UK Football

UK football's Super Bowl ad a huge hit on YouTube

Photo from Kentucky Wildcats TV.
Photo from Kentucky Wildcats TV.

People may ask: Why a Kentucky football Super Bowl commercial?

Kentucky's marketing gurus say: "Why not?"

That was the theme of a sharp, forward-spinning UK football ad that ran during the Super Bowl on Sunday night.

"The feedback has certainly been positive," said Jason Schlafer, a senior associate athletics director. "I think Twitter broke last night with people sharing the YouTube link to the spot."

The 60-second commercial was purchased and shown in the Lexington market for a little more than $17,000. That price was up from the $10,000 paid for last year's spot, which was only 30 seconds long.

Less than 12 hours later, it had been viewed on YouTube nearly 40,000 times, which meant it had done its job of being seen by UK fans worldwide, Schlafer said.

"The entire target market for that spot are people that care about Kentucky football," he said. "They'll find a way to it and it will find a way to them."

The Super Bowl ad, narrated by UK Coach Mark Stoops, looks toward the future, including a hidden single-frame artist's rendering of a view of the new Commonwealth Stadium.

"People ask me: 'Why here? Why Kentucky?' I said: 'Why not?'" Stoops says to open the spot.

He talks about laying the foundation, and the commercial includes several key returnees from last season like Ryan Timmons, Jojo Kemp, Javess Blue and Blake McClain. There was heavy focus on UK's two returning defensive ends, Bud Dupree and Za'Darius Smith.

The commercial also shows the seven signees and early enrollees for this 2014 signing class, the centerpiece of the group being Conner quarterback Drew Barker, who is donning the much discussed but never-worn-in-a-game gray uniforms.

When asked whether those uniforms are going to become a thing this season, Schlafer was coy.

"I wasn't on the wardrobe committee," he laughed. "We worked with the coaching staff ... anything new and exciting we could put in there based on their recommendations."

The other early enrollees are linebacker Dorian Hendrix, running back Mikel Horton, defensive tackle Cory Johnson, wide receivers Thaddeus Snodgrass and T.V. Williams as well as defensive back A.J. Stamps.

The commercial, created by Cornett Integrated Marketing Solutions, was shot on Jan. 20.

UK did inquire about moving the commercial into a secondary market (Louisville), but the station required vendors to buy multiple spots. Schlafer said he only wanted it to be shown on Super Bowl Sunday "when football fans are watching TV."

Those fans heard Stoops' refrain loud and clear: "People ask me, 'Why here? Why Kentucky?' I said, 'Why not? It can be done here. It will get done here.'"