Tagged: NFL

NFL and AwesomenessTV Want to Win Over Young Fans With a New Video Series

Even though football is the most-watched sport in America, the NFL is always looking for new ways to engage younger audiences with unique and fresh content. For its latest effort, the league is partnering with AwesomenessTV to take a behind-the-scenes look at the NFL and the people who run it.

The multi-part video series, "In the NFL," lifts the curtain on how the league functions.

"A 17-year-old girl doesn't want to watch the same content as her mom or her dad. The NFL wanted to create content for this audience that wasn't the highlight reels of football games," said Paul Kelly, chief partnerships officer at AwesomenessTV. "There's a lot of cool narratives that exist within the organization, so we went to work uncovering those stories that happen off the field."

Videos include a behind-the-scenes tour of the Buffalo Bills' stadium with the team's co-owner Kim Pegula, one of the few female owners in the NFL. Pegula meets with team staffers, offers career tips for young women and talks about engaging the next generation of fans.

In another video, YouTube stars the Merrell Twins take a tour of the Kansas City Chiefs' Arrowhead Stadium, interviewing the woman who rides the horse mascot during Chiefs games and the guy who dresses as the team's mascot, K.C. Wolf.

"The younger generation is a growing part of our fan base, and we wanted to continue to give them valuable and enriching experiences, and reach them where they are," said Johanna Faries, vp of marketing and fan strategy at the NFL.

NFL viewership among women dropped between 7 percent and 9 percent from 2013 to 2015, according to Nielsen. Overall NFL ratings at the end of 2016 were down, but there was an uptick in ratings during this month's playoffs. Faries said that the videos aren't a reaction to these statistics.

"It's about how to continue to inspire youth," Faries said. "This gives them a behind-the-scenes look into the NFL that they otherwise wouldn't have."

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Agencies Need to Take Talent Lessons From Hollywood and the NFL

When you read those dismal employee and client surveys that typify our industry, do you ever wonder if we're using a flawed management model? After all, the one we use now was designed in the early 1900s, when unskilled rural workers were enlisted for dreary, repetitive factory work. Why do we manage to a mind-numbing assembly line when we're hoping for chain reactions of inspiration? 

Take a closer look around the world of business, and you'll realize that agencies are not like most businesses. We don't manage production; we facilitate talent and innovation. Replace the employees at Ford Motor Co., and the same products come out. But replace the talent at an agency, and the product changes as well, often dramatically. People are inextricably connected to the agency's product.

Jack Skeels

There are other talent-driven industries out there, and they use very different models. Teams are empowered to experiment, innovate and implement faster. The key difference between their models and ours is that they have mastered how and when to do less managing, which unleashes their teams to accomplish more. 

You can see this letting go of direct control in the way Hollywood studios operate. They understand that profitability comes from creative success, which at its core comes from the teams. You can't make a bad movie good by managing. They manage the prep and follow-through (financing and distribution) but unleash teams to handle everything in between.

When a studio does overmanage, the old cliché, "add a talking dog," applies. Teams get discouraged, and the work product goes to hell. So Hollywood leaves the talent alone, and they don't promote talent into management.

By contrast, agencies routinely move stars and firefighters out of the team and into the hierarchy of management. That weakens teams, diminishes the work, increases operational costs and fosters exclusion. Behavioral researchers have shown that these unneeded hierarchies also trigger in-group, out-group behaviors that decrease engagement, productivity and quality. That's the opposite of what agencies need today.

An even better example of unleashing talent can be found in professional sports. Sports organizations are optimized around continuous, competitive innovation—just like agencies should be. The NFL provides some simple metaphors for how to do talent-driven management. The managers (coaches) focus on preparing the players for each game, making sure they know everything they need to know and have all the right skills. Their job is more empowerment than oversight. With the opening kickoff, the players are pretty much in charge, and winning coaches know to start managing less and focus on supporting and feeding them insights.

Owners value talent over management. Coaches still matter, as does the top talent, but as the Dallas Cowboys showed us this year, great teams can survive and even excel despite the loss of superstar players. Empowered teams develop a talent for mutual adaptation, knowing each other's moves so well that great plays happen. They create inspired results that are more creative than the original design. 

How can agencies mimic them? Think the way they do. Here are a few questions to get started:

1. Can we recognize and reward without making another manager?
Successful football players don't get promoted to coach. They get rewarded through richer contracts and recognition that builds personal capital and a sense of worth.

2. Can we substitute a depth chart for our org chart?
It's not a coincidence that the NFL model is more layer cake than pyramid.  First-string or starter are words that denote how good you are. Director or manager define whom you control.

3. Can we make planning and mentoring team sports?
Hollywood and the NFL engage the whole enterprise in strategy, planning and assessment. And the most skilled players mentor the up-and-comers.

