ESPN is taking the needs of its viewing audience to an intimate level with a new promotional event and ad. During a pasta dinner in preparation for the New York City Marathon, reps from the sports-channel were handing out nipple guards, while a sign proclaimed, “It’s Not Crazy to Love Running More Than Your Nipples, It’s Sports.”
This is part of a new way advertisers are trying to connect with sports fans by siding with their obsessive-compulsive behaviors. The ESPN spot is reminiscent of Bud Light’s recent campaign celebrating and encouraging the superstitious rituals fans employ to “help” their team win. Their campaign is similarly titled “It’s Only Weird if it Doesn’t Work.”
Nipples have long been used as a draw with advertisers since the 70’s, when Farrah Fawcett alerted the country that women had them. But this may be one of the first mass ad campaigns that focuses on nipples as something other than an object of sexual fascination.
Maybe someday breastfeeding will work its way into advertising as well; marathon runners have nothing to worry about when it comes to chaffing in comparison to new moms.