“It’s as simple as this,” said Lisa Baird, SVP for marketing at the NFL in New York. “We’re going to do everything necessary to protect the strength of our brand.”
Instead of the NFL directly addressing or apologizing for player conduct, the idea of the effort is to counter the image problems brought on by the bad behavior of some players by highlighting the positive behavior of many others. The spots feature five current players -- Matt Hasselbeck, Willie McGinest, Brady Quinn, Vince Young, and Braylon Edwards -- handpicked by the NFL and ad agency BBDO Worldwide for their “marquee names and clean-cut images.”
Alfred Merrin, vice chairman and executive creative director at BBDO’s New York office, told the Times: “It is not a campaign to address the Michael Vicks of the world – it’s bigger than that. It’s about getting inside these guys and revealing something of their character, their values, what it takes to be in the NFL.”
And to answer the issue many might be considering:
When asked what would happen if one of the five players in the NFL campaign were to get in trouble, Baird of the league answered swiftly.
“I’d say we’d pull the ad,” she said.