When the goals of two large organizations can be beneficial to each other, it gives them the opportunity to create an advertising campaign of epic proportions. Gillette and the NFL have attempt to do just that with their new “No Debate” advertising campaign and contest. The slogan of the campaign is: “The best will always be debated. The best shave will not.” The idea is that NFL fans can debate the goings-on of the NFL, but the best shave is the Fusion Proglide Razor by Gillette. The ad campaign and contest is introduced by Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl linebacker, Clay Matthews in a YouTube video. Is the campaign successful? Here are the pros and cons of such a campaign.
Pro: Fan participation
The type of advertising that works best is one with fan participation. When participation involves fans of the NFL, it’s a huge starting point. There are millions of NFL fans, judging by how many millions of fans watch the Super Bowl. People love debating issues involving football games, and football players.
Each debate in the campaign lasts one week. The first week of the debate covered the question, “Whose defense has the edge to take them all the way to Super Bowl XLVII?” Although that seems like a thought-provoking question, the following week’s debate question was much more hotly debated. That debate question? “Who has the best nickname in the NFL?” Everyone has an opinion, and the easier questions seem to be the most fun, lighthearted, and more likely to encourage participation.
The third week debate question is “Which quarterback is leading the pack this season, and why?” The introductory video for week three can be found on YouTube. There will be a total of seven debates, so there are plenty of chances to get in on the action.
Con: Participation does not involve product usage
Although participation involves debating issues involving the NFL, it does not involve usage of Gillette products. They say there is “no debate” about the best shave, and therefore no need to debate whether Gillette razors give the best shave. But that only gives NFL fans an opportunity to talk about the NFL, and forget about Gillette. Fans are not talking at all about the product being sold.
Pro: There is a prize
Debaters get the chance to win a trip to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. According to the rules, there are two winners each week. One is picked by popular vote, and the other by Clay Matthews himself. These winners each receive some great prizes, plus the chance to win the grand prize. Everyone who submits an “entry” (debate comment) is entered into a drawing for smaller prizes. With all these prizes, there’s actually a much better chance of winning a prize than you would have in many other contests, especially if people like what you have to say.
Con: Participation requires Facebook
The contest site is not really usable unless you use it through Facebook. I was able to view the video introducing the debate on YouTube, and the video links to the contest on Facebook. It looks as if the site is meant to be viewed through the Facebook page in order to get it to work properly. That limits participation quite a bit. If the contest page on the Gillette/NFL contest web site had been usable, they would probably get more involvement. They still could have included a Facebook widget and share buttons on the site to encourage participants to share their comments and like the contest Facebook page.