My ears perked up as soon as I heard the piano riff from Jay-Z’s “Blueprint 2” in the background of this ad on TV this week. That made me pay attention to the rest of the clip, which fits two NFL players’ life stories into a tight little minute-long narrative. Pretty great work — check it out below. Turns out the spot was directed by David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac), one of my favorite filmmakers. I’ve insisted on cranking up the volume and watching attentively every time this ad pops up on my screen.
Personally, this experience has made me want to do one of two things: 1) re-watch Zodiac (great movie!), and 2) re-listen to Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 2 (uneven album! but great title track!). You’ll note that neither of those things are buying Nike shoes, for a variety of reasons — sorry, Nike’s marketing department. But kudos for producing a really cool ad. It’s totally this non-football-fan’s second favorite football-related piece of recent pop culture. (Number one would be the new season of Friday Night Lights, of course.) How about you?