For the ninth consecutive season ESPN is broadcasting the most watched cable network show, Monday Night Football (MNF). Each year ESPN has tried different ad campaigns to hype the already widely known commodity. In the past ads have focused on the matchups, with footage of both teams being used and some pump-up/up tempo music being played in the background. These commercials were formidable, but did nothing to get me excited for the games. Granted much like Professor Weinberg and his iPhone, I was going to watch Monday Night Football no matter who was playing. However, ESPN partnered with NFL films this season and created what I think are fantastic commercials. Instead of pump up music and commentary, the only thing that is playing is music that is slowly building up in pace. Big bolded letters show up over mic’d up gameplay, or they follow a star player out of the tunnel. The end slogan for the commercials is “No Other Night Is Monday Night”. And after I see one of these ads I think to myself “They’re right.”
The new ad campaign does more than old ads. I am now excited for every matchup on Monday night, and I am actively talking about it with my peers. They have agreed with me that the new ads are “sick”, and ESPN is heightening its exposure through word of mouth. Typically sports fans are the ones who are watching ESPN. These ads only air on ESPN, so they aren’t exactly reaching out to a new demographic, but as I said MNF has been the most watched program on a cable network the last eight years. I think these ads really hit home with sports fans. That moment when your team comes out of the tunnel is the foundation of your viewing experience for the game. It gives any fan chills, and creates hype that I believe is unparalleled to anything because once your team is out of that tunnel for the next 4 quarters, 9 innings, or 3 periods you are witnessing live action that has an unknown outcome. I think ESPN’s new ad campaign does a fantastic job capturing that moment in a 30 second ad. It gets the viewer excited, and looking forward to the Monday Night matchup. I think that there was very little ESPN could do to ruin MNF, but the fact that they enhanced an already market dominating product is impressive.