Marc Cuban is a Rebel // Down With Us

-1Marc Cuban called me this morning to ask for my advice on his new ad campaign. Well, not exactly, but he did ask the question on Twitter, and I happen to follow him, so in some ways, he sparked up the conversation (are you starting to get how this works?). The ad in question is a taxi topper featuring a relatively unknown MMA fighter and the tagline: Do you know who I am?

mcuban: What do you thnk about our ad ?

Since he asked, here's my answer: I like it, with a couple qualifiers.

First, I have to say that most outdoor advertising is a complete waste of money. Most of it goes almost completely unnoticed, adding only clutter and urban blight. Next time you're out and about, look at the level of detail, of small type on a lot of billboards and snipes. Some of them are designed for New York, where people are walking, yet you're running them in Los Angeles. Check out the movie billboards with all of the credit information in 14 pt type, 30 feet in the air!

Second, the much bigger problem is that most of it doesn't do anything for me, the viewer. You have a logo and you want to show it to me! Who cares! A notable exception is a record release from a notable artist, or a sequel to a popular movie. In those cases, we're excited for the big day to get here, and reminders of exactly when it's coming are welcome. But in that exception, you're doing us a service, which is exactly the point.

Back to Marc's question. Despite all the hype, MMA is still an underground sport. As such, its followers are passionate and committed, and they'll be excited that a company has recognized one of their own enough to put him in an ad. The small but important audience who can answer Yes to the ad's question is likely to appreciate the recognition, and probably talk about it to their friends.

I think that's enough value for one ad to create to be considered a success. Some of you broader-minded folks may be wondering if the question is provocative enough to get a bigger audience to at ponder the question until they get to a browser so they can click over to HDNet and find out what all the fuss is about. I think that's expecting a little too much from a taxi topper, but hey, anything's possible.

Hey Marc, thanks for asking. Let us know whenever we can help.