Sunday, February 2, 2014

Blog 3: Sports are Hard

What It Sounds Like To Me

Let us first begin with this: Sports are hard. I have never been the biggest fan of organized, televised athletics. As the son of both a gym teacher and a music teacher, I had the choice of dedicating my life to one or the other. I went with music. However, I have always been exposed to the world of athletics. The most present of all sports related subjects in my life is the Superbowl. Not only is this a major day for the NFL, but it is a major day for advertisers and marketers. Many a time I have heard of people watching the game simply to see the many ads that bombard the scheduled commercial time slots. This year is no different. As a marketing student and a marketing blogger I cannot help but see what is going into these ads.

First, we'll do a little timeline. Prior to the start of the game my roommates and I we're witness to a slew of strongly patriotic ads. There seems to be a recurring "America is Awesome" theme here. By the second quarter of the game we have already seen several celebrity  drenched commercials (shout out to Arnold Schwarzenegger) and at least two sentimental car ads, not to mention U2 and their continuing campaign to rid the world of injustices and disease. Coke wants us to know that America is beautiful. VW wants us to know that German Engineers are apparently angels who sprout rainbows out of their nether regions. Its not even the second half and I have to ask: What is happening to this world?

Nearly every commercial is absolutely ridiculous. There is a similar formula for a majority of these:

  1. Put a normal person in a odd situation
  2. Add a celebrity
  3. Add a dash of indie rock/dubstep
  4. Mix Well and Serve

I think this speaks to the increasing homogenization of American culture. Everything is being boiled down into a sure fire formula of similarity. As a self described creative person, I am very against this. The arts should be rebellious and unique, including televised arts like Superbowl commercials. As soon as you flood the marketplace with too much of one same it diminishes the quality. This ties into the Consuming Kids documentary. As long as advertisers bombard the same images and ideas, people will buy into them, sometimes just to get rid of the aggravation of being bombarded. Now that I've gotten my issues with the less savory aspects of modern marketing, let us apply the 4 P's to one of the commercials.

Here we are:

Product: Good Ole' Fashion Budweiser. It pulls at your patriotic heart strings and shows that you can be anything to anyone with their help. It is so very beneficial and attractive to the customer!

Place: Small town America. Everyone knows everyone and everyone knows your local Mom and Pop liquor store can provide you with the beer that brings people together. As always, the Clydesdale pulled wagon can bring it to you.

Price: In the rural U.S. you can easily afford this product. The price is low but the quality speaks for itself, so choose Budweiser over anything else!

Promotion: The American armed forces supports its troops with Budweiser! Do you love America? Then you would love Bud! It is America! As far as style goes, this aims straight for the heart and hopes to catch its customers there.

The target market is clearly the working American patriot. It is for the old idea that the American community is strong and supports its troops.

There you have it. My Superbowl blog post. It is a mixture of rants against conformity and analysis of the process that marketers are conforming. I can only hope that a return to individuality in marketing media can occur so that not only will the company represent itself, but represent itself with integrity in a unique fashion. We'll just have to wait another year to see. I leave with this: What will they think of next?

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