NFL, “Bring Down the House”
The NFL promised a blockbuster ad this year, and we’ve been girding for a touchdown, given that the league leaked some intriguing details: Its spot would feature puppetry, CGI and an all-star slate of gridiron giants, including Walter Payton, Rob Gronkowski, Ray Lewis, Aaron Donald, Deion Sanders, Marshawn Lynch, Kyler Murray, Al Michaels and more. In the final two-minute commercial, a couple of kids playing a video game at home are stunned as players spill out of the screen into their living room ready to rumble. The pint-sized players seem just as shocked, but quickly recover to play some football—in the process thoroughly trashing the house.
Perhaps the best bit in this fast-moving montage is the tiny football that somehow ends up lodged in the maw of a sleeping grandma (“We done killed granny!”). And that’s just one of what our announcer calls “137 flags on the play.” The game finally rests on Peyton Manning, who fumbles as a human baby enters the room and tackles him, shaking loose the ball, which is promptly intercepted by Walter Payton. Touchdown achieved as mom and dad enter the room to see their house destroyed. “What happened?” asks mom. “Football!” answers granny.
The premise is “The Cat in the Hat” meets “Toy Story,” and, yes, the spot is fun. But to us, it lacks the rollicking joy of the epic 2019 spot, “The Hundred Year Game,” which is the benchmark the NFL will forever have to beat.
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