W+K N.Y. Delivers ‘The Message’ for ESPN

By Erik Oster 

W+K New York launched the second year of its “Who’s In?” campaign for ESPN College Football with a 60-second spot entitled “The Message.”

“The Message” is delivered by Ohio State University’s head coach Urban Meyer, and concerns the challenge ahead for his team as defending National Champion. “They’re coming, they haven’t forgotten,” the coach intones at the beginning of the spot, “Some bad things happened to some good teams, so they’ve reloaded, their mission is clear.” As Meyer explains what his team is up against, images representing some of the teams and their plans for revenge appear onscreen, culminating in a group of bloodthirsty mascots outside a gate. “Get ready,” he says at the conclusion of the spot, “they’re going to try to take what’s ours,” followed by the “Who’s In?” tagline.

“Ohio State was the fourth-ranked team heading into the playoffs last season, and now everyone’s gunning for them,” ESPN senior vice president, marketing Aaron Taylor told AdAge. “As the defending national champs they have a huge target on their backs.”

Taylor added that while the main narrative of the spot is Ohio State defending the title, there’s plenty of more subtle references to other events from last season as well. “There are little nuggets interspersed throughout the spot that will be of interest to fans of those particular teams,” he said. “So, there’s Michigan State looking for revenge after losing to Oregon in in the second game of the season…all these little reminders of what happened last year, and how it’s time to get revenge.”

In addition to the 60-second spot, ESPN will also air a pair of 30-second and 15-second versions of the ad. All of the spots will broadcast through the end of October, when ESPN will roll out a push teasing the two New Year’s Eve games and the National Championship Game, which will take place on January 11.


Executive Creative Directors: David Kolbusz, Jaime Robinson
Creative Directors: Brandon Henderson, Caleb Jensen, Erwin Federizo
Creatives: Will Binder, Andy Dao
Executive Producer: Temma Shoaf
Producer: Luiza Naritomi
Head of Integrated Production: Nick Setounski
Account Team: Mike Welch, Joe Morelli
Project Manager: Kristin Daly
Business Affairs Manager: Keri Rommel
Head of Business Affairs: Sara Jagielski
Traffic: Sonia Bisono, Rylee Millerd

Production Company: MJZ
Director: Joaquin Baca-Asay
Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
Producer: Lalou Dammond

Editorial Company: Bikini Editorial
Editor: Avi Oron
Assistant Editor: Gus Roman
Post Producer: Ruganzu Howard
Post Executive Producer: Gina Pagano
End Card Animation: Inti Martinez

VFX Company: The Mill
Executive Producer: Jeremy Moore
Producer: Andrew Hamill
Creative Director: Mike Schaeffer
2D Lead and Flame artist: Chris Sonia
Nuke Artist: Rob Meade
VFX Supervisor: Tony Robins
Designer: Lizzi Akana, Sean Latrell, Clemens Den Exter
3D Tracking: Katie Schiffer, Paul Liaw, Kevin Ives

Music Co: Original Music by Human

Sound Designer: Kip Smedley
Creative Director: Stephen Dewey
Executive Producer: Patty Chow Dewey

Mix Company: Sonic Union
Mixer: Steve Rosen
Managing Director: Adam Barone
Producer: Melissa Tanzer

Color Company: The Mill
Colorist: Fergus McCall
Color Producer: Liz Hurd