. . . Tuesday July 5, 2005

Let Them Eat Trimspa

Someone at ABC didn’t get the memo about the new age of marketing.

Over the holiday weekend, ABC showed a two hour highlight show from the Live 8 concerts around the world. They also showed commercials. In fact, they showed so many commercials that they often couldn’t get through an entire song before heading to another break.

Now, I know that ABC is in the money making business, so let’s table the idea of providing viewers with a sponsor free evening of programming. But what would possess advertisers to allow their brands to be used to pimp products in between scenes of starving and sick kids in Africa?

As if mere advertising were not bad enough, one of the evening’s sponsors was Trimspa. I guess we can give the honchos at Disney a few extra points for irony.

Again, I’m not suggesting a free-for-all here. A corporation could have easily created an appropriate marketing package that associated their brand with the amazing spirit of the event. But come on, diet products pitched in between speeches about thousands of kids who die of starvation each day?

In this new age of marketing, product misplacement such as this just won’t sell. Brand humilation probably wasn’t the goal of the evening’s ad buy, but there’s no doubt that’s what Volvo, Nokia and Trimspa achieved for allowing their general market ads to be shown during this very unique two hour set.

Concentration is important!