Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield returns for a second year of lighthearted football-themed ads from Progressive.
In a nod to the new normal, Mayfield and his wife Emily go about mundane chores in their new “home”—an empty FirstEnergy Stadium, which can seat 68,000.
He’ll get used to performing without fans in the stands that way.
A separate series of spots directed by Jared Hess (of Napoleon Dynamite fame) flips the “at-home” joke. Mark and Marcus, two dudes wielding yard markers connected by a chain, make their debut, fumbling around the domestic playing field of a typical suburban house.
Those big orange inanimate objects really stole the show! (Don’t cry foul, Mark and Marcus, we’re just yanking your chain. The markers gave predictably stiff performances.)
Developed by Arnold Worldwide and running throughout the NFL season, the ads deliver some culturally attuned chuckles without working overtime to force the funny.
Progressive scored a few months back with a pandemic-themed campaign, staging awkward Zoom calls featuring spokes-characters Flo and Jamie.
So, why not use Flo and Jamie in an NFL push?
Arnold creative chief Sean McBride tells Muse that this particular playing field “warrants its own unique campaigns. It’s why Progressive has a network of characters. Each one occupies its own piece of the audience so we can tailor the messages exactly right.”