At the core of making our industry a better place to work is rethinking most of our assumptions about how to manage, right down to the question of who works for whom. Good teams become great when managers are empowering and supportive, rather than divisive and directing. Realizing this, the best leaders serve the team instead of commanding it.

Jack Skeels is CEO of AgencyAgile, a productivity training company for agencies.

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Campbell’s Wants to Make Moms Cry With Its Touching Digital Super Bowl Campaign

Campbell's Chunky Soup wants all the football moms out there to know that they are appreciated. Without them, those players taking the field on Sunday would not be where they are today.

The 30-second spot, created by RAIN in New York, has been live online for a few weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. Since posting, the spot has already racked up 1.3 million views. "This One's for Mom" will run regionally in Green Bay, Wis., which plays well into the final scene of the ad featuring the Green Bay Packers heading onto the field. The spot will run nationally after the game.

The campaign was created from the brand's insight that moms play a central role in athlete's lives, all the way from their first pee wee game to college to professional games. The spot is shot from the perspective of the son on the field, so while we never see the boy, we continue to see his mom supporting him, rain or shine, from the sidelines.

While it feels slightly predictable at times, the Campbell's ad is bound to tug on some heartstrings and get a few moms reaching for their tissues.

As the official soup sponsor of the NFL and second-longest NFL sponsor behind Visa, Campbell's Soup has previously run campaigns featuring football players. A past campaign featured NFL players, including Donovan McNabb, and their moms.

• For more Super Bowl 50 news, check out Adweek's Super Bowl Ad Tracker, an up-to-date list of the brands running Super Bowl spots and the agencies involved in creating them.

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Campbell’s Wants to Make Moms Cry With Its Touching Regional Super Bowl Campaign

Campbell's Chunky Soup wants all the football moms out there to know they're appreciated. Without them, those players taking the field Sunday wouldn't be where they are today.

The 30-second spot, created by RAIN in New York, has been live online for a few weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, and it's already racked up 1.3 million views. "This One's for Mom" will run regionally in Green Bay, Wis., where the final scene, in which Green Bay Packers head onto the field, should play well. The spot will run nationally after the game.

The message of the ad is that moms play a central role in players' lives, from their first peewee game through college and the NFL. The spot is shot from the perspective of the son on the field, so while we never see the boy, we continue to see his mom supporting him, rain or shine, from the sidelines.

While it feels slightly predictable, the Campbell's ad is bound to tug at a few heartstrings and get a few moms reaching for the tissues.

As the official soup sponsor of the NFL and second-longest NFL sponsor behind Visa, Campbell's has previously run campaigns featuring football players. A past campaign featured NFL players, including Donovan McNabb, and their moms.

• For more Super Bowl 50 news, check out Adweek's Super Bowl Ad Tracker, an up-to-date list of the brands running Super Bowl spots and the agencies involved in creating them.

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Rich Silverstein Discusses the Creative Pitch That Brought the Super Bowl to San Francisco

San Francisco used legendary football coach Bill Walsh's famous West Coast offense to help win its bid to host this year's Super Bowl, according to a new video featuring ad giant Rich Silverstein.

The eight-minute interview, produced by Shocase, a social network for marketing professionals, takes a behind-the-scenes look at the contributions of Goodby Silverstein & Partners—Silverstein's namesake agency—in pitching the Bay Area for the big game.

Embedded in the clip is an older promo, which the San Francisco bid team played back in 2013 for the NFL owners who decide where the Super Bowl is held.

That video hinged on casting Silicon Valley as a hot spot for innovation, suggesting, tongue-in-cheek, that the area's history as a center of football innovation shaped its current status as a hotbed of modern industry. (In the early '80s, Walsh refined a strategy of stretching the opposing defense with short horizontal passes while coaching the 49ers, leading the previously struggling team to three Super Bowl wins. The strategy has since spread, through Walsh's protégés, across the country.)

Later in the interview, Silverstein also discusses a subsequent effort—in the form of a trick "star-studded Super Bowl commercial" that only ran on AM radio during the 2015 game—to rally support for this year's event, by promoting the host committee's philanthropic arm. So far, the group has pledged $12 million to 100 local nonprofits, after raising some $50 million from Bay Area corporations. 

That hasn't shielded funding around the event from controversy—a recent government report found that San Francisco taxpayers will be picking up some $4.8 million in costs related to festivities leading up to the game. The city is currently projecting a $100 million shortfall for the fiscal year starting July 1, and mayor Ed Lee is asking city departments to cut their budgets by 3 percent. Santa Clara, where the game will actually be played, negotiated a deal by which the host committee will pay the city back for expenses related to the game.

