Monday, July 27, 2009

Dumb ad (strategy) of the day.

Now that The Tour de France is over, it's time for some news about The Tour de France. It seems that Lance Armstrong has signed with a new team for next year's race--Team Radio Shack. A full-page ad in The New York Times heralds this occasion.

I'll be the first to admit there's a lot about the world I don't understand. String Theory. Things being too big to fail (I'm 6'2" and 200 lbs. and I've never had a problem failing.) And sports sponsorship.

What will Radio Shack gain from giving a couple million simoleons to Armstrong? Here's a chain named after a nearly obsolete technology and a sort of rickety, sub-standard structure. Will Armstrong's glow change my perception of the store? Will I be any more inclined to buy small robotic bugs for $9.95? Likewise, do I feel any better about the rapacious robbers at Citibank because their logo and name is emblazoned on a ball-park built by tax-payer dollars? Did I believe for a second that Tiger Woods drove a Buick except for the Buick-inspired mammon he received?

No, I don't think so. Sports sponsorship is yet another brain-child of some MBA as a way of reaching people through their "affinities." I suppose it's way more effective than actually providing value.


Meaghan Danielson said...

And yet, here we are talking about them. Something that may not have happened had they chosen to not sponsor Lance Armstrong next year. It may not be the best brand/celebrity sponsor match, but it puts radio shack on the radar after a long time going unnoticed.

Tore Claesson said...

it's the biggest scam in the marketing world. Mostly.
Especially this thing with corporations slapping their logos onto sports arenas and stuff. For millions of dollars. Of which not a single cent goes towards lower ticket prices. If so, maybe some good will would come out of it.
Anyway. I once did an ad with alpine ski star Ingemar Stenmark (well many ads) who was engaged to support a running shoe brand. You'd think it would have been better for him to support a ski brand? Anyway, to make the connection somewhat relevant we did an ad saying he used the shoes to run up the hill.

geo said...

Well, Meaghan, it's not enough to talk about a brand, I don't think, anyway. We'll see, I suppose.

Teenie said...

Value-schmalue. It's about getting aboard the latest bandwagon!

I'll still go to Future Shop, though. The Radio Shack here is a hole in the wall.

Tore Claesson said...

I really do not think a bicycle star, cancer survivor and hero in many ways, can do anything for a brand that has no connection to his sport or person. I think it's the other way around. It will diminish HIS brand. Not that Radio Shack is a bad thing to be connected to, but it's just advertising. In it's most naive form. We all get that. And we don't give a damn to be honest. Or as George points out, nobody really thinks that Tiger Woods getting paid a zillion for pretending to support a middle of the road car will make them seem cooler or something if buying it. The only thing it does is give some C level people some access to the glamour of a sports star. We don't want to pay for that do we?

jeaves said...

I wouldnt attempt to compare fighting cancer and winning Tour's with a peanut corporate come-back. I hope thats not their angle.

Lets Lance millions or pay fulltime Twitterdians to tweet about batteries, home wiring and low quality gear...Hmmmm...tough call.

Anonymous said...

but it puts radio shack on the radar

terrible logic.