Baker Mayfield Settles Into His New Home, the Browns’ Stadium, in Progressive Ad Debut

It's a lot of real estate to manage, but the NFL star and his wife are rolling up their sleeves

AdWeek

Getting settled into a new home is never easy, but it’s especially challenging when your house is the Cleveland Browns’ 68,000-seat stadium.

Making their debut today as Progressive endorsers, Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield and his wife, Emily, star in a series of vignettes called “At Home With Baker Mayfield,” an episodic campaign that will play out throughout the upcoming NFL season.

Officially kicking off Sept. 5 when it airs during the first game of the 2019-2020 season, the campaign from agency Arnold Worldwide playfully imagines the couple as gradually finding their groove in FirstEnergy Stadium, their new “home.”

Two spots have been released so far, and in the first we see the Mayfields struggling with something that flummoxes just about every home buyer: the poorly labeled breaker box.

(If they really want to be accurate, the creatives should have then shown him going all around the stadium, resetting every digital clock.)

In the second spot, we see Baker Mayfield preparing for the intimidating task of trimming his new lawn with a reluctant mower.

His success out of the gate has built quite a bit of buzz among Browns fans eager for the team to make its first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.

“From our first meeting with Baker months ago, we saw something special with him and set out to showcase his story, and our brand, in a different light,” says Jeff Charney, Progressive CMO, in a statement about the campaign launch. “To that end, we tossed out the typical ‘athlete-as-spokesperson’ model and took a more modern, content-rich and episodic approach that’s characteristic of today’s network shows. There’s no glorified pro-athlete persona or hard-sell messaging, just highly relatable, everyday—and quite funny— moments between Baker, Emily and their rather unique 68,000-seat stadium home.”

The campaign, obviously metaphorical, is supposed to represent the process of moving into your first home, a time when insurance is obviously top of mind.

Baker Mayfield’s path into the pros wasn’t the usual one, with him beginning at Texas Tech as a walk-on who, in a Hollywood-esque moment, ended up being the team’s starting quarterback at the beginning of his first season. His transfer to Oklahoma after his senior year sparked an intense policy debate when the NCAA required him to sit out the 2014 season and lose a year of NFL draft eligibility, despite being a walk-on and not a scholarship recipient. A subsequent rules change by the Big 12 known as “the Baker Mayfield Rule” allowed such transfers without the one-year loss of eligibility.

“My life story and process have been different from others, so I felt right at home with Progressive because their journey has been a little different, as well,” he said in a statement. “Emily and I both feel like it’s OK to be unique, prove doubters wrong, and be proud of it. We think it’ll be fun for people to tune in throughout the season to see how the whole story unfolds.”

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