When Sports Endorsements Go Too Far: Jimmy Johnson Edition
While we certainly understand the business philosophy behind securing a celebrity sports figure to endorse a particular product or service, often times this trend veers right into the absurd. This is where we step in.
Despite the tie-ins that will soon be uncomfortably obvious, we assure you, the title of this post was not meant to be a pun.
It just so happens that when you have a recurring column that is meant to keep tabs on endorsements by sports celebrities and you see a commercial that has Jimmy Johnson – 67-year old former Cowboys coach and current Fox analyst – being paid to promote ExtenZe, one of the leading “male enhancement” products on the market, it’s pretty much inevitable that everything will sound like a creepy play on words.
The official announcement from the ad agency claiming that when Jimmy Johnson says a products works, men listen because Johnson is such a “powerful” endorser? Creepy.
The Ad Age article listing Johnson as an “unabashed user” of ExtenZe? Creepy.
The dialogue in the actual commercial? Creepy.
And even if you’ve read about it prior to seeing it, it never quite hits home until you’re sitting on your couch watching a basketball game one night and suddenly Jimmy Johnson is standing in front of you uttering lines like “Go long with ExtenZe. I do.” Then it becomes painfully clear that an advertiser has just brought the concepts of “Jimmy Johnson” and “penis enlargement” dangerously close to clashing in your brain, which is not recommended by doctors.
Upon seeing the ad for the first time last night, I was so paralyzed with fear that I couldn’t muster the confidence to take a picture of it for this column as it appeared on my TV. Getting closer to the TV with a wild card advertiser like ExtenZe on the screen was too risky. For all I know, they may pan to the left and show Jimmy standing next to a completely naked Greg Oden, which would have forced me to take lethal action on my 47-inch LCD screen for the safety of me and my family.
After hours searching through my DVR settings for some way to ban all future ExtenZe commercials from my television, I came to the unfortunate conclusion that ads featuring Jimmy Johnson discussing his enhanced maleness are still out there and could appear on my TV screen at any moment.
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