“Wise” guys pitching a good promotion!

In Memorable Marketing on July 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm

I love marketing tie-ins with sports. Tonight in New York, a great one is scheduled. The Wise Potato Chip people have arranged for everyone at the Reds-Mets game to get a small bag of chips on the way in, and, after the second inning, “crunch” in unison to set a Guinness World Record.

This one’s kind of fun. although I’ll bet the stadium cleanup crew won’t think so as they’re picking up 42,000 little potato chip bags  from under the seats. I like the fact that one of the smaller regional brands is attempting to get visibility with a unique tactic that will cost, in total, less than Frito-Lay spends running a few prime time TV spots. I”m just disappointed they didn’t wait for Chipper Jones to come to town.

And I’ll even ignore the fact that chips are so often promoted on the  basis of their “crunch.” Do you really buy them based on “crunch”?  I just like the taste, and as long as they’re not too stale to crunch, I’m happy. (But maybe that’s just me; if crunch matters to you, let me know!)

You’ll find some of the best (?) tie-ins at minor league baseball stadiums. Everthing is sponsored somehow, in the ballpark and on radio broadcasts. Our local team has things like a “Family Fare” fair ball” and the “Faygo” pop-up.  Home plate is occasionally swept by a local chimney sweep, and trash is collected in the stands by a formally-dressed couple representing a local dry cleaning chain. You get the idea.

Seems like NASCAR has sponsorships down, too – considering it’s hard to tell what color the car is under all the logos. But I think  golf is missing an opportunity here. Just think of how those stuffy telecasts would sound if the announcers pointed out that what you just saw was a “Frito-Lay” great chip or a spectacular “Ore-Ida Potato” wedge shot.  Each round would start, of course, with a “Tetley” tee time.  And I don’t know how much promotional dough they’ll be able to spend post-bankrupty, but I’ll bet a certain car company could think of a way to capitalize on those previously under-appreciated “caddies.” Or considering they walk the whole way, maybe not. Perhaps Fiat would be interested.

  1. I agree that the Wise Potato Chip promotion was a well thought out promotion, and Minor League teams are geniuses at generating buzz and interest. I would love to quantity how much exposure the 5/3rd burger gave to the Whitecaps.
    But when does enough become enough with in-game marketing. For example during Fox All Star Game broadcast, Fox has been promoting their show Fringe with having a mysterious character showing up at major televised sporting events (and American Idol) sitting silently and expressionless while having the camera crew show him every so often, but the announcers never mention a word about him (just google Fringe & All Star Game). For me, some of these in-game promotions quickly get old. Even on radio broadcasts for my beloved Whitesox, every time there is a questionable call or a manager gets out to “talk” to an ump, guess who sponsors the segment… a local law firm.

    • Absolutely….we marketers are rather famous for taking even good ideas way too far.

      Actually, you hit a sore spot with me; I very much DISLIKE what the TV networks do to promote other shows. You can’t even fully enjoy the program you are watching because half the screen is taken up by assorted nonsense involving another show. I’m something of a purist in that regard; I can’t even stand it when they shrink movie credits so that most of the screen can sell something else. I believe those involved in creating movies, etc., deserve their credits, little as they are, to be readable. (And it doesn’t matter that 98% of Americans couldn’t care less.)

      That said, as (unfortunately, this year) a Cleveland Indians fan, I think ANYTHING that distracts people from having to concentrate on the White Sox is a GOOD thing! (I can joke; long ago, I worked on the White Sox account, doing spots with Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall.)

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