We all hate the new clock rule, as it shortens the playing time of the game we love. Well, at least one company is getting smart about solutions. Texas fans, meet Philips Electronics, sponsors of Saturday night's Texas-Oklahoma State game on TBS. The electronics giant purchased the entire advertising block for Saturday night's game, and will limit commercial interruptions significantly. Rather than the usual wave of advertising, Philips is running a mere six minutes of local advertising. In Austin, fans will get a few commercials that feature Bevo and the Longhorn band.
I was curious about the motivation behind this marketing decision, and got in touch with Eric Plaskonos, Director of Brand Communications at Philips North America. Pay close attention to his answer in the third question, where he hones in on what frustrates many college football consumers.
Burnt Orange Nation: Why did Philips decide to sponsor the Cowboys and Longhorns football game this weekend? Are you sponsoring other games? Or just this one?
Eric Plaskonos, Philips Electronics North America: Just to make clear, this is only one game; the game between the Cowboys and the Longhorns. And, as fate would have it, it just happened to be the game that TBS covered the night of November 4th. We are continuously looking for opportunties to let US consumers experience the Philips Sense and Simplicity brand promise. We started last year with a commercial-free program of 60 minutes on CBS which was highly appreciated by TV viewers, and since then we have done some activities with print media to simplify the reading experience. This is our second activity on TV.
Burnt Orange Nation: What's the marketing philosophy behind the decision?
Eric Plaskonos, Philips Electronics North America: At Philips, we believe that Simplicity should be the driving promise behind everything we do - from how we make and design our products to how we communicate to the world. In this case, we've heard from many consumers that the number of interruptions in sports has made watching games on TV a laborious process - which has increasingly taken the viewer away from the experience of being at the game. It is our intention through this broadcast to show, that advertisers can improve the viewing experience and can help the viewer at home enjoy the experience of the game, more thoroughly. As a side note, you'll be happy as a U of T fan to know that part of making a game commercial free means not only buying out national time, but local time as well. And in a third of the country, we purchased all local commercial time - and will be running commercials that we produced with the assistance of U of T, which feature both the band and Bevo - as these are elements of college football, that we don't feel are as much a part of today's typical broadcast, as they have been in the past.
Burnt Orange Nation: Is this a one-time thing, or is Philips considering this kind of marketing for a series of games?
Eric Plaskonos, Philips Electronics North America: No this is not a one-time thing since we have offered simplifying experiences earlier and we will continue to look for other opportunities to simplify of consumers simpler with exciting experiences. It would be ideal to try this again next year to see if we can actually remove TV time outs. Our goal is to remove artificial stoppage from a game, simplify the broadcast and give time back to the viewer - there's no reason why the clock has to start earlier on plays when you can remove TV time outs, and save up up to 6 minutes per game.
Burnt Orange Nation: Thanks for taking the time to explain what y'all are doing for this game. This is a most welcome development in our eyes.