Behind the Work: Campbell’s Chunky

On August 22nd, Campbell’s Chunky soup launched an exciting campaign enlisting six NFL players – Drew Bres, Odell Beckham Jr., Eddie Lacy, Todd Gurley, Eric Ebron and Kyle Long – to star in the Everyman All-Star League. The campaign reverses fantasy football roles, setting up the six stand-out athletes as general managers who draft and manage rosters of everyday guys, rewarded for being all-star caliber men. Please go to to find out more and get drafted!  

Y&R Covers sat with Chad Oliver, one of the lead account managers on the campaign, to talk about his role in this breakthrough campaign. 


Campbell’s Chunky is the Official Soup Sponsor of the NFL. What was the creative brief?

Our brief was to celebrate men for their everyday “hustle” as husbands, boyfriends, fathers, friends, sons, co-workers…all the things that guys do day in and day out that aren’t always recognized. We really dug in, starting last November, to get a broader picture of men and how Chunky fits into their lifestyle.”

We hear you were involved in the birth of this idea – tell us about that, and also the journey from strategy, to creative, to production.

Part of the creative challenge was figuring out how we celebrate this “Everyday Man” while also maximizing our partnership with the NFL and positioning Chunky soup as the fuel for the Everyday Man hustle.

As far as the idea, it was kind of one of those Eureka moments. We were on a team phone-call in early April and one of our clients said something that made me ask myself “what reason would NFL players have to talk about the efforts of real guys?” Fantasy Football immediately popped into my head (probably because my friends and I were arguing that week about whether we should do a live fantasy draft this year). I thought it would be funny if NFL guys were sitting at a live draft discussing everyday guys for their efforts in the game of everyday “life.” I wrote it on a post-it and passed it to my strategist during the meeting. Then I sat through the meeting with the super “I GOT IT!!!” face, until it was over and I pitched it my Director who then marched me to our amazing creative team. They thought it was good and a week later they’d written a bunch of scenarios. The client loved the idea at first sight and we immediately starting figuring out how to make it come to life.

Fantasy Football is somewhat of a cultural phenomenon in North America with over 57 million registered players this year. What drew you to include Fantasy Football in your latest Chunky campaign?

Just to give you a sense of what Fantasy sports means to me personally – I have almost given up all sports allegiances (except for the Knicks) because of Fantasy Sports. I want my teams to win, but I care a whole lot more about if my guys perform.

What was awesome about this campaign is that we didn’t go “how we do we take advantage of fantasy culture.” the NFL and Fantasy was just our vehicle to put these everymen on a pedestal. It was really about Chunky being the fuel for our Everyday men, and our research and channel planning process informing us about their hustle. And we wanted to reward them for that, which is why we have an awesome sweepstakes tied to the campaign that lets guys to be on these superstars’ Everyman rosters.

How difficult was it to get 6 NFL superstar players involved in this campaign? What as it like working with them? Any fun “on-set” anecdotes?

Campbell’s works with a great sports marketing agency, Genesco. And our rep, Chris Mann, was the greatest! He worked the phone and his relationships to get a mix of high profile players that we couldn’t have been more happy with.

The guys were great. We asked a lot of them – 5 spots in one day, plus photos, autographs and radio grabs. And they delivered! They were funny. They took direction really well. They hung out with the client…and best of everything: Drew Brees – Hall of Fame, all-time great quarterback, Super Bowl MVP, American icon...threw me a pass!!! No ordinary pass – a 7- yard fade route over-the-top pass that I cushioned in these ultra-soft hands (one of which was in a splint at the time). Not to mention the chair I avoided after the catch with the smoothest spin move in the history of agency shoots.

Important to note as well that the guys are excited about participating beyond the launch of this campaign. They’ll be sending shout-outs, smack-talking on Twitter and helping out with some promotions around the country. So stay tuned.

What was the client’s reaction to the spot? What’s next for the campaign?

The client has been amazing throughout the entire process. From the field studies, which were dubbed “man camp,” to our channel planning process, to approvals on tight deadlines, they’ve been holding hands with us through it all. They love this campaign and we’re all excited.