ESPN and SportsCenter have always been ahead of the curve when it comes to advertising. When you think of SportsCenter and commercials in the same breath, your mind immediately goes to the hundreds of This is SportsCenter commercials we’ve seen over the years – one of the great ad campaigns of all-time and something that helped put SportsCenter on the map.
On Tuesday night, SportsCenter broke new ground once again in the advertising department. And it was… a little different from that.
Here’s Kenny Mayne with what he calls the first ever “live commercial” in SportsCenter history, a spot for Fruit of the Loom sweats. And as you can imagine, the dry humor is turned up to the max as Mayne does this live action advertisement for Fruit of the Loom in a way that only he can. It may be one of the most understated advertising spots in history.
Unless you’re over the age of 70, you may not be aware that live commercials were the way ads were done in the early, early days of television. With the advent of taped shows, many commercials became taped as well and have been that way for decades.
This could definitely be something that works for SportsCenter if its different anchors can express their unique personalities. Kenny Mayne’s fantastic deadpan humor is one way to go, but Scott Van Pelt, Michael Smith, or someone else could take it in a different direction as well. It’s already working because it’s unique, and it’s going to get people’s attention because of that. Under what other circumstance would we ever write about Fruit of the Loom?
Everyone in sports and in the wider television universe has tried to find ways to get viewers to not change the channel when commercials come on your screen. We’ve seen side by side ads, six second ads, you name it. Maybe going retro is the next innovation. With Tony Romo’s natural excitement and enthusiasm in the broadcast booth, it’s the perfect time for him to do a live commercial for some Isotoner gloves this winter.