An anti-domestic violence PSA will air during the Super Bowl this Sunday, courtesy of the No More campaign and the National Football League, which donated its internal ad agency to create the spot and, according to the Wall Street Journal, half a minute of air time on NBC, “where ad time costs roughly $4.5 million for 30 seconds.” No More is billing it as the first of its kind.
The NFL and No More previously teamed up for a series of PSAs titled “Speechless,” which featured footage of current and former players emoting over domestic violence, that aired during NFL games on Thanksgiving; this ad downplays the NFL’s role, instead borrowing its conceit from a tale first published on Reddit last year by a former 911 dispatcher, who recalled taking a call from a woman who had feigned ordering a pizza in order to get police to respond to her home without tipping off her abuser. In October, BuzzFeed tracked down the Reddit poster—his name is Keith Weisinger, and he’s now a lawyer for the EPA—and his story checked out. (One football-related domestic violence legend that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny is the widespread belief that hotline calls spike on Super Bowl Sunday; hotlines tend to experience an uptick in calls near Christmas and during school breaks.)
The ad will reach a lot of viewers with an important message, is actually an interesting spot, and will boost the NFL’s still-dismal image around taking domestic violence seriously. Then again, it’s just a Super Bowl commercial—a 30 second reprieve from ads for beer, cars, or the miracle that is Tim Tebow.