Playfully leaning into meme and pop culture around NFL being scripted, spot stars Keegan-Michael Key as director, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Jason Kelce, Kirk Cousins and more as actors brainstorming outrageous storylines for ’23 season
AUGUST 24, 2023 – NEW YORK, NY— To kick off the ’23 season, the NFL debuted “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up,” the humorous campaign that features actor and comedian KEEGAN-MICHAEL KEY and some of the league’s biggest names, including PATRICK MAHOMES (Kansas City Chiefs), TRAVIS KELCE (Kansas City Chiefs), JASON KELCE (Philadelphia Eagles), JUSTIN FIELDS (Chicago Bears), KIRK COUSINS (Minnesota Vikings), DK METCALF (Seattle Seahawks), DEXTER LAWRENCE (New York Giants), JA’MARR CHASE (Cincinnati Bengals), JALEN RAMSEY (Miami Dolphins) and even DONNA KELCE, mother of the Kelce brothers. To excite fans for the official start of football, the brand campaign leans into meme and pop culture around the league being scripted while showcasing the NFL as the pinnacle of entertainment, the stage for unbelievable stories that are better than fiction.
Set to a backdrop of the “NFL 104th season table read,” “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” stars long-time Detroit Lions fan Key as the director. The comedian opens with the better-than-fiction stories from last year – the Kelce brothers in the Super Bowl LVII, Mr. Irrelevant saving the Bay and a halftime baby announcement – that were all ratings gold.
But Key’s table read quickly gets out of hand, as the cast of star players reel off their own ideas and plot twists for the ’23 season. Metcalf volunteers to do no-handed, abs-only catch; some players agree the Mahomes “character” should get struck from the script; Mama Kelce dreams up a romantic storyline with Jimmy Garoppolo; and a shirtless Cousins wants to see a shirts vs skins game. The ideas for this season’s script become more and more outrageous by the second. With jokes by the dozen, “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up,” produced by 72andSunny, aims to entertain fans everywhere and hype them up for what is to come in the 104th NFL season.
“Our goal was to make this campaign tongue-in-cheek, humorous and clever in the way we tapped into popular memes and cultural conversations about the league and its incredible real-life storylines that are better than anything you could make up,” said TIM ELLIS, Chief Marketing Officer at the NFL. “We really wanted to have fun with this and not take ourselves too seriously. We hope fans get a kick out of the campaign and are sitting on the edge of their seats to see what spectacles unfold this season.”
“This campaign is a satirical response to the internet conspiracy that the NFL is scripted, but at the same time speaks to the sheer athleticism of its players and the entertainment value of the game itself. It’s so unbelievable, it has to be made up,” said ZACH HILDER, Executive Creative Director at 72andSunny.
In anticipation of the narratives that will happen this year, “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” is the league’s first campaign for the start of the season that will continue throughout the season. With a total of 16 pieces of content, the campaign will be timed to key moments throughout the year, such as Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas and international games.
“You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” will air in the Thursday Night Football game on Amazon Prime Video, as the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Indianapolis Colts at home at 8PM EST on Thursday, August 24. The campaign will run on TV, digital and social.
“The 2023 season starts on Thursday, September 7th with NFL Kickoff Weekend presented by YouTube TV. The story begins with the Detroit Lions at the Kansas City Chiefs at 7pm ET on NBC.
Credits for “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up”
Production Co: Biscuit
Director: Aaron Stoller