|TV viewing with Knight|
Really, Bill Cowher? I shouldn’t have to buy what I don’t want? Well, I don’t want LMN, or MTV (which has become a misnomer), or Oxygen, or TLC (a/k/a The Learning Channel, which is also a misnomer as its programming is dominated by shows like “Say Yes to The Dress:
Atlanta”), or any of
the other garbage you’re shoving down my throat. So why, Bill, am I
buying all of this brain-dead programming that I don’t want? Because your company won’t allow me to create
my own ala carte cable package, that’s why.
And while on the topic of ESPN, that network is responsible for one of the most embarrassing marketing campaigns in recent history. They just moved into a new television studio so they created a commercial (that they’re airing on
to viewers who are already watching, oddly) where they
mingle images of their new studio with clips from the new Planet of the Apes movie. The unifying theme is that we must adapt to beat our rivals. The ad is so foolish and the
analogy so ineffective that the commercial literally motivates me to change the
channel—often to other channels I don’t want, like ScyFy, Tru, or Lifetime, all
of which send me racing back to ESPN. Sports
Nearly as embarrassing as the ESPN commercial was the recent NBA finals commercial, where, for some odd reason, the NBA executives thought it would be a good idea to mingle NBA highlights with clips from the new Tom Cruise action-sci-fi film—a film (the title of which I cannot remember) that I wouldn’t watch if it were offered commercial-free on network television. This marketing campaign is equally senseless as ESPN’s, but at least it didn’t pretend to have a theme (at least not that I can remember).
This bad business—making already marginal programming even worse with bad advertising—makes me appreciate smart television and good advertising when I see it. Take, for example, FX’s recently concluded single-season series
Fargo. The television show, unlike the movie, was
set primarily in Minnesota;
however, the culture and weather are virtually the same as they are in North Dakota. So what would be a good advertising tie-in
for a smart television show set in a cold, snowy climate? One of the show’s sponsors was, fittingly, Audi—makers of all-wheel drive vehicles. And that is how you do that.
NBA and ESPN execs need to start watching FX to learn about effective advertising. If they don’t have it in their existing packages, maybe Bill Cowher can get them a deal through TWC.