It's subtle, but if you watch this ad really closely, you might pick up the hint that Broncos star Von Miller would like to be on your Madden 17 team.
OK so, in true Madden Season form, there's nothing subtle about it. The linebacker and Super Bowl 50 MVP dances and sings (with considerably Auto-Tune assistance) his way through an 80-second music video that kicks off agency Heat's annually anticipated campaign for the perennial video game franchise.
It's a parody of Justin Bieber's 2015 hit "Sorry," which has been viewed (deep sigh) 1.7 billion times on YouTube, but thankfully you don't have to be a Belieber to appreciate Miller's moves and rhymes.
Here's a taste of the lyrical mastery:
Rushing the passer and tackling dudes are some strengths of mine.
Build your game strategy around me 'cause my rating is 99.
Fill that spot for LB just by calling on me and we both can shine.
'Cause I just need one more shot to be MVP.
"Von was amazing to work with," says Heat art director and associate creative director Nichole Geddes. "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."
In previous years, Heat has opened Madden Season by going all in on one huge video, first featuring Kevin Hart's rivalry with Dave Franco in 2014, then rolling out a star-studded fake movie trailer in 2015.
But this year the agency says it will be sprinkling out video content over several months rather than unloading it all up front. You can expect each one to be a similar send-up of today's most addictive pop culture creations.
"Von is the big dancing tip of the iceberg," says Mitch Gage, associate creative director and copywriter for the campaign. "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."
Speaking of which, here's the original Justin Bieber video to help you appreciate just how perfect of a parody Heat and EA's "Start Me" truly is:
Client: EA Sports
Spot: Madden NFL 17 "Start Me"
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: NO6 editorial
Editor: Graham Turner
Asst Editor: Randy Baublis
Executive Producer: Carr Schilling
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
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