Why “Football on Your Phone” is Funny – and Smart Marketing

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Why “Football on Your Phone” is Funny – and Smart Marketing

Football on Your PhoneBy now, you’ve probably seen the hilariously cheesy video for DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket starring football’s Manning brothers, Eli and Peyton (with their dad, Archie, in a cameo appearance).

With over 7 million views on YouTube, it’s a viral sensation, and for good reason: It’s really funny. It’s also very smart marketing.

Here’s why “Football on Your Phone” broke through in a crowded media marketplace and what makes this ad a smart marketing strategy.

The Winning Marketing Formula Behind a Hit Ad

  1. Genuine stars as spokespersons: The Manning brothers are football superstars, with three Super Bowl rings between them. They’re extremely well-known to the targeted demographic. The opening treatment looks like the start of a highlights film starring two of the best known players in the game.
  2. Stars who don’t mind making fools of themselves: Peyton and Eli wear goofy wigs, bling, and silly costumes and rap dialogue that barely rhymes. They’re good sports who are happy to be mocked. They even got their father in on it, wig and all.
  3. A genre that’s ripe for parody: Sure, hip hop is a major music category, but who hasn’t wanted to make fun of rappers and hip hop artists? It’s a genre tailor-made for parody, which makes the ad easy to relate to.
  4. Real humor: Yes, it’s silly, but the humor is great. Imagine someone who uses their phone for callin’ – when they could be using it for footballin’! And what would the inventor of the telephone think of watching football on a phone? “Who cares? Dude’s dead!”
  5. A jingle with an irresistible tune: Good luck forgetting “Football on Your Phone” after you hear it sung by the requisite chorus of sexy women 19 times in the three-minute spot. The tune is catchy, memorable, and a perfect description of the product’s main benefit. In addition to the jingle, the dialogue repeats the phase “football on your phone” 12 times.
  6. Social media integration: In its first week, the YouTube video topped the Ad Age Viral Video Chart. #footballonyourphone is still is getting tons of traffic on Twitter. And it’s a PR hit, too, with the video featured all over the media.
  7. Most important: A creative concept that fully integrates the product: DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket is almost as much of a star in the ad as the stars themselves. The creative concept wouldn’t work without the product and it doesn’t outshine the product – two fundamental principles of great advertising.

Funny + Effective = Smart Marketing

Lots of advertising and marketing is funny, but many marketers make the mistake of focusing on the humor at the expense of the message. How many times have you seen a great ad that made you laugh, but then you quickly forgot which product was being promoted?

“Football on Your Phone” is a smart marketing strategy because it’s attention-getting, memorable, funny, and an extremely effective demonstration of the product. Hat’s off to Grey New York and DirecTV for making us all want football in our pants.

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