Ad Age’s ranking of the hottest celebrity marketing moves of the past month

This month: Sports, an action-packed cybersecurity spot, sports, Lizzo in a bathtub and more sports.

No. 5: Eli Manning and Peyton Manning x NFL

The Manning brothers know how to cash in on their charm, like a puppy or the Mogwai from “Gremlins.” Ahead of the NFL preseason, the former quarterbacks have partnered with the NFL to promote its youth program in a series of adorably hilarious spots, via 72andSunny. Playing the disciplined yet goofy coach, Peyton runs a team of young players through their training as Eli heckles from the sidelines.

“I mean, the guy gets football, but he just doesn’t get us youths,” jokes Eli, surrounded by children. Confessional-style interviews with the young players add more comedy as they criticize Peyton’s age and touchdown dancing. The duo has had plenty of practice working on their brotherly chemistry, having appeared in multiple commercials together. They also have featured roles on ESPN+’s “Places” series as well as the “Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli” show. 

No. 3: Christian Pulisic x Volkswagen

It’s been a big month for sports with the NFL preseason underway and soccer fans prepping to tune in for the World Cup this fall. In a Johannes Leonardo ad for one of Volkswagen’s electric vehicles, U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team Captain Christian Pulisic watches his life story in scenes, all fueled by the immense pressure that’s been put on him throughout his sports career. It’s reminiscent of a 2021 Toyota ad starring Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long.

As the Volkswagen ad becomes more chaotic, scenes packed with flashing cameras and the screams of stadium fans, the word pressure repeats until settling on the line, “Pressure makes diamonds”—a comparison of Pulisic’s rigorous life to the pressures placed on the auto industry to produce sustainable vehicles.

No. 2: Lizzo x Instacart

Lizzo has built a career on the treat-yourself mentality, evidenced by hits like “Good As Hell” and “About Damn Time.” Therefore a partnership with Instacart, featuring the singer lounging in a tub while browsing her favorite snacks and items, was a natural fit. 

The spot is as vibrant and playful as Lizzo’s persona, matching each item in her order (which will be available for consumers to buy) with a fantastical situation—cherries spilling from the ceiling, oversized spoonfuls of ice cream and bath bombs erupting like fireworks. Created by Instacart’s in-house team in partnership with Droga5 and Mayflower, the ad captures the performer’s signature sparks of humor and personality for fans in perfect alignment with its MTV VMA debut.

No. 1: The Real Housewives x DirecTV

Yes, more sports, but this time Real Housewife-ified. The latest entry in DirecTV’s show-melding “Get Your TV Together” campaign sets personalities from the “Real Housewives” franchise loose on the football field. It quickly becomes apparent that their jobs in TV, which occasionally verges on becoming a contact sport itself, is a pretty fair match with that of top football players—in this case, Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb.

The spot, from agency TBWA/Chiat/Day LA, is packed with hilarious fan moments, like “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice referencing her infamous table flip, Kyle Richards of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” assuring Prescott she’s just there to talk—rarely the case with Richards. The ladies, also including “Real Housewives of Atlanta” favorite Kenya Moore, easily claim victory.

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