Category Archives: Game Ads

Madden Ads have Always Been Excellent

DISCLAIMER: Now that the summer is over, I’m going to start treating this as an actual blog where I can talk about game ads. Originally this started as a class final project, and it’s still all on the site, but new features will be updated when I feel the need to wax about some form of game advertising. The parameters defined within the original report itself will still work in these: I’m talking about ads for games, ads within games, and ads through games.

So I hope everyone has seen the three and a half minute masterpiece made by EA for Madden 15. If not, go watch it, please. I can’t name one thing in which I’ve actually seen Dave Franco, and I don’t have an opinion at all about Kevin Hart other than “well he looks like he’s having a fun time out there, really seems to enjoy being famous and all,” but this short film of a commercial got me excited for Madden Season, regardless of the fact that I’ll never play Madden against anyone because I haven’t bought a Madden game since Madden 11 on the PSP and surprisingly few people I know even care about Madden anymore. It’s all FIFA now.

That doesn’t take away from the fact that Madden’s ad teams always tend to come up with memorable TV spots and magazine ads.

Madden 2005

Madden 2005 was the first year in which EA Sports claimed to have fixed the series’ defensive troubles, which was never anything they ever had to advertise again. Anyway, they play off of the colorful personality of former Ravens Linebacker Ray Lewis (that year’s cover athlete) and reference football broadcasts’ first-down line.

I’m sure this has been done thousands of times before, but EA chose the classic “you’re choosing video games over romance???” twist for another 2005 spot. This would have worked better had I actually come across it without any knowledge of the fact that it’s a Madden commercial, rather than finding it on YouTube with the expressed intent of looking up Madden commercials and not doing homework.

Madden 2004

A similar tactic was used in print ads for Madden 2004

Madden 2003

This is one the campaigns I remember the most, and my first introduction to the fact that athletes can actually be entertaining people. Again, Ray Lewis puts on a solid performance, along with other stars of the time like Ricky Williams, Keyshawn Johnson, and (to a lesser extent) Adam Vinatieri.

Earlier ad campaigns are harder to come across online, but here’s what I’ve found.

Madden 2000

Unfun fact: This commercial prominently features Chiefs Linebacker and Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas, who died after a car accident in February of 2000. Madden 2000 was the last Madden to feature him.

Madden 97

Whoa, I had no idea that that guy, the EA Sports Announcer guy (I don’t think he has an actual name) (His real name is Andrew Anthony), was working for them all the way back in 1996. That’s really neat and means he’s been working for EA at least almost as long as I have been alive. It’s in the game, indeed.

Anyway, buy Madden 15 or don’t, but please, for the love of god, watch a video involving a digital Richard Sherman sacking Dave Franco in an office, Damian Lillard awkwardly driving away on a motorcycle, and a classic rap verse saying exactly everything we needed to hear about Madden 15.