Campaign US BIG Awards 2021: Video

As One: The Lombardi Comeback — NFL and 72andSunny Los Angeles

As One: The Lombardi Comeback — NFL and 72andSunny Los Angeles

Despite the heartbreak and tumultuousness of 2020, the Super Bowl still happened. For football fans reeling from a year filled with uncertainty, the game provided a moment of comfort and joy.

To celebrate that fact, the NFL wanted to create a campaign that spotlighted the game and uplifted fans. And so it decided to channel the spirit of the late football legend Vince Lombardi through a series of videos.

The multi-step process took place in just three months. First, archival footage and recordings of Lombardi from the 1960s were sourced and restored. Next, live-action plates were filmed of an actor cast for his physical similarities to Lombardi. Once shot, face-swap technology blended detailed facial behavior and movement with the live-action footage. Because Lombardi’s speeches were often quoted but rarely recorded, a new speech was written. With the help of AI and digital voice cloning experts, who isolated Lombardi’s speech patterns and vocal tenor, it was then recreated in his voice.

The finished product was integrated into the Super Bowl live broadcast, in which a virtual Lombardi appeared on the field during the kickoff show. The resurrection generated more than 2 million online video views across social media. Perhaps more importantly, the speech was uplifting: 70% of viewers agreed the ad unified and brought people together while 66% agreed it made them feel optimistic for the future.

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