When your company embarks on an ad campaign, the final product is supposed to be something that’s consistent with the mission of the organization, the branding, the message, and the culture. It doesn’t always turn out that way, but that’s the goal.
Back in August, we were meeting with the CEO of our flagship client, Fulton Homes. He was having trouble coming to terms with spending advertising dollars on NFL football games when his point of view did not align with how certain players were conducting themselves during the playing of the National Anthem. Regardless of their intent, he saw their actions as unpatriotic. Fulton Homes on the other hand, is a very outwardly Patriotic company that engages in causes meant to help veterans and schools through promotions that celebrate the American flag and the National Anthem. It would have been very easy to sit this season out, for Fulton Homes. The NFL does have a lot of viewers, but it’s far from the only game in town.
Instead of “taking our ball and going home,” which would have been the path of least resistance, we collectively decided that Fulton Homes advertising during NFL games in 2017 amid all the players protesting during the National Anthem could actually make a difference in the conversation. We knew if the messaging contrasted the action of these certain players, it would stand out above the noise of a football game that has wall to wall ads. The idea we came up with and executed was consistent with the mission of the organization, the branding and the culture.
This ad we named “Stand” has been running during Monday Night Football games in Phoenix.
The ad didn’t specifically criticize any individuals, but set out to set an example. So far it’s been a smash hit online and well covered by the press in Phoenix, including ABC 15, 12 News and AZCentral.
It was also republished by an influencer on Facebook and has been viewed over 3 million times to date on that platform alone. The message of the ad has been incredibly popular and has further set Fulton apart as a Patriotic company. Some have called the ad a risk, but we didn’t really see it that way. Yes, we knew as Fulton knew that there would be some folks that it wouldn’t be popular with. But the vast majority of viewers were happy to see the message and happy to see a company standing for what they believe in, through their advertising.
The controversy will continue to evolve, perhaps through the entire season, but Fulton’s message will be constant.