Whether you’re a sports fan or not, you’re probably familiar with the phrase “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” Widely attributed to legendary Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi, the phrase can be misconstrued depending on the context.
For example I wouldn’t deem it appropriate when speaking to 5 year olds playing pee wee baseball.
However when it comes to brands and athletes who endorse their products, services and wares — the logical assumption would be to believe that in order for a partnership and campaign to be successful the same athlete must achieve success at their chosen profession; on the gridiron, baseball diamond, etc.
Mayfield of Dreams
Unless you’ve been purposely not watching network TV over the past 2-3 months, chances are you’ve seen one of the many Progressive Insurance spots featuring Cleveland Browns QB, Baker Mayfield.
Just in case you don’t know what I’m referring to, here’s an example:
Baker and the Browns, despite immense pre-season hype and hope have been been an abject failure to this point, winning just 3 of its first 9 games. So then the conventional thinking would be the campaign must not be doing well for Progressive or at the very least not as well as it COULD be doing if Mayfield and the Browns were playing better.
Well, hold that thought because one person believes this is simply not the case. Mark Allen Stuart, Corporate Strategist, President of Kinext & CEO of Hydraulic Entertainment says he doesn’t see a correlation between winning on the field and winning at the proverbial checkout.
Clever & Creative
“It’s really about two primary advertising fundamentals,” says Stuart. “The quality of the creative and the strength of the talent.” He believes the campaign wasn’t really about nor does it hinge of the Brown’s winning percentage. “It’s about some really clever and simple creative and a talent who delivers a strong, humorous and approachable read.”
“Baker Mayfield is an incredibly talented player and is a national story but as a team the Browns are very Cleveland-centric,” says Stuart. “Meaning even if they were 9 – 0 it wouldn’t positively impact the impact of the spots in the same way the fact that they are 3 – 6 isn’t really hurting the strength of the ads.
Stuart says that from the very beginning of the campaign the brand had a winning combination – great creative and great talent adding “the season isn’t the definer of the campaign’s worth.”
“When evaluating a talent for commercial and advertising use – it really gets down to the person,” advises Stuart. “Great actors don’t always make great ad talent in the same way that the MVP of a league may not be a commercial talent as well.”
But like most things in life there are exceptions to the rule, in this case former NFL MVP and Super-Bowl winning quarterback, Peyton Manning who has the rare combination of great on-air talent and great on-the-playing-field talent which Stuart says “adds another positive depth of dimension.”