Monday, May 12, 2008

Will the new WNBA campaign work?

Doubtful. If it's aim is really to draw in male fans by pointing out to them how stupid their own comments on the women's game are (like there's no action, the league is stale, women are not physical enough, etc.) my suggestion is to try again. Not that all the reasons why men don't watch women's basketball are not completely ridiculous. They are.
But getting the WNBA's stars to verbalize them in the new ad campaign, called Think Great, probably isn't going to make many men--or many people who are not already fans--stop and say "gee, they're right. Women can take charges and play a physical and exciting game." Some of us already think women's basketball is great. And those who do not are not likely to be convinced.
The ads themselves do not especially bother me. I think they should have more action shots in them. I think when a player says "women can't take a charge" the ad should cut immediately to a player taking a charge. There are action shots but they are at the end which emphasizes the players talking and not the players playing.
Of course this seems to be in keeping with the WNBA's tactics. Focus on the players; how nice they look, how well they speak, how well they learned to apply that eye shadow in rookie training camp--and people will come out to see them play. Um, no. People will go on the internet if they are truly only interested in how a player looks. Otherwise all this preening and presentation serves as further fodder for the naysayers: how serious can a basketball player be if she's thinking about makeup all the time? (And I am sure there are many different versions of this sentiment.)
I feel for the WNBA--it's a lousy catch-22-like position to be in. But they need to figure out a better way.

1 comment:

anonymous said...

To answer your question in the headline, I say, "No." But I did notice that the WNBA has picked up some important sponsorships so maybe that will help. I think the whole ad campaign is a ploy to pick up sponsorships from companies controlled by white men. Meanwhile, a lot of the real fans are being ignored on the marketing front. Why doesn't the NBA go after its real fan base? Last time I checked, everybody's money was the same color.