Nonetheless, Shocase's video is an entertaining little bit of inside football. The tech startup's founder and CEO, Ron Young, an alum of companies like Levi's, CVS and Electronic Arts, hosts. He and Silverstein—an early adopter of Shocase—have strong rapport. And overall, it's a clever way to display the spirit of the tech startup, which launched last year and focuses on helping various marketing professionals connect around their work portfolios.

Because it's still advertising, that might include glossing past some inconvenient details—the precise reality of how San Francisco won hosting honors is, perhaps obviously, more complicated than the video makes it seem. In the runup to the NFL's decision, Florida's legislature declined to pay for renovations to Sun Life Stadium, home to the Miami Dolphins, significantly undercutting the bid of that city—the only other finalist for Super Bowl 50. The Sunshine State's decision also hurt Miami's bid, as this year's runner-up, for next year's Super Bowl 51. Houston, not in the final competition for 2016's game, won the 2017 event.

San Francisco's jockeying for the golden anniversary game began at least as early as 2012, when it negotiated help with a bid as part of its deal to free the 49ers from their lease at Candlestick Park—so they could move to a new stadium at Santa Clara (later sponsored by Levi's, and now, plenty others). Bay Area philanthropist Daniel Lurie, whom Silverstein references, was a key player in shaping the joint effort to bring the game to the region. But arguably, the groundwork stretches even further back to 1999, after San Francisco won, then lost, a bid for the Super Bowl due to a failure to renovate Candlestick Park—and the NFL commissioner at the time promised the Bay Area a Super Bowl within 18 months of getting a new stadium.

Regardless of knotty mechanics, factual nitpicks and Silicon Valley rah-rah, it's fun to watch Silverstein and Young crack about "rich son of a bitches" NFL owners with "rings" and "money" whom you "can't tell anything." And it's hard to blame them for wanting to take a victory lap—the last time San Francisco hosted a Super Bowl was in 1985.

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

Bose May Just Turn One of Your Super Bowl Tweets Into a Norwegian Metal Song

Instead of running a $5 million Super Bowl ad, Bose wants social-media users to jam out. The music-electronics brand is taking tweets and turning them into lyrics for its FanTracks initiative, which was created by New York agency 360i and is focused on Twitter and a dedicated Tumblr blog

Through Sunday's Big Game, the Framingham, Mass.-based audio company is encouraging consumers to compose tweets with the hashtag #LetsHearIt. Their words and emojis will be set to a variety of musical styles, such as country, gospel, funk and even—yeah, baby—Norwegian metal

Such tracks will be recorded by musicians at one of Bose's studios and posted via its social channels. The campaign will include a paid push, though it's unknown how extensive the ads will be. 

The Super Bowl tie-in involves calling on fans of Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers—the NFL franchises playing on Sunday—to tweet about their teams while using #LetsHearIt.

The idea of verbalizing emojis is, well, pretty fun. When a Norwegian metal tune surfaces on YouTube, we'll be sure to update this story.

In the meantime, check out the preliminary video Bose posted on Tuesday:

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.

NFL’s ‘No More’ Campaign Is Running Another Subtle Super Bowl Spot on Domestic Violence

No More is returning to the Super Bowl with a public awareness spot that uses a text message exchange between two friends to alert viewers to the signs of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Like last year's spot, the execution is subtle and shows no violent images. The exchange shows a woman's reluctance to come to a Super Bowl party in progress at a friend's house because she fears her partner is in one of his moods. When questioned further, she also remains silent about her well-being.The simple graphics are underscored by the sounds of typing, sending and receiving texts with the ambient sound of a party in the background. The underlying theme is that most victims are unable to discuss an abusive relationship.

At the end of the spot, viewers are directed to text "No More" to find out how they can help. For a limited time beyond the Super Bowl, those who opt into the text program will receive messages educating them on the common signs of abuse and steps they can take to help victims.

The 30-second ad, created by Grey New York, will run in the third quarter during time donated by the NFL, which also picked up production costs.  

Last year's chilling spot, "Listen," from Grey, which portrayed a real 911 call, was one for the record books: It racked up 2 billion global impressions after it aired during the Big Game. It also discreetly avoided any direct images of violence, opening with a woman calling 911 to order a pizza. The operator asks why she's calling 911 for the delivery before realizing why she can't talk freely. He gets the caller's address and assures her help is on the way, even as the woman continues the ruse.

This year's spot is the latest in the NFL's "No More" campaign, which has been running during the league's games. The campaign was launched in 2014 in the wake of public outcry over the way the league handled former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's assault of his then fiancée (now wife).

• For more Super Bowl 50 news, check out Adweek's Super Bowl Ad Tracker, an up-to-date list of the brands running Super Bowl spots and the agencies involved in creating them.

Article originally appeared on Adweek Advertising & Branding: Link.