Monday, July 13, 2009

Did Anyone Else Catch This?

Like Matt was yesterday, I was listening to most of Saturday's game on the radio and didn't hear Dick Stockton sneak in a quick little, ahem, plug for Just For Men in the top of the 8th inning.

Dan Levy from On The DL Podcast was kind enough to send this over and he added some more thoughts to go along with an LSU Freek photoshop at the Sporting Blog. As Dan points out, it's pretty funny, given Stockton's cranial adornments and marital status, that he's telling other men to "stay in the game" by dying their hair, but aside from that, I'm not sure how I feel about these types of ads.

You can be sure that networks aren't selling fewer advertisements during breaks because of these spots; they are just finding more ways to wring money out of the broadcast and as the customers in this scenario, we aren't getting anything out of this. It's not exactly obtrusive, but it certainly is pretty contrived.

Has anyone noticed the occasional Listerine ad that pops up during the later innings on the YES network? It is accompanied by a gurgling noise that sounds like someone taking a bong hit, and the banner sits on the screen for a few seconds without so much as an acknowledgement from the broadcasters. Again, it's pretty easy to ignore, but seems out of place.

I don't know how effective these spots can possibly be. I already use Listerine, and won't dye my hair even when I do end up going gray. How many people have been introduced to these products or persuaded to use them by these ads? I mean, literally none? Does is just fall under the hazy purposes of brand building? Anyone in the world of marketing care to weigh in?

This post was built by Home Depot. Let's build something together.


  1. These ads seem a lot more commonplace, and less intrusive on the radio. For example Lowe's does a lot of advertising with Yanks - and Jay - they're the ones with the "Let's Build Something Together" tag.

    Other than that I don't want to think anything more about marketing. My company's marketing manager finally returned today after six month (SIX month!) maternity leave, finally freeing me from my indentured servitude of de facto marketing manager. Amen to that.

    That said, the Stockton photoshop at the Sporting Blog doesn't even do justice to how damn scary Stockton looks. He looks undead. The contrast between his dome and Eric Karros' perfectly coifed flowing locks was striking.

    I napped on and off through Saturday's game - much like the Yankees themselves - but the idiotic and non-sensical comments Stockton made were amazing. He claimed that a Matsui hit broke an 11 for 29 slump. Umm, Dick - 11 for 29 is .379. I don't care if you're Ty Cobb, that's not slumping.

  2. See, I was trying to prove a point about how ineffective these campaigns were by crediting the wrong superstore with the tagline...

    /no I wasn't

    Poor Dick Stockton... Hey, he might be incoherent, but his voice is makes him easy to tune out. And him on the broadcast means no Buck/McCarver, which is always a plus.

  3. Sorry - didn't mean to call you out. As a homeowner I know the big home improvement stores well now

    /no I don't. I'm lucky if I mow the lawn.

    Stockton's lost a lot off his fastball for sure. But as you rightly note, we could do far worse.

  4. The goal of these ads is awareness or like you said brand buidling. They obviously don't expect you to hear the ad and get up and buy the product. Rather, they just want the brand in the back of your mind when you are shopping, especially if you are not loyal to a specific brand.

    As it relates to internet advertising, my company has found that the more banner ads a consumer is served the more likely they are to click on a search ad in the future. While the user is not likely to see the ad and immediately search for the product and buy, they are much more likely to click on a search ad in the future where the brand then controls the message.

    As for the two examples above, I would imagine the Listerine spots are much more effective than Dick Stocktons pitch.

  5. In my prior life as a marketer, I was pitched a lot of advertising packages, and it always started with something ridiculously small like an "on the air Stockton slip in" package. "We're offering this great new ad package, 5 on air mentions--by Stockton himself!!!! This is the new direction of advertising, forget wasting money on all those expensive traditional commercials. We'll slip your ad right in there, so the whole YES audience will hardly know its a promo. [Insert company name here] will go viral! And, as an added bonus, Stockton will send out 2 tweets with [your company name here] mentioned!! Guaranteed to reach that coveted 18-49 male age bracket!"
    So maybe Just for Men doesn't have the ad budget for a late inning banner ad with burbling bong sound (what sound would hair color make anyway?), but figures any "outside the box" brand mention in front of a large audience in their target market is worth it. Whether that is actually a good use of money is a whole different story.
    As for Listerine, can there be any better way to disguise how much you've been drinking for the drive home than an alcohol-based mouth freshener? That's not just an ad, its a PSA!

  6. No one shoehorns in PSAs with the same seamlessness as Sterling... just can't be topped. Actually I dont know if it's seamless so much as endearingly ridiculous.

  7. Sterling: Ridiculous? In every way possible. Endearing? That one I'm not so sure about.

    But you're right - he sure does cram in those mid-inning advertisements.