Brand: Cingular MediaNet (Cingular)
Link: Click Here (It is the fifth spot titled ‘Golf Cart’)
Target: see below
Two middle-aged guys are playing golf on a stunning course in the middle of a southwestern desert. As they are discussing their game, they notice a phone on the green. “Hey Look – a phone. Cingular. It’s got MediaNet,” they say to one another as one of the guys picks up the phone and flips it open. “Wow – this guy’s really into racing. He’s got driver stats, schedules, insider info,” he says and as his friend muses, “wonder whose phone this is?” we see a golf cart approaching fast, making the sounds of a race car. It screeches to a halt in front of the two men. The driver, in a golf shirt and racing glasses takes the phone from the men and says, “Thanks. I was lookin’ for that.” Then he proceeds to roar off in the souped-up cart, leaving tire marks behind. “I guess we’re lettin’ him play through,” says one of the guys to the other. The spot shifts to a shot of the phone with the Cingular logo in the screen with a voiceover saying, “Now medianet puts you in the drivers seat with all things racing – in just a couple of clicks.” The last two points are emphasized with closeups of the phone screen and keypad. The voiceover contintues, “And with Cingular, it’s already on your phone.” The spot ends with a logo shot and the tagline in voiceover, “Cingular, raising the bar.”
This is a straightforward spot that has nice cinematography, good pacing and a reasonable hook to showcase the product demo. The driver of the racing golf cart is none other than NASCAR ace Jeff Burton, who must have a higher Q score than most b-list movie stars. The proposition here is a straighforward features-and-benefits pitch for Cingular MediaNet. The celebrity endorsement is a classic pitch – if the race information on this phone is good enough for Jeff Burton, it will be great for you.
In the middle of a solid TV spot, Cingular with BBDO have made a slightly surprising targeting choice by juxtaposing two sports that might not regularly meet – golf and NASCAR auto racing. What do the two have in common? It is certain that some of their audience is shared (particularly in the South and SouthWest where both are more practical for much of the year) and that there may be many avid golfers among the NASCAR faithful. It is also certain that golf is the role model for an elite sport – the kind of thing that superstar atheletes like Michael Jordan are passionate for.
The question here is what the effect is of starting the spot of with a straight shot of two men golfing and then introducing the NASCAR element? Will the combined credibility of golf and NASCAR give a halo of expertise to the MediaNet service, convincing the corporate sports nuts who can afford it that MediaNet is a better option for tracking sports than an ESPN mobile phone? Or will the effect be to narrow the audience for the spot down to the point where door-to-door sales might be a more cost-effective selling approach for Cingular?
This advertising blog feels that Cingular has narrowed the appeal of this spot too far with sports that have different core audiences. The question is not just how many people are interested in golf and NASCAR, but how many will be persuaded by the combination that Cingular has real expertise in mobile sports. However good the execution, we feel that the advertising strategy behind this spot ends up narrowing it too far and that it will not translate well to non-NASCAR audiences.
Branding Bottom Line:
Cingular’s best pitch here is for better golf carts.