Spot from 72andSunny LA, Prettybird's Max Malkin and Digital Domain is an epic feat of production involving old visual and audio footage, AI and digital human technology
In the past two Super Bowls, the NFL has delivered some epic spectacles that captured the hearts and imaginations of NFL fans. "The 100-Year Game" celebrated legends past and present with a riotous football game in a ballroom while "The Next 100" celebrated the game's future with a football journey across America that ended with a young star delivering the game ball at midfield before kickoff. This year the NFL has brought back Vince Lombardi, one of the league’s most inspirational figures, a pioneering ally in social justice and namesake of the Super Bowl trophy to deliver an unforgettable speech to the nation.
Vince Lombardi’s spoken words still resonate today, as well as his belief in man’s ability to unite and overcome obstacles. Regardless of background, race, creed or sexual orientation.
Created by 72andSunny Los Angeles and directed by Prettybird's Max Malkin, 'As One' that highlights the resiliency of the American people and seamlessly transitions to the game’s live broadcast with a hologram of Lombardi delivering a speech from the end zone in front of millions tuning in. Using words inspired by Lombardi’s real speeches, and blessed by the Lombardi family, the speech inspires by reminding America that it’s “not whether we get knocked down, but whether we get back up. As One.”
“Most of us know Lombardi as an inspiring coach on the field, but he was more a teacher than a coach. He believed that equality and unity were the world’s most powerful force, and his words became the narrative spine to our spot,” said Tim Ellis, NFL EVP and chief marketing officer. “This year we recognized the country needed a cultural guiding light of strength and resilience, and that is what we hope resonates with our fans through this film.”
The NFL also partnered with award winning studio Digital Domain, to bring their feature level VFX to this special project. They utilised hours of historical and practical footage and audio provided by NFL Films, directed by Max Malkin of Prettybird to resurrect Coach Lombardi using a blend of traditional VFX techniques along with ‘Charlatan’ their new groundbreaking proprietary digital humans technology. In tandem, they also worked with Respeecher to replicate Lombardi’s voice using AI and existing recordings, wrapping up the ambitious project in just under five weeks.
While Lombardi was an inspiring coach on the field, he also believed in equality and that unity was the world’s most powerful force. He strongly opposed prejudice of any kind and refused to tolerate bigotry on his team. He championed Black players and also supported them in the community. “If you’re going to play together as a team,” he said, “you’ve got to care for one another. You’ve got to love each other.”
“Many fans today don’t know Coach Lombardi or what he stood for. Beyond his football acumen, he was a great uniter and a champion for social justice within the league,” said Zach Hilder, group creative director, 72andSunny Los Angeles. “We felt America needed to hear his words now more than ever.”