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?