Have you seen the newest bench billboard ads? What do you think about it? If Bench could come out with ads like these, then why didn’t they do this to begin with? The ads are clean and they are true to their word when they say, “Throw your support behind the Philippine Volcanoes.” This ad is now in context, meaning the company is intending to support Rugby as a sport WITHOUT asking the team ANYTHING IN RETURN – like asking them to pose in their underwear. Popular fashion companies should help the sensibilities of the people especially those who appreciate new sports coming out aside from basketball. Not like this. Not this way.
Lesson I learned from this brouhaha? Advertisers needs to weed out through their creative geniuses and ask themselves – “What’s our intention to begin with?” Old school paradigm in marketing says, “Sex, Drugs, and Rock N’ Roll” is the way to go through promotions in advertising. That’s true – if you want to cheat and brand your product cheap? The way Bench promoted the sport of Rugby the way their previous billboards did is crass, thoughtless, and mindless. Imagine introducing us – who do not know the sport – to Rugby with men in their briefs posing in front of darkened skies. Huh? Where’s the action? Rugby is an action sport. Where’s the dynamism? Why would I support them? Because they’re handsome, buff, and good looking? Huh?! But I’m not fit! What did they do? What’s Rugby? I don’t know why that idea became the million-peso concept Bench approved? Bench, your market are men who – for the most part – don’t look like them. I wouldn’t feel good wearing Bench if my body don’t look like Rugby players. Your concept is a stretch (read in Filipino: Pilit!) that’s why people think you’re out for those who gets attracted to them in the wrong way. Challenge our wits, Bench! Up until now, I still remember Michael Jordan’s Hanes underwear campaign (2003). Up until now they haven’t made him wear briefs and yet their message stuck. It’s time to get your creative people out of their caves and achieve your purpose and help more people love your brand. Unless you change gears, you may just be diving to your brand’s demise.
About the images: thanks to GMA 7 Blog for the photo. Mabuhay Media altered the image.