Clocking in at around a minute, it’s a much smaller format than the lengthy “Madden: The Movie” effort while offering a similar parody of pop culture (in this case, bad pop music rather than explosion-heavy blockbusters).

While the music video-as-ad format is normally pretty hard to pull off, Heat succeeds by making the song itself address the game in a humorous manner. It may not induce any laughs, but the idea of a player caring enough to sing a song about starting in a Madden game is sort of a clever approach, and the spot also manages to work in-game footage into the mix without it seeming forced.

“Von was amazing to work with,” Heat art director and associate creative director Nichole Geddes told Adweek. “He got really into the choreography and the wardrobe. Once he put on that cowboy hat he was in his element. He even stayed a bit longer for us to get a few additional shots. I think it was because he was just having so much fun.”

We can expect more ads for the game from Heat, featuring other NFL stars begging for a start on your Madden team in song, in the near future. While last year Heat released one epic spot for the game, this year they’ll be trickling out ads during key times during “Madden Season,” including the game’s Aug. 23 launch, Black Friday and the Super Bowl.

“Von is the big dancing tip of the iceberg,” Heat associate creative director and copywriter Mitch Gage said. “Let’s just say he’s not the only player that wants on your Madden team this year, nor is he the only one that can (kind of) sing.”


Chairman, Executive Creative Director:  Steve Stone
Creative Directors:  Anna Rowland, Warren Cockrel
ACD, Art Director: Nichole Geddes
ACD, Copywriter:  Mitch Gage
Director of Integrated Production:  Joyce Chen
Producer:  Hannah Murray
Director of Client Services: Aaron Lang
Account Director:  JT Pierce
Account Supervisor: Julia Wu
Account Manager: Molly Reynolds
Business Affairs: Jenn Kennedy

Advertiser: Electronic Arts
Chief Marketing Officer: Chris Bruzzo
Vice President, Global Creative: Dana Marineau
Senior Director, Global Creative: Dustin Shekell
Senior Manager, Global Creative: Jessica English
Vice President, Marketing: Anthony Stevenson
Senior Director Product Marketing: Joshua Rabenovets
Product Manager: Jennica Pearson

Prod Company: Arts & Sciences
Director:  Matt Lenski
DP:  Darko Suvak
Managing Director: Mal Ward
Head of Production:  Christa Skotland
Line Producer:  Dina Oberley
Editorial:  No 6
Editor:  Graham Turner
Asst Editor:  Randy Baublis
Executive Producer:  Carr Shilling
Producer: Allison Dettelbach

VFX:  Electric Theatre Collective
VFX Supervisor, 2D Lead: John Price
2D flame artists:  Ant Walsham, Fefo De Souza
2D Assists: Dave Levine, James Stellar, Kevin Jones
Colourist: Aubrey Woodiwiss
Managing Director:  Kate Hitchings
Executive Producer:  Louisa Cartwright
Producer: Therese Mayer
Music: Beacon Street Studio
Composers: Andrew Feltenstein & John Nau
Executive Producer: Adrea Lavezzoli
Mixer: Rommel Molina
Senior Mix Producer: Kate Vadnais
Final Mix: Rommel Molina, Beacon Street Studios