Home > marketing ramblings > The golden days of sports brand ads

The golden days of sports brand ads

The traumatic end to the 2011-12 football season (Spurs fan; enough said), compounded by the end of nine months’ hard graft running an Under 12 team (see previous posts) meant that my enthusiasm levels for Euro 2012 have been low. Last night I didn’t even watch England v France; something my 12-year-old self would have found incomprehensible, given that I used to get genuinely, viscerally excited by the sight of a football pitch, especially if it was well kept and had permanent goal nets. (Maybe I should start a new genre of the confessional novel.)

Anyway, that rambling opening paragraph is my excuse to bring up the lamentable standard of TV advertising for football and all sport these days. Back in the early 90s, Adidas and Nike produced some of the most TV outstanding advertising of the time, with this spot my personal favourite.

Now…blimey. The Mars ad pre-tournament attracted a lot of flak, understandably, because it stunk worse than a pair of Neville Southall’s goalie gloves, but it’s hardly alone in its awfulness. I don’t care if the new Nike ad works online, as a game or embedded into my rectum, it’s rubbish. And Adidas have joined them in player-endorsement purgatory. The stock agency response seems to be to chuck as much money and as many players as they can into a horribly over-length ad and hope it works; a tactic Nike perfected at the last World Cup.

Only Vauxhall’s spot hits any of the right notes and that’s a rehash of last year’s ad. Plus for football saddoes, it loses marks for showing Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines in the same side, which wouldn’t happen. (I am a football saddo, in case you were wondering.) And don’t get me started on the idents during last season’s Champions League.

If you think this lot are bad, wait until the Olympic ads really kick in, with the added problem that public recognition of many of the athletes is so low that they will have to introduce themselves at the beginning of the commercial.

Anyway, I think the poor ads must take some of the blame for my lack of excitement. What happened to having a simple idea and executing it well? It can be done. And here’s the proof…

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Categories: marketing ramblings
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