Dr. Dre's 1999 track "Still D.R.E.," originally performed with Snoop Dogg and frequently featured in movies and video games, morphs into a fabulously frenzied fight song during the NFL's epic 2022-23 kickoff spot from 72andSunny Los Angeles.
The action takes place at a pep rally like no other. Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf tickles the ivories to hype the crowd, which includes rappers Lil Wayne, Saweetie and Pusha T, gymnastics GOAT Simone Biles, TikTok star Josh Richards, plus NFL luminaries Cam Jordan, Derwin James and Justin Tucker.
Biles' fiancée, Jonathan Owens of the Houston Texans, doesn't appear, but judging by that cheerleading jersey—and her IG post below—she'll be rooting him on all season.
In the clip, Jordan enthuses "There's no game like this game! There ain't no time like this time!" Lil Wayne goes wild with the T-shirt cannon. And Tucker lets fly with some opera at the end:
Tagged "It Feels Good to Football" and directed in suitably frenetic fashion by Superprime's Emmett and Brandon Malloy—who scored with EA's John Madden tribute—the :75 sizzles with sick sounds and sassy style. It calls back to the 2022 Super Bowl halftime extravaganza featuring Dre, Snoop, Mary J. Blige, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar, reminding us of the game's vaunted place in popular culture.
All in all, it's a smart OTT play, somewhat reminiscent of NBA efforts, weaving the league into the fabric of our lives and clearly aimed at a young, hip demo while also appealing to hardcore fans. The spectacle feels on point, as nothing says mainstream Americana like a pep rally. And this one doesn't even suck. Heck, there's no befuddled vice principal in sight!
On hand, however, along with those noted above, are Cleveland Browns mascot Chomps, the Carolina Panthers cheerleaders, DJ Liva, NFL on Nickelodeon's Young Dylan, Buffalo Bills superfan Pinto Ron, social media influencer Frankie Lapenna and boxer Ryan Garcia.
"We are blurring the lines between football, music, fashion and modern culture," NFL CMO Tim Ellis tells Muse. "It's about delivering a constant stream of energy and vitality that makes football feel exciting and relevant to a new generation of fans. This particular spot is meant to bring people together over their shared passion and love for the game."
He adds: "We brought together the biggest stars in sports and hip-hop to strategically appeal to our key demographics of youth, women and the Latino community—while spotlighting our players who continue to be the face of football."
The NFL's 103rd season kicks off Thursday at SoFi Stadium when the Buffalo Bills play the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. The ad will air during that game, with cutdowns appearing across various platforms.
Brand: National Football League
Creative Agency: 72andSunny Los Angeles
Director: The Malloys
Editorial/Post: Union Editorial
Mix: Barking Owl