Friday, July 25, 2008
Everyone is anxiously counting down the days until the new Sports Center starts (okay not really) and we finally have an idea of how ESPN is going to market it. Get some random guy and put him on the air live....375 times between now and August 11th. Steve Braban is a 25 year old program coordinator but will soon be the star of the network. Via USA Today....
But next week, David Letterman's monologues might mention Braband's breakfasts. Starting Sunday, Braband will begin appearing daily in at least 25 30-second ESPN TV ads over 15 days — yes, at least 375 total ads — that will all be live.On the surface this seems like a ridiculous idea but the advertising firm W&K's recent ads have been outstanding. My hope is that the kid has a "Boom Goes the Dynamite" performance but whether he's good or not won't matter. Either way it'll bring attention to the new lineup.
The idea is to hype ESPN's new live SportsCenter weekday shows — from 9 a.m. ET to 3 p.m., hours that have been used for reruns from the night before — that will debut Aug. 11. Not coincidentally, that's the first weekday of the Beijing Olympics. Wieden & Kennedy, the Portland, Ore., ad agency that created Nike's famous ads and produces SportsCenter ads, suggested picking an ESPN employee who comes across as a fan.
More than 160 staffers showed up for an open casting call. Braband says he felt like he was "rushing through (his audition) like a big idiot. But they said everybody else was being like Johnny SportsCenter anchor. I was real. Plus, they got a big kick out of seeing I'd locked myself out of my car."
Updated: ESPN sent along a picture of the guy so I added it above.
ESPN gives novice on-air role in ad campaign (USA Today)