Monday, March 8, 2010

Crashing the Boards

I went to the hockey game between the Minnesota Gophers and the Wisconsin Badgers on Friday. The Badgers won and honestly hockey isn't high on my sports priority list so I'm not too upset over it. Also, I'm officially mad at gopher hockey fans because an old guy in a gopher hockey shirt yelled at me to "SIIITTT DOOWWWNNN" when all I was doing was returning to my seat (there had been a short stoppage in play that turned out not to be long enough for me to get to my seat before play started up again...sorry old guy).

Anyways, being the advertising nerd that I am I was intrigued by the companies and ads that surrounded the boards within the rink. Normally the Target Center does not host hockey matches (I kept calling the hockey game a match just to upset people that love hockey and I will continue to do so now) so I'm guessing these boards may have been old or borrowed (or brand new...what do I know, but I believe one of the only other times the Target Center uses a large sheet of ice is for epic events like Blues Clues on ice).

The boards had quite an array of companies including national brands like McDonald's and Wendy's and a local construction company. Most of the space was taken up by company logos with a few exceptions of actual ad looking messages/images. What got me going was how crowded and overwhelming the space was. There was a new company every 5 feet and it was really hard to focus on a specific brand. It reminded me of walking through the enclosed part of the Washington Avenue Bridge at the beginning of fall semester after all the clubs had painted their new image/logo/message on the wall and how it was barely possible to keep up with all the images while walking to good old Wiley Hall (for those of you that did not go to the University of MN this probably makes no sense but just go with it).

I thought to myself, if I was McDonald's and had a advertising budget similar to the cost of the new Dallas Cowboy's stadium, I would pay double whatever half of the board space was currently going for and come up with something really cool that takes up half that board space. Now maybe the gopher hockey team has too many sponsors for this to be plausible, but if I am McDonald's and I do, insert really cool ad that takes of half the board space, I have people leaving the game saying thins like "I wish the gophers hadn't had that goal taken away by having a man in the crease, and did you see that thing McDonald's did with the boards?" You might even ignite the "cell phone" effect where people bust out their fancy phones and snap pictures or even shoot videos that might end up on YouTube.

To me this is a classic "cluttered advertising space" case that presents an opportunity to do something different.

That's all I got.

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson

Twitter: @EricWMcPherson

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