NFL breaks up the party after player strikes Captain Morgan pose

Posted on Fri Nov 13 2009

Celek1

If there were a guerrilla marketing hall of fame, Captain Morgan would have just earned his induction. Earlier this year, the spiced-rum brand offered to donate $10,000 to charity if an NFL player struck the Captain's pose on camera during the Super Bowl. Nobody took them up on the offer, and it seemed the stunt would fade into the ether. But last Sunday night, during the third quarter of a game against the Eagles, swashbuckling Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek struck the pose—knee raised, hand on hip, mimicking the brand's well-known pirate character—after scoring a touchdown. Celek did so with such gusto that the referees hit him with a 15-yard penalty. Captain Morgan parent Diageo was planning to announce the return of the challenge next week, but Celek apparently heard about it early through a Diageo contact, and figured what the hell. It seems the campaign will be short-lived, though, as the NFL has promised stiff punishment for the next player to do it. Either way, you have to give Captain Morgan some serious credit. It promoted its brand in front of 21.9 million viewers for a mere $10,000. That's some serious ROI.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Football fans appalled by terrible DirecTV/Black Eyed Peas spot

Posted on Mon Oct 19 2009

I watch a lot of football. Like other football fans, every year I come to terms with the fact that I'm going to have to watch the same stupid commercials over and over throughout the course of the season. After a while, they become so familiar that they completely vanish as I reflect upon important facts during game breaks. You know, like the fact that the Jets may never, ever have a good quarterback. But every year, football fans are faced with another phenomenon: a commercial that sucks so bad that you are forced to pay attention. This year, DirecTV has earned that honor. Let me ask you this question, and it's not one I get to throw out there often: Why in the world are the Black Eyed Peas on the moon with an elephant? I mean, Fergie is nice eye candy and all, but what the hell is the ad supposed to mean? After all, hard-core football fans already have DirecTV because it has the exclusive NFL package. Without it, I'd never be able to watch the lowly Kansas City Chiefs play the rotten Washington Redskins just so I can see how Clinton Portis is doing for my fantasy team. But alas, even when I'm watching the non-local games, there they are, the Black Eyed Peas, in outer fucking space. The bright side is that, just like the misery the Jets bring me annually, this too shall pass.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Burger King has super-sized nerve calling Jessica Simpson fat

Posted on Tue Oct 13 2009

Fat jokes about a Hollywood starlet who probably weighs 110 pounds soaking wet? Riotous! They're the heart (and soullessness) of an animated skit that aired on Fox NFL Sunday that nominally made fun of the Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Tony Romo, but mostly just jabbed at his ex-girlfriend, Jessica Simpson, saying she "blew up bigger than Flozell Adams" and could stand in as a defensive tackle for the team. The interstitial, created by the network, was sponsored by Burger King—yes, the junk-food purveyors who've shown just how sensitive they are to women in their marketing. (See the booty-shakin' "Baby Got Back" ads from earlier this year, thanks to agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky). Not only did the gags in the cartoon seem like they'd escaped from a decades-old stand-up routine ("My wife is soooo fat…"), but they're not even timely in terms of current events. Romo and Simpson broke up months ago, Fox. Read your People magazine. And BK: You might want to watch those spots before slapping your logo on them.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Donovan McNabb no match for perky IHOP waitress

Posted on Thu Sep 3 2009

Apparently, even an IHOP waitress can take down an NFL quarterback like Donovan McNabb when he invades her turf. That, at least, is the lesson learned in this new spot, which shows a feisty blonde brown-haired worker tackling the Philadelphia Eagles star for attempting to steal her customers. "That's my table, McNabb," she tells him after knocking him down. The spots, by VitroRobertson, San Diego, promote the chain's new, NFL-inspired menu items, which include an MVP, Veteran, Rookie or Draft Pick Quarterback Scramble and a football-shaped French toast. A separate spot, featuring Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald, is also running, and shows him catching a plate of the football toast, milk pitcher and cup all with one hand. This guy's got skill, man. (OK, suspension of disbelief required.)

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Sorry your beloved team choked. Here, have a free doughnut

Posted on Mon Feb 2 2009

Donut copy

Dunkin' Donuts is hoping to ease pain of Arizona Cardinals fans who are still wondering how Santonio Holmes made that catch. On Tuesday, any and all Dunkin' consumers in Phoenix will get a free doughnut with the purchase of a beverage. This is part of Dunkin's new, relentlessly optimistic "You kin' do it" ad campaign. The press release says: "The end of football season leaves a big hole for all fans, but no one hurts more than fans in the city that lost the championship." And as we all know, there is no better cure for depression than sinking into some fatty foods.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Franco Harris launches his 'Immaculate Collection' furniture line

Posted on Wed Jan 28 2009

Franco copy

Catch a ball off a guy's head in a big game, and 36 years later you too could launch your own line of furniture. You hear that, David Tyree?!
  Yes, it's every football player's dream to someday sell out for the sake of high-end leather chairs. Franco Harris, the former Pittsburgh Steeler who made the so-called "Immaculate Reception" in a playoff game in the early '70s, is trotting out an "Immaculate Collection" furniture line, just as his old team is about to compete for its sixth world championship.
  The first piece is a "generously proportioned" chair conceived by Helen Hoey, who partnered with national lifestyle designer Barclay Butera. There will only be 500 chairs made, and they are numbered and autographed by both Harris and Hoey. Thus, Harris will achieve every football player's other dream—of having his autograph next to that of someone who's also famous for luxury linens.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Super Sunday to be extra super for one NFL player and one fan

Posted on Thu Jan 22 2009

These two videos—one by an NFL player, one by a fan—have won this year's NFL Super Bowl ad contest.
  Look for studio-polished versions to air on Super Bowl Sunday. The first is a 60-second pitch from Usama Young, who plays defense for the New Orleans Saints. His story, which will air at the end of the third quarter, tells how he grew up selling lemonade in FedExField stadium in Washington, where he'd play one day. The fan ad features a guy named Reginald Castilla, who recounts how he would sneak a TV into the trunk of his dad's car on Saturday nights so he could watch football in between his church-boy duties on Sunday. The Castilla ad will air during the pre-game show.
  The NFL says it went through 200 pitches on the players' side and 400 submitted by fans. This year's ads will "resonate with all of America, not just the average sports fan," says NFL advertising director Rob Stecklow.
  A typical 60-second ad on this year's Super Bowl would cost about 12 times Usama Young's current annual Saints salary of $460,000. Luckily, the NFL gets its Super Bowl ad slots for free.

—Posted by Elaine Wong


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