Friday, March 26, 2010

Commercials (part two)

Two months ago I wrote a post about commercials that were bothering me. Now that some time has past and I have had more than a little bit of exposure to commercials thanks to March Madness I will add a few more to my list. The first one has been bugging me for about a year now. The great Joe Posnanski gave his opinion on this commercial, which validates the opinions that I have had about such a terrible ad. Below is comments on the BW3 overtime NBA game commercial from his post on the great Kansas St-Xavier game.

First Commercial - Buffalo Wild Wings - italics are Joe Posnanski's opinion

This feeling would later be articulated in one of the most egregious sports commercials ever made — the Buffalo Wild Wings commercial where the guy in the Boston jersey says those very words, “I wish this game would never end.” This then inspires the bartender to hit some sort of bat cave button that alerts a photographer at the game to use a very bright flash and blind a Boston player as he breaks away for what would have been the game-winning basket. The photographer later blinds the the Boston mascot who shoots a T-shirt into the general groin area (more on general groin areas in a minute) of a Boston player who promptly gets hit in the head with the ball, prompting a second overtime.

There is no way to break down ALL the things wrong with this commercial but I’ll give you just three.
  1. In the commercial, Boston is playing New York. There is no way a Boston fan — even a clearly clueless and potentially drunken one like the guy in the bar — would prefer overtime to a victory over a New York team. I don’t care how good the wings are supposed to be. Also, this Boston fan is seen cheering when the New York guy dunks the ball to tie the game. Cannot happen.

  2. We are led to believe that Boston called timeout just before the first photographer flash-out — led to believe this by an announcer who says “timeout Boston” — so you’re telling me that with the score tied and 6.1 seconds left, the Boston coach designed a play that led to a wide-open breakaway lay-up? And the New York coach decided to have NO PLAYERS on the defensive half? Come on.

  3. If you watch closely in overtime, you will see that when the mascot hits the Boston player in the general groin area with a T-shirt, there is 1.5 seconds left, and then the guy THROWS IT INTO THE POST with .8 seconds left — that guy wasn’t getting a shot off anyway. The clock runs out before the guys hits the floor. The same coach who designed that breakaway layup play designed that stupid play?

Second Commercial - Southwest - Bags fly free ad.

As you will see with my critique with the 3rd commercial is that I don't like ads that focus on small details of their company. Well Southwest has put all of their eggs in the "bags fly free" basket and have bought what seems to be 10,000 ad spots from CBS. The ad (for those of you who haven't seen it) shows a bunch of Southwest bag handlers who run up next to a competitor's plane. They then rip off their shirts to reveal painted out letters that spell "Bags Fly Free" as they scream in what seems to be a Braveheart ripoff. Anyway, it isn't nearly as bad as the BW3 ad (I can't imagine another ad being that bad), but after seeing it once every 30 minutes it definitely has gotten on my nerves.

Third Commercial - AT&T - Luke Wilson ad's describing AT&T's service.

You have to love AT&T's marketing strategy. At first it seemed like they were trying to combat Verizon's aggressive "We have a map for that" ad that touted Verizon has better coverage. AT&T's counterattack brought to mind an old lower school chant that used to happen during pep rallies at my school. I don't know if this happened at your school, but during lulls in the action one side would start the chant "We've got spirit...yes we do....We've got about you?" The other side would repeat the chant back and this would go on back in forth until one side decided to try and end the debate with the chant "We've got more...We've got more." It was riveting stuff as an 8 year old. Well Verizon seemed to start this game with something like "We've got coverage...yes we do....we've got about you?" AT&T had no answer besides the refrain "We've got more."

Now, that strategy seems to either have been sidelined or maybe it is on channels I don't watch. In its place is fat Luke Wilson (where have you gone Godfather?) who is in random situations where he is able to not only talk on his phone but also surf the web at the same time. So in one corner you have Verizon pointing out that you get a better service with them over AT&T. In the other corner you have AT&T trying to position themselves as the premier phone company for those people who just have to be able to talk on the phone and also get on the web. It seems to me that a lot more people would care about service than about this random, seemingly insignificant detail with AT&T's service. As an AT&T stock holder I am slightly concerned with their marketing strategy.

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