Football is Back… and so are the Commercials

Last weekend, football fans pulled out their jerseys, and marketers pulled out all the stops. According to the NFL, each game averages more than 20 million viewers, accounting for 46 of the top 50 most-watched fall shows on TV. That’s a lot of potential consumers!

Below are a few of our favorite campaigns so far:

Tide – “Not For Laundry”

According to the associate brand director for North American laundry at Procter & Gamble, Sunday night is the busiest night in the country as people prepare to return to work or school by doing all of their pushed off household chores, like the laundry. To combat the ‘Sunday scaries’ and remind America that Sunday is for football, the NFL partnered with Tide to launch “Not For Laundry,” and declare Tuesday night the new laundry night. 

To kick off the campaign, Tide and the NFL enlisted the likes of NFL legend and household name Peyton Manning in a commercial where he holds a press conference to announce the nationwide laundry schedule change. Current players like JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers pushed the campaign on social media promoting his team’s football game and further reminding fans not to miss it because of laundry. His tweet was retweeted more than 1,000 times and liked by more than 13,000 people. 

The “Not for Laundry” campaign perfectly captures the cultural significance that football holds in America and how central the sport is to our day-to-day lives in the fall– particularly by including stars of other NBC programs appearing victimized by the moving of laundry day. Sorry, Gwen

Pepsi – “Always Be Celebrating”

Pepsi, the official soft drink of the NFL for nearly two decades, launched a new campaign titled “Always Be Celebrating,” to commemorate the NFL’s 100th anniversary. To kick off the campaign, Pepsi hosted a public party at New England’s Gillette Stadium last week celebrating the reigning Super Bowl champions. The first 50 fans in line received a limited-edition New England Patriots Laces shaped can Pepsi designed to honor the team, and a small batch of custom, textured commemorative cans were given away to fans through a game of Patriots-themed trivia. Platinum-selling country star Chris Lane headlined the event.

The campaign also includes national TV advertising, local advertising and social media promotion celebrating everything from the most memorable end zone dances to a fan’s 15 seconds of fame on the jumbotron. 

Pepsi succeeds in portraying the sheer excitement and joy that football sparks in both players and fans while placing their product of the center of that feeling.

ESPN – “There’s No Place Like Sports”

The popular sports network debuted a commercial on Sunday that reveals a profound truth about sports well beyond the scores and stats. The minute-long spot recaps some of the greatest moments from sporting events around the globe, with a question accompanying each piece of footage: Where else do you fight for more than a win? Where else is an injury just the beginning? Where else are mountains no match for a ten-year-old? Where else is standing up the bravest thing you can do? Where else does a walk–on become the MVP? The questions inspire the sentiment that sports are not about victories, but about stories that are worth telling. 

What makes this campaign special is that it doesn’t shy away from the negative, portraying the network as the prime source for all things sports showing the good, the bad and the ugly. 

Though these campaigns all invoke different emotions, they capture the spirit and unity that sports create within communities. The brands encourage viewers to engage and be present during Sunday Night Football and appreciate the depths of what the sports culture means to America.