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A rhetorical marketing campaign

May 17, 2008

So I’ve seen this commercial now about three times and every time I see it, it infuriates me to no end.

The spots, featuring the newest savior of the WNBA Candace Parker, famous for dunking.. well sort of dunking, and Tamika Catchings and others in the league, are stupid beyond words.

The ad spots, seen during this year’s NBA Playoffs, features the WNBA’s stars slamming the league for all of the reasons usually cited by people who don’t watch the games and couldn’t guess when they are played. It’s worth noting that in this case, the “people” I’m referencing are in the vast majority. Ratings for the WNBA are somewhere near those for beach volleyball and Real Housewives of Orange County re-runs.

But what I don’t understand is how the spots end.

Let’s address the first line of text that’s mean to be impactful but isn’t. She Wouldn’t Say That. Well, no kidding. If she thought those things to be true she wouldn’t have a job. it’s like a drug dealer going on national television and telling you how bad heroin is. It’s not in her interest to say that so of course she wouldn’t.

And then the second. Would You? I think this question has been answered by the general public, who has refused to embrace this league since its inception. The WNBA is not a good product. It has a niche audience but, like arena football and Major League Soccer, will never have the widespread support it so desperately wants and frankly needs to survive.

If the WNBA was hoping to change my mind about the technically-proficient but lackluster play during its games, it shouldn’t start by asking me questions that I already know the answers to.

Here’s one for the marketing geniuses at the WNBA.

AM I GOING TO WATCH ANY WNBA GAMES THIS YEAR?

Guess we know the answer to that, too.

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