Chevy Uses Promotional Broadcast Integration During All Star Game
Adrants reader brings to our less than sports-minded attention a stunt Chevy pulled during Tuesday's Major League Baseball All-Star game during which FOX cameras panned, in feigned innocence, over a fan banner that read HHRYA.com. While broadcasters Joe Buck and Tim McCarver bantered back and forth about the banner, apparently, no one realized it was a paid placement for the new Chevy HHR vehicle directing people to a website that, according to The Register, was swamped and offline for for thirty minutes. The site is a repository for people to upload pictures of themselves with the letters HHR somewhere in the photo.
While fans may have been tricked into thinking it was an innocent fan banner, FOX Sports spokesman Dan Bell cleared up any confusion, telling The Register, "Buck might have been saying that tongue in cheek. For sure, it was planned. It's not like we didn't know about it. Both parties knew about it."
Ashlee Vance, writing in The Register, had no kind words for the stunt, writing, "Buck certainly did not sound 'tongue in cheek' to us at all. Both he and McCarver sat there debating the sign like marketing automatons, wondering if it was real and how much time some true fan of baseball spent hammering it out. They most certainly wanted all the saps watching to believe in the sign's authenticity and go hunting for this mysterious website."
Again, one wonders where the line between content and advertising went, whether it will come back and whether a line is needed at all.