By Rebecca Pierce
March Madness, arguably the most exciting athletic tournament of the year, starts Sunday, March 11 with Selection Sunday. Sixty-eight men’s NCAA basketball teams will be selected to play in the tournament and team seeding, as well as the bracket itself, will be announced. The first games will be played on Tuesday, March 13.
CBS and Turner Broadcasting are attempting to increase viewership (which has been down for Turner as of late) through March Madness. In an effort to generate buzz about the tournament, CBS and Turner are releasing a massive advertising campaign entitled ‘Brackets Everywhere.’ A two-minute spot promoting ‘Brackets Everywhere’ was introduced today, February 27, on the NCAA website. The ‘Brackets Everywhere’ campaign features a fashion designer that creates an ingenious bracket design he uses as a pattern on his signature clothing. The designer duds sporting the bracket design are then seen on models strutting the runway at a fashion show and a fad pandemic for brackets ensues. The bracket fad sweeps the nation and the world, jumping mediums. Brackets are seen spray painted in graffiti, in architectural models for apartment buildings, tattooed on guys’ backs, etc. The spot features an array of celebrities, including comedians Kevin Hart and Jonah Hill, as well as television news anchors Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper.
The ‘Brackets Everywhere’ spots will be shown on, “TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV, as well as CNN, HLN, Airport Network, CBS Outernet Partners and across Turner Digital, which includes SI.com and NCAA.com.” Outdoor advertising will also be a part of CBS and Turner’s colossal campaign. Giant brackets will be placed in three locations at different times preceding the start of the tournament: “CNN Center in Atlanta on March 6, Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles on March 7 and Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal in New York on March 12, National Bracket Day.” CBS and Turner will increase brand promotion for March Madness in New Orleans, the location where the 2012 NCAA Men’s Final Four and National Championship will be held this year. The ‘Brackets Everywhere’ campaign also plans to later include, “digital out-of-home billboards with live score updates, print ads in major publications, radio spots, television programming guide messaging and more.”
Finally, to create a dynamic sound for March Madness, the song “Gold On The Ceiling” by the popular band The Black Keys will be the soundtrack of March Madness. The Black Keys’ music will be in the television spots and will also be incorporated in coverage of the games.
Whether you find this campaign entertaining or not, I encourage you to watch the tournament! Filling out a bracket, entering a pool, and seeing how successful you are at predicting the outcomes of the games is too much fun to miss out on!