SBD/August 8, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Mannings' DirecTV Ad Already A Viral Hit As Eli Takes Ribbing At Training Camp

The new DirecTV ad featuring Giants QB Eli Manning and Broncos QB Peyton Manning rapping "Football On Your Phone" "has become a viral victory since its launch early Tuesday," according to Tom Hoffarth of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. More than 3.2 million views "were recorded on the YouTube clip" by last night. DirecTV VP/Revenue & Product Marketing Alex Kaplan said that the idea for the ad "came as a collaborative effort by the satellite dish company’s marketing and advertising divisions, along with its partner," Grey, N.Y. Kaplan said, "It was kind of a leap of faith in that we hoped it was as funny as it looked on paper. I think we pulled it off." The Mannings "filmed the spot in New Orleans in mid July." Kaplan said, "They’ve been bugging me to do something outside the box. We’ve been waiting for the right idea and this one popped up." He called the reaction to the video "unbelievable." Kaplan: "It’s exceeded everyone’s expectations already. This could be one of the all-time great viral marketing campaigns" (INSIDESOCAL.com, 8/7). DirecTV Senior VP/Advertising & Communications Jon Gieselman said of Eli Manning, "He brings a lot. It's not just a director telling him what to do and him following directions" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/8).

THE TALK OF THE TOWN: ESPN N.Y.'s Ohm Youngmisuk reported the ad is "all the rage at the Giants' team facility." Eli Manning said, "I will stay with my day job and keep playing football for as long as possible. A one and done. A one-hit wonder probably." Manning said for the shoot he wore a "lot of makeup and just kept it on for four or five hours during the commercial and then take it off and back to normal life and try not to think about it." Giants P Steve Weatherford said, "It's a consensus that Peyton is a little more outgoing, a little more outspoken, but I thought Eli stole the show there." Eli Manning said of the ad's "Football On Your Phone" tune, "That song gets stuck in your head all day" (ESPNNY.com, 8/7). The ad was discussed on "SportsCenter" this morning, and ESPN's Bram Weinstein said players "were humming the tune of 'Football On Your Phone' while Eli was unwittingly standing behind them at the team cafeteria" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 8/8). ESPN’s Michael Smith said the ad is the "greatest commercial of all time” and is a “first-ballot commercial Hall of Famer.” ESPN’s Jemele Hill said it “may be the best athlete commercial” ever ("Numbers Never Lie," ESPN2, 8/7).

FATHER KNOWS BEST: In L.A., Sam Farmer wrote the "hands-down funniest part of the video" is when Archie Manning "makes a cameo, sitting on his throne while wearing a coiffed blond wig and a glittering jumpsuit." Archie Manning said, "I didn’t know what my part was, I just did what they told me to do. ... When I got there, I was told I was going to be Neil Diamond. I just said, 'Whatever.' I didn’t really like the wig that much, but I’m a team player" (LATIMES.com, 8/7). Manning noted when the video was filmed, he was coming off back surgery and he "couldn't do much, so I had a small part." CBS' Tim Brando said, "Eli I thought just was into this. He was tremendous in this video." Manning: "I thought Eli was kind of into it and ... I particularly liked Eli's hairdo." He said Peyton and Eli "laugh at themselves, they don’t take themselves too serious, and they jumped in with both feet" ("The Tim Brando Show," CBS Sports Network, 8/7).
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