'Tis the season to laugh with employees, audience

By Kathleen Coleman

S-R Media

Spokane, Washington, USA


Ahhh … December. Time to kick back, relax, and reflect on what’s worked well and what could work better next year.

Its a tradition for my team to put together a fun memo listing reasons why the year rocked. For example, “We hired the best editor in the country!” or “We are likely the only daily in the United States whose marketing team launched a profitable, full-run monthly tab about legal marijuana and its local impact!”

I also like to look at the year’s best advertising, in all media and from around the globe. Behold this hilarious television commercial from Michelob ULTRA, “a proud supporter of Team USA,” in this summer’s Rio Olympic Games. And, of course, Anheuser-Busch InBev is an official sponsor of the United States Olympic Committee.

Work with me here (it’s a stretch):

The ad, by FCB, Chicago, asks viewers to infer quite a bit. Said E.J. Schultz in Advertising Age Magazine 8 August: “Golf has had a rough few weeks. Top golfers such as Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy pulled out of the Olympics in Rio, putting a damper on the sports return to the Games after a 112-year absence. Then last week Nike said it was getting out of the golf equipment business. That led to widespread media coverage about how, as the New York Post put it, ‘Americans are losing interest in playing golf — and its taking its toll on business.’”

It is against this backdrop that Michelob Ultra today is launching an ad seeking to inject a little excitement into the game — soccer style. The ad shows pro golfer Scott Langley sinking a putt. But instead of using the hushed voice of your typical polite golf announcer, the ad dubs in the raucous voice of renowned Brazilian soccer announcer Nilson César. Because what better way to promote Olympic golf when it comes to soccer-crazed Brazil? 

Michelob ULTRA also invited 21+ fans to share their best golf shot on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #ULTRAgolf.

What if, in addition to the soul-stirring brand messages many of our media companies employ with great skill and finesse, we asked soccer announcer César or (God help us) basketball announcer Dick Vitale to provide voiceover for our TV ads in 2017?

A play-by-play as our journalists root out rat-like behaviour in city government. A heart-stopping description of our photojournalists documenting the scene of a house fire (this would require Vitale to tone it down to Mickey Mouse-on-sedatives range). You get the plan.

The Olympics sportscaster was the brunt of many people’s jokes in the 2014 Olympics.
The Olympics sportscaster was the brunt of many people’s jokes in the 2014 Olympics.

From humour comes the best brainstorming, in my view. After all, what would the world be without these (sort of mean but still) funny tweets and memes about Bob Costas’s poor eyes during Sochi?

In this 12th month of the year, count your blessings, hug a journalist, and, please, satisfy your audiences with an unexpected laugh.

About Kathleen Coleman

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