What about Prime Video’s weirdly elongated football?

Quarterbacks like Russell Willson of the Denver Broncos got in on the act, throwing Prime Balls a mile down the field while keeping a straight face:

Major media outlets and sports bloggers pondered, debated and fretted over the implications of Prime Balls, 33 of which were created by Wilson for the campaign. Everyone knew it was a joke…yet.

Such coverage boosted views before the not-so-surprising revelation, with Wilson and fellow stars Matthew Stafford, Justin Herbert and Richard Sherman, that brand-boosting spoofing was underway:

And so, real-time NFL games come to the Prime Video app, which has some 80 million subscribers in the US. Thankfully, that funky ball will stay on the sidelines.

Muse caught up with Leo Macias, Global VP of Marketing and Activation for Prime Video and Amazon Studios, who discusses the Prime Ball experience.

Muse: So, they brainstormed and someone said, “Hey! Let’s do some crazy soccer!” Is that how it fell?

Leo Macias: When word first broke that Prime Video would be the new home for Thursday Night Football, a lot of the talk was about how the game would change forever. We decided to play into that conversation with this campaign. The idea was that we would create a gimmick to hint that Prime Video is not only changing the way you watch the game, but that we are also changing the most important part of the game: the actual football. So we just did that.

Was the target audience hardcore fans?

Prime Video wanted to implement a fun trick that would remind football fans, especially those who are hesitant to watch their favorite game through Prime Video, that we’re not changing anything about the game, just where and how they watch it. We really leaned into social media tactics because we saw how active soccer fans are on these platforms: TikTok, Twitter and Instagram. By choosing big names in the league (Wilson, Stafford, Herbert, Sherman, Rice) and using their social media channels, we knew we would reach our target audience through their fan base.

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Were you surprised by the intense feedback? Part of that was negative, criticizing Prime Ball as a dumb gimmick.

Generating conversations on social media was a great element and goal for this hack. We saw a ton of engagement on TikTok – fans took over the comments section and even created their own videos to report on the news. We love the chatter and the buzz. Strong reactions were expected. Actually, we don’t see that as a negative thing. This is part of what made it such a great lively conversation.

Beyond the rumour, was there a broader business goal? Quite simply, many fans don’t know what to expect from Thursday Night Football. How does this address that?

Our goal is to build trust. We understand. This is a new way to watch the game, but we promise the Thursday Night Football experience will be better than ever, and we hope this fun and light-hearted gimmick will show fans that we know where they’re coming from and encourage them to tune in to see what’s coming. the new TNF is treated.

Any ideas to mass produce the balls as collectibles? Maybe use them in contests?

We gave away the prototypes on social networks as part of the campaign. There is the opportunity to continue having fun with Thursday Night Football. Fans, stay tuned!

CREDITS

TOP VIDEO CREATIVE: Leo Macias, Jared Goldsmith, Evan Brady, Ricardo Franco, Angelo Maia
FIRST VIDEO PRODUCTION: Erin Ryder (Lead Creative Producer), Ross Gasmer (Lead Creative Producer), Andy Edwards (Creative Producer),
DIRECTOR: Ari Fararoy
Cinematographer: William Start
ADDTL PRODUCER: Ari Fararooy Productions, Andrea Saavedra (Producer)
VIDEO EDITORS/POST TEAM: Dave Nolte (Scratch Creative LA Editor), JD Pruess (Audiovisual Producer), Ari Fararooy Productions (VFX & Editing)
AGENCY: ATLANTIC NEW YORK
ATLANTIC CO-FOUNDERS, CCO: João Coutinho and Marco Pupo
ATLANTIC CREATIVES: AO Omar Baker, Elizabeth Cala, Dan Greener, Jessica Morford, Marcelo Romko, Patrick Conlon, Sam Simões
ATLANTIC STRATEGY: Gabriela Conci, Gavin May
ATLANTIC PRODUCTION (VFX Video/Ball Production): Greg Jenkins, Sam Simões, Ben Bentsman, Francisco De Deus
ATLANTIC MANAGING DIRECTOR: Suzanne Barbosa
3D BALL GFX: Fuze Image Creator
SOCIAL MANAGEMENT [Prime Video]: Gigi Clark Ryan Irwin
post credits
Visual Effects Supervisor – Ari Fararooy
Post Producer – Raquel Gonzales
Lead VFX Artist: Ari Fararooy
VFX Artists: Aaron Blanchard, Lauren Riccardi
Computer Generated Artists: Sam Leffell, Josh Micley, Angela Gonzales, Alex Katz
Assistant editor – Alexa Mocley

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