NFL Marketing: Please STOP Showing Animal Cruelty Ads During Games

Aaron LiebmanAnalyst ISeptember 24, 2009

Okay, let’s get this out of the way. Yes, Michael Vick participated in the murdering of dogs and is now reinstated. And the league does have to do some public relations for this sensitive subject. 


And yes, I realize that from a marketing standpoint, a company must advertise its product during a program that will have a significant amount of viewers to at least be informed of it. 


And of course, saving animals is definitely an important issue.


But when we watch football, we want to forget about all the horrible things in the world.


It’s not just the issue of animal cruelty; it’s the way it is presented. Right as we begin seeing animals with only one eye open we hear the most depressing music from Sarah McLachlan as more and more abused animals are showcased.


The only bigger guilt trip they can give us is actually watching an animal get beaten.


Now there are children watching these games, and of course, children will be the ones most affected seeing anything with an animal. Is the object of it to make the children cry enough that it forces their parents to make a donation?


Again, my problem is not the cause, but the ad itself. It’s one thing to spread your message; it’s another to beat it into the ground. 


The ad is so long you have to wonder if during a TV timeout, if the referees on the field have to tell the players to wait a little longer just so the commercial can finish. Now when people watch games, in addition to beer and food, they’ll have to bring tissues. 


I know some programs have ratings of TV-PG, TV-14, etc., but with this ad it seems that even commercials should now have ratings or at least a warning that we’re going to be subjected to it.


The ASPCA is a good cause and this is an important issue. But there are better ways of getting your message across. You shouldn’t have to resort to shock value to make awareness, especially when advertising during a sporting event.