Rolling with the Rookies: Q&A with Creative Lead Jared Blitz

Returning for a third season, Rolling with the Rookies presented by Hyundai is a five-episode content series that profiles athletes by bringing them back home to visit the people, places and moments that defined their journeys.

Hyundai partnered with five college football players who were projected to be taken in the first two rounds of the professional football draft – Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell, Iowa State running back David Montgomery, Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen and Washington free safety Taylor Rapp. Leading up to the draft, Hyundai filmed the prospects in their hometowns and captured their unique stories of personal triumphs that helped make their dreams a reality.

Jared Blitz, former Creative Director at Advantage (IPG), just wrapped up Season Three of Hyundai presents Rolling with the Rookies and is launching his own company, Blitz Creative, this spring. You can check out the rest of his work here.

Brand Storytelling caught up with Blitz and took a look at Rolling with the Rookies from its origins through season 3, asking some questions not only about what makes these stories such good fodder for brand-funded, but what makes them great stories, period:

Going back to before season 1, how was the concept of rolling with the rookies initially conceived? Who was involved in its conception?

The genesis of Rolling with the Rookies actually dates back to the 2016 NFL Draft. My Hyundai partners and I looked around at the brand activations on the ground in Chicago and the branded content that made it online and were pretty underwhelmed. What you saw was a lot of what we started calling 'combine-lite content' coming out of NFL partners; content focused on players working out, college stats, feats of strength, body composition, etc... There was not a lot of great storytelling going on. If it did exist, it was the typical weak branded sports content that feels a lot like wikipedia page regurgitation, lacking depth and emotion.