Turner and CBS Sports are rolling out a cameo-filled multimedia marketing campaign called ‘Brackets Everywhere’ to promote the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Known by most Americans as ‘March Madness’, the culmination of the college basketball season tips off on 13 March and will take place in New Orleans.
And this campaign aims to connect to the non-core sports fan by engagement through themes such as design, fashion and celebrity and thus widen the audience beyond the hardcore fan.
Brackets Everywhere spans multiple platforms including TV, digital, out-of-home billboards with live score updates, print ads in major publications, radio spots, and programming guide messaging.
The campaign centres on a fashion designer who decides the ‘bracket design’, often used to map out how a sports competition draw links to the last final match up, is the next big trend.
The designer’s creative block is cleared when he finds inspiration in a spilt pack of pencils which form a shape like the NCAA brackets used to seed teams in the tournament. The Brackets then become a nationwide fashion craze.
The TV ads, spearheaded by a 90-second version, explore this theme and include cameos from a slew of big names including presenters Conan O’Brien and Robin Meade, actors Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, comedian Kevin Hart, musician Big Boi and various other TV anchors such as Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper.
These unlikely elements and individuals are fused together to try and steer a m instream audience to Turner Sports’ and CBS’s coverage of March Madness.
The spots will run across TBS, CBS, TNT and TruTV (the four networks that will show the Final Four tournament), as well as CNN, HLN, Airport Network, CBS Outernet Partners and across Turner Digital outlets.
The campaign is further supported with a set of three giant outdoor installations, based on the ‘bracket’ theme, measuring 50-feet high and 32-feet wide in three locations: CNN Center in Atlanta, Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles and Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal in New York.
The Black Keys, who will provide the musical backdrop for the tournament, also have their single ‘Gold on the Ceiling’ as the music for the TVC and for the game coverage itself.
There will also be further Bracket Campaign brand presence throughout the New Orleans host city.
This campaign clearly attempt to engage beyond the traditional basketball viewer by connecting to the worlds of style and fashion, music, comedy and TV.
“When you look at the March Madness audience, it transcends sports,” Christina Miller, the senior vice president of Turner Sports. “It’s about pop culture. And there’s this sense of urgency that surrounds it.”
The commercial brand sponsors of NCAA March madness include AT&T, Coke Zero, Capital One (with further App backing from Buick, Infiniti and LG).