Our Favorite NFL Game Day Ads:The One with MSU, Chevy, & Walter
With the biggest games of the NFL season on the horizon, we thought we'd look back at some of the best commercials to air during those prime-time games that were showing some extra love to Michigan.
It was last year this time viewer's first look at the new ad for the Chevy Silverado started airing during the NFL Championship games. The minute-long ad, titled "Walter in Winter", reunited us with Walter, the cat that acts like a dog. Fans originally fell in love with Walter when he made his debut for the automotive giant back in the summer of 2021.
In the new commercial, Walter's owner, played by actor John Hoogenakker known for roles in Colony and Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, takes the cat to play some pond hockey at a mountain lake. Because product placement is everything, Michigan State University fans were quick to notice that Walter's owner was sporting an MSU Hockey jersey. Immediately MSU Hockey was trending and the Spartans were loving it.
So how did Walter the Cat end up with a Spartan as an owner? Well, a big thank you goes out to Scot Schlesinger, an associate athletics director of sales and marketing at MSU. Schlesinger has worked several times over the years with General Motors on Michigan State's behalf and was able to help make some Spartan magic happen.
"A couple of my contacts over at GM got a hold of me and said they were filming a commercial with a winter theme, and they were going to have a pond hockey portion of it," said Schlesinger, who played soccer for MSU from 1991-1995. "They asked me if we'd be willing to join in with them. We value our partnership with GM. It's an incredible organization and we're very happy to be partners with them, so immediately I said, 'Yes, we'd love to do that.' "
It became one of the best-kept secrets on campus, with Schlesinger being one of the few that knew MSU would have a "5 seconds of fame" moment in the eventually trending ad.
Take a look back at the very cool ad below!
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