In Under Armour's latest spot, marking the start of the NFL season, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton is seen dodging falling trees in a dark and creepty forest, in a symbolic recreation of the obstacles he has to overcome to be a winner.
Newton was involved in closely in the creative process of the film, by Droga5, which features a voiceover by his mother, Jackie Newton. Her words are inspired by a passage from Richard Adams' classic children's book, Watership Down, which tells the story of a brave rabbit who must use all the skills he possesses to lead his herd. As Newton battles through the trees, using deft footwork to avoid chaos, we hear how he's a "prince with 1,000 enemies" who must "never be destroyed." It's stirring language which elevates this beyond the norm.
"It's no secret that I have faced many obstacles, but my drive to be the best I can be continues to push me forward," said Newton in a statement. "The campaign film tells my story and shows that I will continue to work hard to break down barriers. The tagline is perfect because I've always felt that my game is only as good as the foundation it was built on. Everything I do on the field is anchored in solid footwork, with the best footwear, which powers my ability to perform at the highest level."
The ad, directed by Aoife McArdle at Somesuch, launches today ahead of the Thursday night NFL opening game.