NFL’s Back to Basics Campaign

09 September 2004

Advertisers are being wooed backed to American Football with the promise of good ole' fashioned family values.

Following the uproar over the half-time appearance of Janet Jackson's breast during last season's Super Bowl Final, the NFL has been working hard to calm the frayed nerves of advertisers and agencies in time for this evening's (September 9) Kickoff Celebration to mark the 2004-2005 season.

The TV commercials going out during the game and the preceding glitzy concert will feature the archived voice of revered coach Vince Lombardi, who died 34 years ago.

The ads use the theme of "This is what it's all about" while Lombardi will be heard talking about the will to win and team work – but definitely not the sort Justin and Janet had in mind.

In a belt and braces approach there will be a ten second delay during the concert, which features Sir Elton John, Mary J Blige and Destiny's Child.

The advertisers seem to be persuaded of the turnaround with blue-chip companies including Ameriquest, Pepsico, Campbell Soup and Southwest Airlines signing up for sponsorship and commercials for the coming season.

The TV stations who broadcast the games, ABC, ESPN, CBS and Fox are reporting up to 90 percent of available commercials airtime has already been snapped up, at rates of between $100,000 (€82,000, £56,000) and $350,000 for each 30 second spot.

Says Andy Donchin of media agency Carat USA: "The NFL is still the most consistent place, week in and week out to get double digit ratings with good demographics."

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff