Pioneering technology fuses live NFL data with Madden 15 game footage to generate GIF highlights for every single game–all delivered via real-time ads across sports websites and apps. The result is an ever-growing collection of GIFs that football fans can take, edit and share to shove in the face of their rivals.

Launch the campaign
June 2015
    The Brief

    Grow Madden Love Through the NFL

    To launch their new game Madden NFL 15, EA Sports wanted to connect with young, football-obsessed fans and grow its association with the real-world NFL. To do this, they explored how technology could fuel the pride and passion fans feel during the game.

    The Insight

    Trash Talk of the 21st Century

    The average football fan is now watching the game with smartphone in hand, allowing sports fans to provoke rivals from the comfort of their own sofa and bringing trash talk into the 21st century. And today, the language of fan rivalries is a visual one. Just look at the resurgence of GIFs on Google trends. Why say it in words when you can throw shade with a meme?


    The Idea

    GIF Your Rivals

    During every NFL game, the Madden GIFERATOR will create a live stream of GIF highlights triggered by the action on the field. The experience fuses live NFL data with Madden 15 game footage to generate a fast-refreshing stream of visuals and snarky headlines that fans can edit with their own copy and push to their networks to taunt rivals. To make your own, visit the GIFERATOR site.

    The Ads

    Real-time Content, Across the Web

    Real-time display ads appear across the sites and apps in the Google Display Network seconds after a play happens live. Using dynamic ad capabilities, different combinations of copy, images and backgrounds can be created on-the-fly to reflect what's happening in the game, in real time.


    The Way It Was Made

    Web Technologies

    This project was built with many products and open web technologies that are readily available to anyone. We used the latest techniques in HTML, CSS, and Javascript to craft slick, easy-to-use interfaces and display dynamic content and images. The experience was built and hosted on Google Cloud Platform, and the dynamic rich media ads were created using DoubleClick Rich Media. Ads themselves appeared on the sites and apps in the Google Display Network, using Custom Affinity Segments to ensure that each team's fans saw the most relevant Madden GIFs.

    The Takeaways

    Make Companions, Not Campaigns

    When creating tools and content for the second screen, remember you're the cheerleader, not the quarterback. Instead of whole new campaigns, distracting from the action, make "companions": ways to fuel the passion without getting in the way.

    Design Mobile-First

    The majority of second screen consumption happens on smartphones, so be smart about layouts. Start your designs with the smallest screen, then work up to the largest.

    Tell Stories with Data

    Data isn't just the basis for your strategy or the way you measure your campaign. Stories told through data can be powerful in themselves. Think about some data streams that might be relevant to your brand or category. How could these influence the content you create?