NFL to Lee: ‘Show Me Something’

SpikeDDB last week won a creative assignment from the NFL to showcase its 2001 playoffs. A new campaign, tagged “Show me something,” will break Dec. 15 during NFL games on ABC, CBS, ESPN and Fox Sports.

Agency CEO and chief creative officer Spike Lee will direct nine spots for the effort, written by creative director Desmond Hall. The shop, a unit of DDB Worldwide in New York, won the assignment after it and the client’s in-house creative team presented new ideas.

“SpikeDDB had a concept they wanted to pursue with the NFL,” said client rep Brian McCarthy. “Spike was looking to present something that hit upon his love for the sport and where the NFL is headed as part of the fabric of popular culture.”

“[The NFL] gave us the ball, and we have no intention of fumbling,” said Lee. “This is a feather in our cap.” He said discussions were under way for the shop to create another spot to air during the Super Bowl.

McCarthy said media is being done in-house; spending is included in current NFL contracts with the aforementioned networks.

The first 30-second spot goes into production to-morrow and is slated to star the St. Louis Rams’ Marshall Faulk and the Minnesota Vikings’ Daunte Culpepper, among others. Players will appear in the midst of a media horde, hitting a practice blocking sled and pushing it to the Super Bowl trophy, with images of turf burns and taped limbs. “This is the game of football,” a male voiceover shouts, spewing challenges such as the tagline.

“This [tagline] is going to be the mantra, the cry, the anthem,” said Lee. “When I walk down the street, people yell, ‘Do the right thing.’ Soon, they’ll yell, ‘Show me something!’ “

The win is the shop’s third new piece of business this year, and the first under president Dana Wade, who joined from Young & Rubicam in New York in April. Earlier this year, Spike-DDB won Ecko Unlim-ited, an apparel company, and some assignments from longtime DDB client State Farm Insurance.

“The campaign introduces the intensity and finality of the playoffs,” said Wade. “It asks players if they have what it takes to win.”