Campaigns Hit Or Miss At Recent Championship Game

By on August 3rd, 2013

rcgPrint work was even better. We see a b&w photo of an age 7 or so Lilly wearing a soccer uniform, jack-o-lantern smile and tiny Adidas shoes. In the color panel opposite, she’s seen in all her full soccer glory. The ad really drives home the message that an athlete can graduate from a small town program to Olympic Gold and World Cup triumph. Grade: A+

Bud Light: The only ad the official beer of the 1999 WWC aired featured U.S. team captain Julie Foudy undergoing a physical exam. When the male doctor goes to test her patella reflex, Foudy kicks him so hard that he ends up imbedded in his office wall. Problem? I thought this was a Nike ad the first two times I saw it. C+

Coca-Cola: Field boards at stadium sites don’t a well-coordinated national marketing effort make, especially from Coke, which allots more money to sports sponsorship than most brands do to marketing for an entire year. I spotted no media nor any national promotion behind the event. Sad, because it wouldn’t have been too difficult to prompt Midwesterners and East Coasters baking in record temperatures to pick up a soda. C

EDS: Before the Women’s World Cup games, I had no idea what EDS was. Nor do I now after three weeks of media coverage. While you have to tip your hat to any corporation with the insight to step up and sponsor this key sporting event, if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it… C

Hewlett-Packard: In addition to running a “Color is a kick” contest that sent families to the finals, HP served up its Heartstream ForeRunner Automated External Defibrillators as the official defibrillator for four of the WWC venue cities. I guess they just relied on jumper cables in the other markets. C+

McDonald’s didn’t advertise or promote its sponsorship, choosing instead to support Disney’s boycentric Tarzan. Having taken a car full of kids to Mickey D’s post-goal numerous times, McDonald’s lack of support was the tournament’s biggest surprise, on or off field. C

After forking over fees, some sponsors appeared to be no shows. I’ve got to believe that acquiring new female card users is a major part of MasterCard’s strategy, and the brand has a history of using members of the U.S. Women’s Team as spokespeople. So where was the touching “Priceless” ad centering around one of the ’99 team’s charismatic kickers? … After watching the games and reading a number of magazines, I still have no sense of what Fuji Film did to support this event The Fuji blimp was replaced in telecasts by the Goodyear Blimp, resulting in an expensive aerial bummer… JVC, maker of stereo equipment or whatever the kids are calling it these days, is yet another brand that paid up front and then failed to deliver any visible marketing … Nothing from Hyundai either, not surprising since the carmaker didn’t sign on until two months before the start of the tournament … Gillette designated Lady Gillette as its lead element and featured this fact on field boards. Who is Lady Gillette? Did she go to Edward’s wedding? Was she the one who handed out trophies at Wimbledon? Gillette never told me. Each: C

And these were the brands with the vision to sign up as sponsors in the first place.

The merits of non-sponsors, meanwhile, were also a mixed bag. Ambush marketer Nike got noticed without coughing up sponsorship fees. The “I will have two fillings” ad was great, but it’s a pity that the company didn’t buy much media during the games, when its all-for-one message would have had the most impact. B+

A marketing partner rather than official sponsor of the WWC, Allstate ran its “Here’s to the women who play” ad heavily during the games. Unfortunately, it suffered by saturating with a single, rather generic spot. Give Allstate an “A” for effort, a “C” for execution.

Gatorade’s energetic “Anything you can do, I can do better” spot comically updates the Billie Jean King/Bobby Riggs battle of the sexes, pitting Mia Hamm against Michael Jordan. Anything with these two superhumans will move product. B+

Powerbar ran an offbeat “Don’t Bonk” campaign. They win my James Stockdale award: Who are you and why are you here? C

Monistat: Kim Alexis was onscreen at each break heralding an “important medical breakthrough!” Monistat was far and away the most ubiquitous advertiser; judging from frequency, this malaise must be reaching pandemic proportions. C

That’s the bad news. The good news is that the team will defend its gold medal next fall in the 2000 Olympics. The fans will be there; the question is, will marketers?


chomrcFrankly, what consumers do with their appliances after they leave the store is their own business. But, luckily for the inquisitive in us all, electric utility consortium Energy Star, Boston, queried New Englanders about their habits and they were more than happy to share quirky uses for TVs, fridges and other appliances.

Most versatile appliance: The refrigerator, temporary home for everything from clothing and art supplies to live bait and dead pets.

Most enterprising invention: A Vermont respondent rigged the washing machine to help in watering lawns.

Most lethal appliance: A Connecticut newlywed blew the door off her oven by cooking a turkey without removing its innards.

Most coveted creation: The elusive “do all of the housework” machine.

Most sexy coveted creation: A Brad Pitt robot that could do “anything and everything,” said a lonely RI. woman.

Laziest sex: Men named the TV and the fridge as their favorite appliances.

Most amnesiac sex: Your guess is as good as ours. 98% of women said they do chores and 48% said they get help from men. 94% of men said they do chores with only 63% of women pitching in.

Smelliest state: In Vermont, chosen resting place of aging hippies like Ben & Jerry, laundry is done only once every 7.9 days.

Michael Radolf


U.S. Soccer: Federation president Hank Steinbrecher said Sunday after the game: “We caught lightning in a bottle.” What lightning? Which battle? The U.S. women won two World Cups, the 1996 Olympic Gold medal and the 1997 Goodwill Games.

General Mills did an abrupt about-face after announcing a week ago Friday that it was not planning to feature the U.S. Women’s team on a Wheaties box. At press time, Mills was seriously reconsidering the wisdom of that announcement due to the tremendous groundswell of support for the team after their emotional victory in the championship shootout.

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