Chewing over footballers in adverts
Footballers have a long track record of random advertising endorsements.
Kevin Keegan was the face of Brut aftershave. Ian Rush assured children that milk was a sure fire way to a career in non-league football. And Bobby Moore was famously the front man for the pub trade. However, even with this eclectic history every now and then there’s still one which pulls you up short.
Thumbing through the supplement of my Sunday paper I came across a picture of Alan Hansen. Hardly a surprise as he’s hardly a stranger to the advertisers shilling, either pushing a trolley round Morrison’s or flogging inferior whiskey.
But anyway there he was, reclining in the back of a luxury car. Comfortably dressed in a sharp suit. Beside him is a Blackberry, a leather bound filofax and a newspaper casually folded to the business news. Perhaps he’s there to advertise an expensive watch, or a financial services company.
They’d be a natural fit for Alan Hansen: the brand? Debonair, erudite, stylish, he exudes an air of quiet, controlled, confidence.
I look closer. Maybe he’s lending his name to a firm of business consultants or luxury chauffeuring service. No. He’s advertising chewing gum.
Now I may have rashly assumed that chewing gum was something just teenagers did. I didn’t have the 50+ professional male demographic pegged as an important market. They’re men after all, with jobs and status. They can’t be sat around at their desks with a gob full of plastic spearmint.
Fortunately, there’s some ad copy to explain. “Some people do look slovenly when they chew,” says Alan perhaps eluding to the frequent sight of Sir Alex Ferguson, sat purpled-faced in the dugout, furiously chewing gum.
Alan though wisely realises that’s not acceptable, “In a job like mine that’s just not on. You’ve got to look presentable.”
You may now be thinking that impersonating a cow chewing the cud might actually be an obstacle to giving a good impression, but Alan tells us how we can avoid this trap: “Ultimately, it comes down to how you go about it. It’s not hard to chew with a bit of subtlety.”
It’s the final thought that Alan leaves us, presumably while he continues to his seminar with business leaders on the issue. It’s an unlikely crusade from an even more unlikely ambassador. I do hope he lets us know how he gets on.