NFL Thursday Night Football guy

10 October 2012

Fantasy, Meet Reality: Think About This When You See Those Weird NFL Commercials

by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Fan of Both the NFL and Andrew McGregor…

So maybe you’ve seen these NFL commercials with the bearded guy in the suit (created by agency David & Goliath)…

And perhaps you said to yourself, “WTF? Who is that guy and why is he the spokesman for the NFL?” Or maybe you said, “Wow, what a great character, how did they come up with that idea?”

I had another take on the commercial: “Is that my friend Andrew McGregor?”

Andrew, in the TEDx video above, is a modern-day renaissance man:

  • combat photojournalist
  • founder of the award-winning nonprofit Tiziano Project
  • comic book publisher (he also founded Graphation and his alter ego is Captain Africa)
  • writer with a master’s degree in professional writing from USC
  • world champion chessboxer (yes, chessboxing is a real sport, and speaking of goliaths, Andrew is a giant of a man in so many respects)
  • and aspiring robot developer.

Oh, and before I forget, Andrew also occasionally flaunts a beard, three-piece suit, and bursts of a British accent when he appears at venues around the world, including the SXSW festival and my college classes. He’s been doing that for years — long before this NFL campaign came out.

Yes, there are differences: Andrew has a passion for doing good in the world, while the guy in the commercial is purely a clown. And Andrew hates football. So, obviously, very different characters, right?

Now, let’s give David & Goliath the benefit of the doubt and assume that the agency came up with this character 100% on their own.

I just ask you this favor:

The next time you see those NFL commercials, think of Andrew and the great work that’s he’s done. And take a break from fantasy football to check out the Tiziano Project, where you’ll find real heroes making a real difference in the real world.

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Freddy is the Founder & Creative Strategist of Atomic Tango. He also teaches graduate-level marketing communication courses at the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), shoots pool somewhat adequately, and herds cats. Freddy received his BA from Harvard and his MBA from USC.

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