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Who Gets “It”? NFL Players Association Doesn’t

I have never accused myself of, nor misled myself about, being in tune with the strategic rationale of some marketers because I wasn’t in those meetings, but I simply can’t explain the new campaign for the NFL Players Association and the most recent bind-in in this week’s Brandweek. Yes, I understand that the NFLPA is trying to re-position itself away from being the protectors of the rights of the commonly perceived overpaid, unsophisticated and off-the-field, one step away from jail NFL player.

I have never accused myself of, nor misled myself about, being in tune with the strategic rationale of some marketers because I wasn’t in those meetings, but I simply can’t explain the new campaign for the NFL Players Association and the most recent bind-in in this week’s Brandweek.

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Yes, I understand that the NFLPA is trying to re-position itself away from being the protectors of the rights of the commonly perceived overpaid, unsophisticated and off-the-field, one step away from jail NFL player.

Yes, I understand that parading sophisticated, driven and family-focused players is a strategy worth considering.

Yes, I understand that there are plenty of uplifting stories that should be told.

And yes, I understand that a “corporate” branding campaign is not meant to sell directly, but to shape perception.

But no, I do not understand what they want us to do with this obvious fallback on the few gems that should out-weight the many transgressions of the rest.

And why, of all places, would they advertise in Brandweek? Am I to now consider these players as spokesmen? As a changing of the guard? Or as a new direction the NFLPA is going in? All so that I will…invest in what?

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To me, it’s just a bunch of ad-speak hype that has fallen on deaf ears. Prime example: Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the thigh with an unregistered gun at a nightclub.

I much prefer the paid advertisements in Sports Illustrated that show players “doing”: going to hospitals, schools, starting foundations, and the like.

These NFLPA ads show nothing but presumptuous attitude that do nothing for me the reader.

Points to take away:
1) Have a fully definable goal for every communications piece

2) Give me a reason to trust you, or at the very least, care about you the “entity”

3) Give me a reason use, and a reason to buy, whatever it is you are selling

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Those 3 points are rules to live by, and the very first time I read David Ogilvy’s words to that effect, I was sold. So obvious, but so overlooked (just watch any 9 out of 10 TV ads and you’ll know exactly what I mean.) It is what I tell every single one of my clients, and if I don’t follow through, I invite them to fire me and my agency. Because if I am lazy selling their products and services, I deserve to be replaced.

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