‘Joe’s Diner’ Ad Campaign Mixes Current NFL Exploits With Humor
The Chicago Bears’ Devin Hester ran all over the Denver Broncos on Sunday, returning a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns, and was the talk of the sports world on Monday.
He also was the talk of the NFL Network’s new ad campaign, “Joe’s Diner,” as it shot Monday in downtown Los Angeles.
At the diner, Matt, the resident Patriots fan, talks with fantasy football-obsessed Stan. Stan asks Matt if he could take down Mr. Hester if he were loose in the diner.
“I’m a ‘genetical’ freak,” Matt responds, accenting his vowels with a hard New England drawl. Holding out his arms, “I’ve got a nine-foot wingspan. It’d be like an eagle catching a Chihuahua in a shoebox.”
The crew filming the spot cracks up over the ad-lib.
Allan Broce, president and creative director of Triple Double, the creative team behind the ads, said he took offense at the way sports fans are typically portrayed on television.
“It’s all face-painters and foam fingers,” he said.
But the “Joe’s Diner” ads allow a realistic portrayal of how football fans talk to each other, incorporating current events and a pinch of irreverence, Mr. Broce said.
In order to capture the immediacy of the sport, the ads are scripted directly after Sunday’s games and filmed every other Monday.
“It’s a ride. We were up late last night,” Mr. Broce said.
Mr. Hester’s breakout game scrapped Mr. Broce’s original plan to shoot the ad about the Redskins, who lost on Sunday. The ads are promoting a Bears/Redskins match on the NFL Network.
“Everybody’s always making fun of somebody else’s team,” said Joe Montana, the Joe of Joe’s Diner. The ads are “pretty typical of what you see in a lot of neighborhood places.”
Mr. Montana takes on the role of Joe Clifford (using his own middle name), the owner of a diner.
Matt asks if he can lay down sod in the diner to take down Mr. Hester. Joe, stirring a pot of chili, responds quickly, “Nobody’s layin’ any sod.”
Mr. Montana represents the “all-American quarterback,” according to Kevin Balluff, director of on-air promotions at the NFL Network.
“You want to find a character who everyone knows who he is,” Mr. Balluff said of choosing Mr. Montana as the face for the ads.
Time for another take.
This time, Matt riffs that he’s experienced at catching lightning as a former junior varsity long snapper.
The crew busts up again.
The spots, featured at joes.nfl.com, showcase other characters in the series, including the Machine, a stat-loving fan, as well as character blogs and a “mockumentary” on Joe Clifford.
A “series finale” is set to air during the Super Bowl in January.