BBDO NY’s new holiday campaign for Champs Sports helps kids hack their wish lists into their parents’ browsers, through fake viral videos and a browser extension that turns all banner ads into ads for their wish list. The campaign is a mix of sneaky and clever, and kids whose wish lists are full of Champs merchandise should be happy about this one.
The 56 second video promoting the campaign (see above) features Jon Gruden, who introduces himself as a “football coach, TV personality, and overall tough guy.” Gruden always gets what he wants for Christmas, because all he really wants are pork rinds. He appeals to kids to make sure their parents see their wish list via “Hard Hinting,” so they don’t end up getting a clarinet, instead of the Jordan Retro 1 they asked for. (Hey, what’s wrong with the clarinet?) Gruden then goes on to describe Champs Sports’ two methods of Hard Hinting: viral video hacks and banner ad takeovers.
Although Champs Sports does have products for girls, this ad is clearly aimed squarely at the young male, sports fan market (the only audience that doesn’t find Jon Gruden overwhelmingly obnoxious). You have to wonder a little bit about targeting such a specific demographic, but then I suppose that audience accounts for a lot of Champs’ business this time of year. It just might have made sense to do so in a way that wasn’t so alienating to everybody else. While the hacking your wishlist to get your parents attention schtick is pretty clever (and I’m sure kids will appreciate it), I imagine a few parents will feel it crosses the line. And they’re the ones ultimately doing the shopping, right?