Every year, Electronic Arts does a major celebrity-filled marketing push for its largest game of the year, “Madden NFL,” out before the start of the NFL season. This year’s campaign for “Madden NFL 22,” available starting today, is no exception. However, unlike previous years, everything from conception to strategy has been done internally.
“Welcome to Madden Land” is the first campaign from the Redwood City, California-based video game giant that has been conceived and written fully in-house, with Los Angeles-based Superprime and director James Gray leading production.
The decision to take “Madden NFL” campaign in-house is a move away from the previous strategy and speaks to the persistent movement of brands taking more marketing in-house. For the past three years, New York City-based creative agency Johannes Leonardo had managed the “Madden NFL” campaign. EA did not provide a comment about its relationship with Johannes Leonardo. Asked about its status with EA, the agency stated, “We are still on the roster at Madden."
"Moving the concept in-house empowered our entire team to be a part of the creative process, building a seamlessly integrated campaign from top to bottom," says EA Sports Creative Director Josh Klein.
Last year, with the pandemic leading to a very uncertain NFL season, Johannes Leonardo and Madden shifted away from one splashy big campaign to instead focus on real-time response content.
This year's campaign stars Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Ramsey and Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews who appear in a TV, digital and social spots that present the grand opening of the fictional rollercoaster-filled world of “Madden Land” in Southern California. Viewers see players emerge from amusement rides to join their teammates on the football field alongside commentary from Fox Sports' Erin Andrews, former ESPN personality Kenny Mayne and Fox Sports' Curt Menefee. At the end, Brady cuts the red tape and proclaims: “Welcome to Madden Land!” Then Mahomes appears flying a plane carrying a Madden sign while shouting “It’s game time baby!”