Wednesday, September 17

CoverGirl, Intercepted

My social channels were buzzing all day yesterday with friends trying to make sure I saw what happened with CoverGirl and the NFL.

It was a cramped day, so truthfully I had no idea.   I clearly know what's going on with the NFL ... but with CoverGirl?  All of these messages were making me so anxious ... I had to find out what was going on.

Luckily, I was teaching my NYU class last night so I asked my students and they schooled me.

Turns out that the official NFL CoverGirl advertising had been intercepted (so to speak) to make a point.

As an official sponsor, Cover Girl had recently launched a new campaign targeting female football fans, of which there are many.  In fact many say that 50% of the football viewership is from women.

Given my friends' fascination, I would tend to believe that fact.

A sponsorship of the league makes total sense, but not necessarily when there are issues with domestic violence swirling around.

To make a point regarding the scandal that the NFL is currently facing, some protesters used the campaign and altered the messaging to put pressure on the NFL, and perhaps on the brands that sponsor it.

Issues aside, this is a great example of consumers hijacking a brand's message and forcing its hand.

CoverGirl responded appropriately, I have to say, with a statement and a statement.  The brand is not dropping its sponsorship, yet is using its power to encourage the NFL to take appropriate behavior.  A lesson learned in letting go, hanging on, taking responsibility, and having a point of view.  Well done.

Let's hope it all makes a difference, especially as we start to see other sponsors take a similar stand.

What's your experience?  JIM.

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