EA Sports Taps Into College Football Devotion

NCAA-Football

EA Sports looks to tap into the sometimes overwhelming devotion college football fans have for their favorite teams in a new advertising campaign touting its NCAA Football 12 title.

Television commercials from San Francisco agency Heat show fans taking their dedication to the extreme in 15-second vignettes. One commercial shows an out-of-shape Louisiana State University fan lifting his "man boobs" (as the spot is called) to ensure no spot on his torso is not covered in purple and gold. Another spot shows a University of Texas fan getting his broken wrist and fingers set in the "Hook 'em Horns" gesture. A third spot shows a University of Florida fan in the gym working out by making the university's "Gator Chomp" gesture on one of the weight machines. "You're devoted," reads on-screen text in each ad. "But are you totally devoted?"

"Unlike other sports where people are involved with the league or with star players, with the NCAA they're really involved with the schools and the pageantry," Dustin Shekell, advertising manager for EA, tells Marketing Daily. "This year, the campaign is about taking that devotion to a certain level. That's what the sport is all about."

Targeting male college football fans between 12 and 34 (both avid gamers and non-avid gamers), the commercials are running on spot broadcast television as well as 15 cable networks, including ESPN, Comedy Central, Spike, Adult Swim and MTV. A print spread promoting the game will also appear in ESPN the Magazine, and the agency has developed 15 conference-specific flash banners that will appear on more than 200 Web sites through a geotargeted buy.

The Internet elements of the campaign have proven to be particularly successful, helping identify potential customers through social media and Internet searches, Shekell says. "Things like Facebook give you a great targeting ability for fan affinity," he says. "We've put more [into] digital than in years past because it performs so well."

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