Ad of the Day: ESPN

Rabid sports fandom is its own gift in Wieden's slow-motion homage

So you're not a brain surgeon or a record-shattering athlete. Even if you lack the razor-sharp intellect and/or physical prowess of humanity's elite, you might be blessed with a different sort of forte: intense loyalty to your sport of choice.

Some call it zealotry. ESPN, in a new spot for the British market by Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam, calls it "The Gift." A paean to the everyman and everywoman fan, the ad handily captures, and celebrates, the devotion of spectators as they sit glued to their games. "You are all super. And you are heroes," the ad's voiceover affirms. Without ever showing a television, it also affectionately pokes fun at its couch-potato subjects and their powerful reactions. The idea isn't totally original: At least one other recent ad has capitalized similarly on awkward, overly informative footage of slow-motion antics for comic effect. But overall, the flattering copy and unflattering imagery complement one another well, and the spot benefits from such unexpected gems as an airborne dachshund. Now, someone just needs to tell the guy in the gray polo shirt that Michele Bachmann wants her eyes back.

CREDITS:

Client: ESPN U.K.

Group Marketing Director, ESPN Europe, the Middle East and Africa: Mike McKibbin

Associate Marketing Director, ESPN Europe, the Middle East and Africa: Alex Lowe

Spot: "The Gift"

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam

Executive Creative Directors: Mark Bernath, Eric Quennoy

Art Director: Barney Hobson

Copywriter: Rick Chant

Broadcast Director: Erik Verheijen

Agency Producer: Ross Plummer

Planner: Dan Hill

Group Account Director: Andrew Kay

Account Director: Philip Jacobson

Art Buyer: Annette Krutzik

Project Manager: Sharon Kwiatkowski

Business Affairs: Marieke van Helden

Production Company: Coy!

Directors: Mark Denton, Sean De Sperango

Director of Photography: Will Bex

Producer: Cathy Green

Executive Producer: Sara Cummins

Editing Company: W+K Amsterdam AV

Editor: Rene Pannevis

Audio Post: Wave Sound Studios, Amsterdam

Sound Designer/Mixer: Alex Nicholls-Lee

Executive Producer: Monique Wichard

Music: Michael Kneebone, "The Gift"

Music Company: Toolbox

Music Supervisor: Michael Kneebone

Postproduction: Glassworks Amsterdam

Flame: Lise Prud'homme, Kyle Obley

Telecine: Ben Rogers

Producer: Hannah McDonald