We’ve been hearing a lot about the NFL looking to alter how they deliver ads to viewers as they scramble a bit to combat declining ratings, especially in primetime games. Last night we got our first taste of that with ESPN rolling out this ad in the fourth quarter showing the Microsoft Surface tablet. Unfortunately things didn’t go according to plan.

That’s Sean Lee looking at old-school printed photographs in lieu of utilizing a Surface tablet, while Trey espouses the virtues of the device. It’s too perfect, especially when you consider the possibility the shot was intended to coincide with the Surface commercial, creating a nice bit of synergy for all the parties involved.

You can’t buy that kind of irony, not even for the $400 million Microsoft paid for its partnership with the NFL back in 2013.

It’s just too funny, you had one box saying “TABLETS ARE GREAT FOR FOOTBALL RELATED WORK!!!!” while the other box was saying “Not as good as a binder!”

The Microsoft Surface tablets have taken a beating since the NFL signed a deal to use them on the sidelines. Sometimes literally, in fact:


They’ve been decried as unreliable on the sidelines by plenty of people, notably Bill Belichick back in October:

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has had enough of your technological advances in the NFL. In a move sure to disappoint Microsoft, Belichick has decided he is no longer going to use a Microsoft Surface tablet on the sideline of NFL games.

“I’m done with the tablets. They’re just too undependable,” Belichick said . “Too much inconsistency. I just can’t take it anymore.”

Overall people seemed pretty perturbed with the new ad format perhaps not realizing they were shown the dual screen as a replacement for a short commercial break. Part of the issue was they were late getting back to the snap. So basically this kind of fell flat on a couple of fronts.

I like the NFL trying to make games more bearable for viewers but as always the execution of these things is always tricky and what people will focus on.




About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.

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