Direct Line Blog

March Madness bracket ads need more madness

Share this article:

This is the first year that I've paid attention to the marketing that surrounds filling out my NCAA tournament brackets. Having paid attention, I see how oblivious I'd been.

When you register an account to set up your bracket (likely on ESPN.com or, in my case, CBSSports.com), there's the standard e-mail opt-in request. Then when you sign up for a sponsored contest, there's the advertiser's e-mail opt-in. Then once you've participated in that sponsored contest, there's the prompt to share your participation on Facebook and Twitter.

My first thought when actually minding the marketing was that I mind the marketing. Did NASCAR inspired the interface? But then I mulled it over and realized I was overreacting. Outside of the social media prompt, none of the marketing was that disruptive. Squinting to read the small type would have accounted for most of the e-mail opt-in effort. And even the social media prompt wasn't objectionable.

This year Infiniti is sponsoring two of CBSSports.com's bracket contests. As part of the sponsorship, the car company is donating up to $500,000 to Coaches vs. Cancer (a great cause many college basketball fans are familiar with through its annual tournament at the start of the season). So if you choose to share your picks with your Facebook and Twitter friends, the default messaging from Infiniti asks your friends or followers to “Help Infiniti donate to Coaches vs. Cancer….” Again, not objectionable.

And that's the point and the problem for March Madness marketers. When every facet of the tournament feels sponsored, consumers numb themselves to the ads. If it weren't for working at DMNews, I'd have a better shot naming who's going to win the tournament than who's sponsoring it. I didn't even notice that Infiniti's sponsorship benefits Coaches vs. Cancer until I clicked through the social prompt and read the default message. And, again, were it not for my job, I wouldn't have even done that. I would have clicked away, oblivious to the cause, a non-action that would have been objectionable.

Share this article:
close

Next Article in Direct Line Blog

Sign up to our newsletters

Latest Jobs:


Company of the week


Concerned about growth? With over 25 years experience in the industry, the list experts at Fairfield Marketing Group possess the know-how to help immediately improve any domestic or international direct marketing effort. First-time and well-established mailers can rely on Fairfield Marketing Group's expertise to help launch campaigns into positive and profitable ventures.

Find out more here »

More in Direct Line Blog

Is 5-Day Delivery USPS's Way of Saying It's Giving Up on Mail?

Is 5-Day Delivery USPS's Way of Saying It's ...

The head of the PRC and a noted union leader think so. They wonder why such an exclusive business isn't 24/7 instead.

Président Replaces Cheesy TV Spots with Digital

Président Replaces Cheesy TV Spots with Digital

Marketing + Cheese: What more could you want?

Unhidden YouTube Talent

Unhidden YouTube Talent

The problem with trends: Most brands find out about them when they're already cresting. But virality means getting behind a trend before it hits.