Newcastle Might Win The S**** B*** Ad Championship With An Ad It Didn't Make And Can't Afford To Buy

from the game-that-must-not-be-named dept

The end of the NFL football season is upon us, which brings on a familiar competitive scene that all Americans will be watching with anticipation. Big names competing for the spotlight of glory, battling against one another in a free for all that will have commentators chirping even weeks after it’s over. I’m talking, of course, about the advertising campaigns unleashed during the game that nobody is allowed to talk about, thanks to the NFL’s lawyers. Hell, even some of these very commercials like to poke fun at the overbearing trademark-i-ness of the NFL’s signature game.

Still, as a group that’s long believed in the concept that advertising is content and content is advertising, it’s sometimes difficult to see the way forward when it comes to winning the advertising war for the (small-case) big game. Production budgets have to be huge just to be in the running. The competitive landscape is enormous. Even some of the spots that required the most amount of effort fall flat on their faces compared to a couple of talking frogs. So how does a relatively small company win?

Well, according to the makers of Newcastle Brown Ale, you take a page out of 80’s movie history and decide that the only way to win is to not play at all. That appears to be the concept behind Newcastle’s non-campaign that’s all about the commercial spot they were totally going to make, but didn’t want to spring for. Oh, and they make fun of the NFL’s trademark nature on top of it. For instance:

An ad about an ad they didn’t make but want you to test market? And it’s funny? A good start, but one clever spot ain’t going to do it. Good thing Newcastle decided to make a bunch of content around this idea, including celebrities talking about how awesome their voiceovers were going to be, or footage of fake market testing for an ad they never made.

Now, this would be the appropriate moment to mention that the only disclosure I have to make about the relationship between myself and Newcastle is how much I dislike their Brown Ale. Seriously, I would rather stay sober during an all-night expose on the physics behind paint peeling than drink that beer. But that’s a matter of taste (on both counts) and it doesn’t keep me from appreciating the concept of an engaging, lighthearted ad campaign that pokes fun at beer ads, the beer company itself, and the NFL all at once. This is how you win the advertising wars of early February. By not playing, which is actually playing, but pretending not to be…you know…playing.

Taking the benefits of this kind of light-hearted content as advertising method further, it allows Newcastle to get involved in other new media in a way that keeps things just as light and doesn’t come off as annoying. For instance, they sponsored a post on Gawker Media about the non-campaign campaign, and appear to have given the writer enough latitude to attempt their own funny tie-in in the “article”, going so far as to headline it: We’ve Disguised This Newcastle Ad As An Article To Get You To Click It.

Newcastle bought this ad to promote the S**** B*** commercial they couldn’t afford to make. I know you’re probably cycling through the five stages of grief since you’re reading an ad and ew, gross, but maybe just stop reading and watch the videos I’ve embedded. After all, Newcastle didn’t pay Gawker Media a fraction of the cost of a S**** B*** commercial so you could read another think piece about M*ckl*m*r*.

No, they bought this space in a shameless attempt to force their Mega Huge Football Ad — and smooth, delicious Newcastle Brown Ale — down your throats. They also “bought” me — an in-house copywriter — because actual Gawker writers can’t accept money from advertisers (not that I’m personally cashing Newcastle’s checks but you know, whatever). As someone being paid to write this, I have to say that it’s the greatest ad ever, mostly because Newcastle asked me to use those exact words. Is it the greatest ad I’ve ever been paid to call the greatest ad ever? Yes.

It goes on like that and it’s nice that a company appears to be having so much fun at its own expense, even going as far as to allow new media writers to mock the new media concerns about new media sponsorships (This repetitive sentence brought to you by the folks at Techdirt. Techdirt: the other white meat). As I mentioned, nobody at Newcastle bothered to pay me to write this post, though if they did, I’d totally have killed it. Like, way better than Gawker. There would have been penis jokes and riffs about brown ales mixed with the obvious toilet humor. It would have been glorious.

Wait, maybe the potentiality of that post could be some kind of Techdirt ad campaign?

