Although the game has been on the shelves since the beginning of the football season, holiday sales are important for a title like Madden 17. With people heading out to buy gifts for football-loving friends and family, EA Sports is broadening its “Madden Season” approach.
Starting this weekend, the company will begin airing a spot (via agency Heat) that puts New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski in an ’80s hair-metal band to cover Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” (with updated, game-specific lyrics).
“It’s a different kind of push,” Nichole Geddes, Heat associate creative director, art director, tells Marketing Daily. “Gronk’s star power is appealing to a wide variety of [consumers]. This is a louder push, with a louder spokesperson with a louder song.”
In the video, Gronkowski sings the song from both the stage (complete with fireworks) and in the studio, much like one would see in an ’80s-era music video. In the song, his lyrics basically lay out the case for him to be put on a player’s Madden team. “You should look at the Madden team you’ve got/If you need another tight end, let me fill that slot/You’ve got receivers but they’re not quite big enough/So, give me a shot,” he sings. “Whoa, you’re halfway there/Whoa-oh, but you need another player.”
The video follows a launch campaign that depicted Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller spoofing Justin Bieber’s pop hit, “Sorry,” which appealed to younger-skewing, pop-loving gamers, says Mitch Gage, Heat associate creative director, copywriter. Choosing Bon Jovi’s well-known anthem was a way to broaden the appeal without alienating the core fans.
“‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ is so pervasive,” Gage says. “Even if kids don’t know who it was who sang it, they know that song.”
Another video is expected to drop during the NFL Playoffs. Taking a multi-pronged approach is new for the Madden title, which had previously relied on a large launch campaign to sustain sales throughout the year.
The spot will run on broadcast and cable sports networks, as well as other networks that one might connect to men and sports, such as Esquire and FX networks, according to an agency representative.