Sports Advertising: How do you create an everlasting memory?


On my drive to work, in the pouring rain, I drove past the same billboards that I see every day. I see the same boring ad. It dawned on me that I wasn’t even looking at the billboard for what it said. I was merely using it as a visual reference that I am that much closer to my destination. I am very sure it was serving up a tagline, a product and a destination. How do I know that? Well I cheated, I work in advertising and that is the general rule of thumb for most things.

I can honestly say that I am not affected by advertising. I don’t notice banner ads, nor do I click on them. If a site has a page take over, I am in wack-a-mole mode looking for the glorious “X” button. Mana points rise upon death of these enemy ad units. Health restored, barriers removed, I can read my web content with ease again. I get annoyed when I see home page takeovers, or accidentally click on ad unit. It bothers me as much as my father in law giving me bad directions, or finding out there is no more chicken bits left in my chicken noodle soup. I just plain hate it.

It begs the question. Why do we spend so much money on these ad units? It’s the norm that’s why. I find companies are afraid to spend a little extra time and care into doing something that is actually quite cool. But we are doing it to support our digital campaigns! Daily I see the light dim out the eyes of creative professionals after their ideas are killed. They are not allowed to veer to the left or right. Stick to the middle boys. That’s what everyone else is doing!

I am over simplifying a pain point as there are campaigns that have a multitude of avenues to drive conversion, sales, etc. However you have to take advantage of all of it to be super successful in my humble opinion. Throwing money at enemy ad units alone is pretty much like holding kryptonite. (I LOVE that MS Word recognizes this word!)

After passing the checkpoint on my journey, I challenged myself to think of two advertisements that still resonate in memory for me. Within 1 or 2 minutes I found my answer.

I am from the generation that grew up watching Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson play the game of basketball at the peak of their careers. We talked about this commercial at school. During recess, we tried to replicate the awesome shot power of Mike and Larry. Race out the door, do a pirouette, shoot with my weak hand, off the school wall and SWISH! Here is the famous commercial titled The Show down

Did it make me want to buy a Big Mac? Not a chance in hell. I may be overweight and unhealthy, but I did watch Super Size me!!

Thanks to Bridgestone Tires, we were served this commercial featuring Steve Nash and Tim Duncan. It was an instant classic in my mind.

Would I buy these tires? It depends on the price and customer reviews. At the very least, I won’t forget about this commercial in 30 seconds. That’s how you create an everlasting memory.

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