Feel the Soul of Football in Anomaly's Latest for Dick's Sporting Goods

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It's not Nike, it's not Adidas, it's not Gatorade. But Anomaly's latest spot for Dick's Sporting Goods captures the athletic intensity worthy of such major sports advertisers -- and then some. Continuing an idea the agency launched in a baseball-related spot in February, "Every Snap" throws the viewers straight into the heart of a tense football game, with the most minuscule of detail -- from every player's move to each referee whistle to every audience hurrah -- palpable throughout.

Radical.Media's Derek Cianfrance, who just finished shooting the feature "Place Beyond the Pines," returned to direct, but the technique here differs from that used in the previous commercial. According to Anomaly Creative Director Seth Jacobs, while the baseball spot "Every Pitch" (see below) used a motion-control dolly track, the football ad required a tricked-out spider cam. "We kept it inches from the ground and had to customize the rig to make this possible," Mr. Jacobs said. "A deflated soccer ball was inserted into the rig to act as a shock absorber to help make it smooth."

And unlike the baseball spot, the latest ad posed more complicated challenges when it came to talent. "We had to choreograph 22 players as well as referees and coaches," Mr. Jacobs said. "In the baseball ad there was basically no movement for what the camera was doing. This spot was, in effect, a ballet, where the camera was weaving in and out."

Both commercials illustrate the varied nuances of each sport. "Baseball is a calm moment of anticipation, where subtle shifts are made and encouragement and watch outs are made known," Mr. Jacobs said. "In football, an entire chess match of action goes down. Actions and reactions happen with every player, and plays get changed, determining the outcome of the game."

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