Arnold for the New England Revolution: Tea Act

New England’s Major League Soccer team channels the American Revolution in this fun new campaign from Arnold. With a quirky play on the region’s heritage, the Revolution uses a bit of humor to rev up unsuspecting Bostonians. Senior Art Director Matt McNulty shares the insight behind the campaign, discusses funny fan reactions, and reveals his favorite spot.

Matt McNulty
Matt McNulty, Senior Art Director, Arnold

So, who is the target audience?
Sports fans who live in New England. New Englanders are so full of pride that they will fight for their beliefs as fiercely as the rebels did during the American Revolution. To put this insight to the test, we hired redcoats to enforce the colonial law.

What’s the main goal of this campaign?
Well, the objective of this campaign was to create hype and energy around the team. Boston is a city that’s full of storied championship teams. We wanted to highlight fans’ passion and revolutionary spirit.

New England Tea Act

Why did you decide to take a humorous approach?
Well, for one, people like to laugh. Two: The sports landscape is full of abstract, dramatic ads. Those are cool, but we wanted to head in another direction. We want to showcase the fighting spirit of the fans in New England.

Have you gotten the reaction from the audience that you were expecting?
So far, the reaction has been fantastic. We are really pleased. We seem to have the approval of the hardcore fans and people who have never considered going to a game.

Which spot is your favorite: “Hat Act” or “Tea Act”?
My favorite is “Tea Act.” It was the first spot we shot that day, and seeing this idea come to life was really special to me.

What was the best thing about working on these spots?
Getting to make spots for the people of New England. So often the work in this business needs to reach drastically different people. It was fun to make something so specific for a demographic that’s this amped up.

Any challenges while making this campaign?
Absolutely. Shooting anything in public can create many complications. There’s a lot of blurring out of logos and faces on projects like these. Also, when a guy dumped a coffee on our Redcoat, our hearts skipped a beat because we didn’t have another shirt for him.

Tell us something about this campaign that most people don’t know.
The first question we always get: “Is this real?” Yes. It’s totally real. We only had four actors, including the two Redcoats. The other two acted as ringers, or substitutes. This was good not only to get some real reactions but to help pump up other people. Other than that, they were all genuine reactions. If you think those reactions are good, you should see the ones that we edited out.

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