Thursday, November 22, 2007

NFL Rushes to Lose Image

Here I was, enjoying my Thanksgiving football, and on comes the NFL's compelling commercial promoting kids to "Play 60." Minutes, that is. It's a new campaign by the NFL to promote exercise in kids and reminds us that, according to their ad, 1 in 3 children are obese. 60 minutes of exercise per day will help, the ad claims. I suppose anything to get kids away from the TV makes sense. And they must be serious after spending $1.5 million for their "What Moves U" ad campaign, right?

But where does the ad direct the kids? To, a cute kid-friendly website full of games and sound bites where our heavy-tushed youth can sit their butts down and be entertained and mesmerized by all kinds of cute games and football statistics that sound more like an NFL "get-'em while their young" ad campaign, rather than a bonafide health initiative:
"...the NFL has created NFLRUSH to provide young football fans with a refuge where they can celebrate their expanding interest in the game of football.

This site is filled with a great volume of up-to-the-minute statistics, data and information that will increase your child's understanding of the game of football, with connections to teams, player profiles that provide positive role models and inside information that will give your child a sense of mastery of the sport.

The site also delivers high-quality, football-themed, casual computer games and activities that are fun and often specifically educational, as well as contests that make the site even more exciting and vibrant for young football enthusiasts. We have tried to strike a balance between information and game play because we believe that an important part of growing up is just having fun."
But to partake, your child must register their name and e-mail, Mom and Dad. No doubt lots of NFL paraphernalia will be hawked in the future through direct-to-consumer advertising and reminders to come back and shop, er, play often.

Now while the message of getting off your butts is a good one, maybe they should rethink the credibility of their message by having their players lose weight and decreasing (rather than increasing) screen time in front of a computer as their way of "playing 60."


1 comment:

Dee said...

I agree with you on the website issue, but...

Football is one of the only places in the media where larger-sized people are presented in a positive context. That's a good thing, not a bad thing, IMHO. It encourages the bigger kids to be physically active.

Anyway, if the players were going to be smaller, they'd have different players - guys with naturally smaller builds. Not everyone can (or should) be skinny.