NFL Dramatically Announces Its Return in This Star-Studded, Trailer-Style Ad for the New Season

Grey New York gathers the big names

The production company behind Game of Thrones' opening titles created the effects.

Tom Brady. Von Miller. Earl Thomas.

You know the names; you know the game. But every NFL season still feels like a fresh start as fans catch the pro football bug all over again.

The 2017 schedule starts tonight, with the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots hosting the Kansas City Chiefs. And the league’s creative agency of record, Grey New York, produced a campaign to help get the crowd in the right state of mind with a little help from those stars as well as some up-and-comers.

Minute-long anthem spot “Hope” plays very much like a big-budget movie trailer or the opening sequence of a prestige TV show, with highlights and dramatic close-ups over scenic shots of football towns across the country and pop star Miguel warning viewers to brace themselves for “shock and awe.”

The campaign tagline, “Let the show begin,” positions the NFL as one of the last pure live entertainment experiences—and advertisers surely agree.

“We wanted to celebrate what makes us the greatest game in the world—the action, the stars, the big moments, the spectacles and the surprises,” said NFL CMO Dawn Hudson. “The thematic, episodic nature of the campaign highlights the emotional arc experienced by football fans and players alike, including the anticipation, excitement and rush of game day.”

The ad will debut immediately before tonight’s game. It’s one of four spots that will play on variations of the same theme by focusing on different emotional elements of the NFL viewing experience, including hope, unpredictability, drive and survival.

Every game is a new and epic drama, and the campaign’s surreal effects are magnified by the work of production company Elastic, which created the title sequences for Westworld, True Detective and, yes, Game of Thrones.

Now that all those series are on hiatus, the NFL is without a doubt the biggest show around—wherever your town might happen to be.


Client: NFL
Agency: Grey New York
Campaign: “Let the Show Begin”

Worldwide Chief Creative Officer: John Patroulis
Deputy Chief Creative Officer: Jeff Stamp
Group Creative Director: Joe Mongognia
Creative Director/Art Director: Mike Cicale
Creative Director/Copywriter: Cameron Miller
Project Director: Hank Romero
EVP/Global Account Director: Brian Weston
SVP/Account Director: Courtney Berry
Senior Account Executive: Lucy Hallowell
Assistant Account Executive: Michael Jones
Executive Strategy Director: Tony Lederer
Senior Planner: Nicolas Pilaprat
Senior Planner: Ben Michaels
Content Strategist: Bryce Mathias

Sound Design: Sound Lounge
Executive Producer: Mike Gullo
Producer: Becca Falborn
Co-Mixed by Rob Sayers and Peter Holcomb

Live Action
Production Company: Elastic
Director:  Paul Mitchell
Director of Photography: Sean Stiegemeier / Giorgio Scali
Live Action Producer: Richard Weager
Production Designer:  Shel Greb

Post Production
Design Studio:  Elastic
Creative Director: Paul Mitchell & Lisa Bolan
Designer(s): James Levy, Nadia Tzuo
Producer: Lee Buckley / Heather Johann
Executive Producer: Luke Colson
Head of Production: Kate Berry
Managing Directors: Linda Carlson & Jennifer Sofio Hall
VFX Supervisor / 2D Lead: Maciek Sokalski
CG Supervisor / 3D Lead:  Andrew Romatz
3D Artists:  Ian Ruhfass
2D Artists: Elliot Brennan, Brinton Jaecks
Roto Artists:  Tiffany Germann

Colorist: Paul Yacono
Color Assistant: Chris Riley
Color Producer: Jenny Bright

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