Michelob Ultra dubs Peyton Manning’s face into ‘Caddyshack’ for Woods-Mickelson match
With more endorsement deals than you can count, Peyton Manning’s face has been pretty much everywhere for years. And now, he’s in “Caddyshack.”
Michelob Ultra this week released a video on social media that used so-called deepfake technology to superimpose the retired quarterback's face into a scene from the classic 1980 movie. His mug replaces the face of the Judge Elihu Smails character played by Ted Knight. The video—which is expected to be followed with Manning in other scenes—is part of the brew’s marketing around this weekend’s televised golf event pitting Manning and Tiger Woods against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady.
The Anheuser-Busch InBev brew is among several presenting sponsors of the event, dubbed “Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Charity,” that will be held at the Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida and be simulcast across TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN on May 24 at 3 p.m. Turner Sports reported earlier this month that it had sold out commercial inventory for the event, which comes amid a dearth of live sports. Capital One has the title sponsorship, with Audi and Progressive joining Ultra as presenting sponsors. Presenting partners are paying around $5 million for the sponsorships, Ad Age reported in early May, citing people familiar with the matter.
Michelob Ultra’s plans also include three TV ads that will run during the event. The spots show a man meticulously cleaning a souped-up golf beer cart stocked with nothing but Ultra. The cart, which will be integrated into Turner’s coverage of the event, will be given away via a sweepstakes conducted on social media. Ultra also promises to give away six-packs to fans, via a rebate, if any of the golfers makes a hole-in-one.
The Manning videos are reminiscent of an ad American Express debuted in 2004 from Ogilvy & Mather that showed Tiger Woods playing the Bill Murray’s greenskeeper character, Carl Spackler, from the movie—although that ad did not use deepfake tech, which is a more recent innovation.
“I haven’t seen the ad so I can’t comment,” Ricardo Marques, VP of Michelob Ultra, said in an interview when asked about the American Express ad. “I am very, very pleased with what the team at Wieden was able to do. You really feel like it was Peyton. From a production standpoint, it’s so well done, it delivers exactly what we were looking for.”
The TV ads were shot just a few days ago in Orlando, Florida, he says. They come as brands are still struggling to get new work into production while adhering to social-distancing rules enforced during the pandemic. Notably, only one actor appears in Ultra’s ad. “We had a minimal crew on site—10 people all wearing masks—the rest of the crew was here in New York via Zoom, directing the shoot,” Marques says.
Ultra is banking on big ratings for Sunday’s broadcast, which fills a golf void and includes four of the biggest names in pro sports. “Sports fans are starved for live sports. I think it’s fair to say this will be an extremely successful event—not only from an entertainment standpoint, but also speaking about the charitable component,” Marques says, referring to a $150,000 donation the brand is making to the American Red Cross.
The PGA Tour has been on hiatus since the Players Championship was halted on March 12 after the tournament’s first round as concerns grew about the coronavirus. The Tour is scheduled to get back to action on June 8, but at least the first four tournaments will be closed to the general public.
Sunday’s event comes two years after Turner organized a pay-per-view match between Woods and Mickelson that was also sponsored by Capital One. Turner charged viewers $20 for the 2018 event, which was shown on outlets including DirectTV and U-verse, as well as the Bleacher Report Live platform. But Turner was forced to give refunds due to a glitch on the Bleacher Report site.