With the addition of the Big Ten to its lineup, Fox Sports hopes to become a more formidable force in College Football. So Wieden & Kennedy New York went for drama in its first work for the network since it parted ways with ESPN after 25 years.
A radically different tone than the agency's humorous "This is Sportscenter" efforts for ESPN, "Don't Look Ahead" highlights the intense rivalries and deep passions of College Football teams and their fans, telling viewers that "every game is everything." The focus, it says, should be on each week's game, not just the College Football Playoff.
This is an ironic message given the broadcast network and Fox Sports 1 have aired few, if any, post-season bowl games in recent years. Out of the 39 bowl games last season, not including the College Football Championship Game, ESPN and ABC aired all but two.
This year kicks off Fox Sport's six-year deal to air 50 Big Ten football games (ESPN will also air 50 games). As part of the deal, Fox will air the annual grudge-match between Ohio State and Michigan, which averaged 16.8 million viewers when it aired on ABC last year. It also has dibs on the Big Ten football championship in December.
Unsurprisingly, the Big Ten was a meaningful part of FS1's pitch to advertisers during the annual ad haggle.
Sam Pilling of Pulse Films directed the debut spot. The "Don't Look Ahead" campaign will include 17 different spots, including one spot for every Big Ten school.
Last season, FS1's College Football games averaged 715,300 viewers, with its coverage of the Texas-Oklahoma game the most-watched, attracting 2.8 million viewers.