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Companies: newcastle

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Comments on “Newcastle Might Win The S**** B*** Ad Championship With An Ad It Didn't Make And Can't Afford To Buy”

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out_of_the_blue says:

Hey, "sports" fans: be consistent, complain about fat cats there too.

Just sleazy grifters with a legislated monopoly:

NFL Commish Makes $29.5 Mil a Year? 15 Times More Than Tax Free Org Gives to Charity, More than CEOs of Ford, Heinz, FedEx

And don’t forget that just yesterday even Mimeograph Mike mentioned that “sports” is only “cheering the lingerie”.

It’s not any “ism”, it’s The Rich. When The Rich are limited, everyone else has a chance at freedom. (192 of 192)


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Hey, "sports" fans: be consistent, complain about fat cats there too.

“Hey, “sports” fans: be consistent, complain about fat cats there too.”

that should be “Hey, sports “fans”: be consistent….. I think!!!

but either way, yes, they should.

blocking you only gives you more power, and gets you read every time !!!!

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: The NFL sux

College football is a huge part of the problem, as is high school football. Basically, the whole game is corrupt from top to bottom. If you want to see just how bad, have a look at Pros and Cons, the result of a great deal of research into the football system’s systematic coverups of criminal behavior by its athletes, to the point where over 30% of NFL players have been charged with a violent felony that fans never hear about.

PopeRatzo (profile) says:

Re: Re: The NFL sux

College football is a huge part of the problem

This, exactly. It’s why I’m very interested to see what shakes out of this attempt by Northwestern football players to unionize.

I would love to see big-money collegiate athletics to disappear, forcing the NFL to create a professional minor league the way baseball has.

Big money college football programs are purely about exploitation. This pretend “amateurism” that forces student athletes to hide every nickel they make from the fame while bringing millions to the institution. And they’re all one injury away from being tossed away like used kleenix and one concussion away from a ruined life.

I used to be a big fan of college athletics and a big booster for my alma mater, but some switch has turned in me over the past decade, and now I simply am unable to enjoy any big money college athletics any more. It actually sickens me. May this effort by the NW’ern students cause people to finally figure out what the NCAA really is, and hopefully cause that plantation to finally disappear.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Just a Different Kind of Exploitation (to PopeRatzo, # 15).

The baseball minor leagues have set up Florida Leagues and Arizona Leagues, centered around Sarasota and Phoenix, respectively, using the major league camps, so that they can efficiently sort through players. However, they have also set up training leagues in Venezuela, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic, which cost practically nothing to run (). Football is more internally differentiated than baseball. The difference between a quarterback and a center is greater than the difference between a pitcher and an outfielder. What would happen if the NFL set up minor leagues is that all the linemen, and about half the backfielders would come from various Caribbean countries. For many positions, football puts a premium on physical hugeness. The leagues would medically screen eight-year-old boys in these countries to identify those who were on track to become six-foot-eight, and begin systematically training them as linemen. There would be a much sharper distinction between those players who needed to be interviewed by sportscasters on camera, and those who did not.

() Ian Gordon, “Played,” Mother Jones, March/April, 2013

PopeRatzo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Comic relief? After all, what’s funnier than a bunch of grown men in short pants running around throwing themselves to the ground writhing in pain every time an opposing player looks at them funny?

Americans just let you Europeans call your little game “football” because we get such a big laugh every time we hear you say it. Europeans will say, “We’re watching football” while on the screen there’s a bunch of Madonna’s backup dancers prancing around kicking a little ball back and forth while the people in the stadium tear each other apart like jackals. Just hysterical.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Why is it that every time someone does a story about football, people seem to have to get into a pissing match (and I’m faulting both sides here) over two completely different games that really have nothing to do with each other? Pissing contests like this are generally held between people who lack the self-esteem to respect others’ cultures and traditions. Ya know, when you start to resort to insults against others’ masculinity, all you do is call into question your own.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Personally, I find the pissing match between football fans (of the US variety) and football fans (of the Rest Of The World variety) to be much more entertaining than either game.

However, if I had to choose about which is Manlier — which is a big part of what makes the debate so hilarious — non-US football wins hands down. It’s not even close.

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