There’s something different about Thursday Night Football this year, and it’s not just that America won’t be stuck watching the Buffalo Bills in prime time. Fox is the new home of Thursday Night Football, unless of course you have Amazon Prime and want to stream football on a device. But the network home of Thursday’s NFL action changing means hearing different voices and a whole new presentation for the one of the league’s most visible time slots.
To celebrate that, Fox debuted a new series of commercials for its weekly matchups. Thursday was typically seen by many fans as a football wasteland of sorts, as the NFL ensured every team would get a prime time game and promptly put the likes of the Browns, Bills and Jets into Thursday night slots to get them out of the way.
This year’s slate seems a bit more, well, competitive, as evidenced by Fox’s “Now It’s A Game” campaign that features ordinary fans actually talking about how much fun the matchups sound.
“Man, these Thursday Night games are good,” one guy says, somewhat surprised, summing up the narrative thrust nicely.
The ad for Thursday night’s Patriots/Colts game is a great example of Fox’s new strategy: Be straight with people and acknowledge that past of Thursday games wasn’t great, but the future is bright. You can also talk about how odd Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are, which everyone enjoys doing.
“The guy won’t even eat a strawberry,” the mechanic says about Brady as the commercial cuts to a clip of a basket of strawberries tossed into the trash.
That kind of tongue in cheek advertising is a bit uncommon in today’s NFL, which makes it refreshing. Football is supposed to be fun, and the matchups we’ll see on Thursdays this fall have the chance to do more than let you gently drift off to sleep while the TV wastes electricity.