Cannes Lions

Madden NFL 16

HEAT, San Francisco / EA GAMES / 2016

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The Internet is a place where our audience’s interests, passions, mashups, and inside jokes collide, so we made the ultimate pieces of content combining the things they love most: movies, dinosaurs, catch phrases, celebrities, and Robot Chicken-style puppets.

Our digitally native idea focused on taking the piss out of pop culture and celebrating Madden 16 with a ludicrously over-the-top movie and spin-off series that teens (and sports fans) couldn’t un-see or look away from.


To truly break through, we had to accept that we were not just competing with other video games, but with pop culture as a whole. This meant outshining Kanye+Kim, dishing out drama that would rival the NBA (our audience’s favorite sport), AND triggering schoolyard conversations to veer toward Madden and away from popular video game titles, like Minecraft.

We did this by creating content, not ads.

Our effort began with a five minute-long Bollywood action film, featuring our audience’s favorite comedic celebrities (Christopher ‘McLovin’ Mintz-Plasse and Dave Franco), NFL stars (Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., Colin Kaepernick and Rex Ryan), and a T-Rex. The film was followed by a five month-long spin-off series, starring our celebrities as puppets, teaming up to solve mysteries between heated games of Madden NFL 16. The series premiered an episode a week for 18 weeks of the NFL season.


In the end, we broke the Internet for two days, kept Madden in the conversation all season long, and set new sales records, effectively inviting a new generation of players into the Madden madness.

The Game

• #1-selling sports game of 2015

• #2-selling game of 2015

• Exceeded goal of increasing new user base by 10%

The Movie

• #1 on the #PopularOnYouTube list for two days (evidence that we broke the Internet for two days)

• Top trending topic on both Twitter and Facebook in the US

• Video views to date: 30MM and counting

• 65% of all YouTube views were organic

• Press: 500+ stories generated

The Puppets

• Video views to date: 630,000 total views (YouTube)

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More Than A Game

2018, EA GAMES

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