Friday, March 18, 2011

Will a naked lady get Canadians excited about soccer?

Probably not, but AdFreak just posted this Vancouver Whitecaps "viral smash — at least as far as Canadian soccer ads go":

Although a moderate hit with YouTubers (closing in on 200K hits), apparently Bell's parent company was not impressed:

 “We understand that they’re an exuberant new team eager to get the word out, but this marketing effort clearly didn’t fit with Bell’s expectations,”Marie-Eve Francoeur, a BCE spokeswoman, told the Globe and Mail newspaper Wednesday. “We’ve spoken to the Whitecaps about this issue and they clearly understand our position,” she added.

I'd be more outraged that my logo was obscured.
But the BCE Brand Standards guide probably doesn't have a  rule for this placement.

I was actually shocked by how tame the whole thing was. Usually, body painting is used as an excuse to show lots of nudity, but this video keeps it well-hidden.

Also well-hidden is the billboard that goes with the campaign. Apparently posted at a major intersection in Vancouver, the billboard is part of a social media "treasure hunt", with the Whitecaps offering a pair of tickets to tomorrow's season opener to the first person who posts it on Twitter.

Whitecaps director of marketing Kim Jackman defended the provocative promotional video as demonstrating “the passion soccer fans have for their sport, including the tradition of body-painting and how it is done.”

I'm not seeing the passion for sport, or even the provocation. To me it just looks like a PG-rated fashion ad that, like soccer in Canada, somehow manages to miss its potential.

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