Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sportscenter ad shows CGM isn't always the way to go

In a departure from the regular "This is Sportcenter" ad format, the current spot for SC doesn't feature a high profile athlete or famous mascot, but instead offers viewers the opportunity to vote on having one of two anchors read the next highlight, or, option "C", watch a cockatoo slam dunk a basketball. Michael David Smith from AOL's Sportshouse blog says he doesn't like it:


The commercials are at their best when they give us the utterly ridiculous juxtaposition of LaDainian Tomlinson sorting mail or Tony Romo having a party at ESPN's headquarters or LSU's mascot stuck in a tree. The dunking cockatoo isn't a recognizable figure in our shared sports consciousness and therefore isn't as funny.


As a sports fan who works in this medium, I found it to be a great spoof. Similarly to how Time magazine named You, the Consumer "person of the year", ESPN pays an Onion-esque homage to the push toward consumer generated everything. Worth noting among sports fans is that while it's great to have your voice heard, the real reason we watch ESPN -- including the pro and college highlights -- is for the star power and athletic feats. I can dunk a basketball, but I can't throw one down like LeBron -- and there's a big difference between an amateur and a pro (wow, haven't journalists and advertisers made the same argument?), including taking them out of their element and controlled environment and allowing them to be funny.

That being said, I did enjoy the spot. How about you?




1 comment:

Robert Wiley Hughey said...

I thoroughly enjoyed it, though I honestly never gave it very much thought beyond a quick "oh look, they're going to have a bird dunk a ball. Neato."

I think Michael David Smith might be overanalyzing the spot. It's like he's applying some complicated literary theory to the articles in the dirty magazine. "Easy there, tiger." That's now why you pick up up that particular magazine.

And that's not why we watch Sportcenter either.