Full-Contact Sports -- And Advertising?

Could TV sports executives have some Sunday afternoon worries a few decades from now? One NFL player says that the league might not be around in 30 years.

Baltimore Ravens' safety Bernard Pollard (headed to the Super Bowl this week)  worries that restrictions in preventing hard hits -- especially at the head and neck --  will just keep growing and eventually the game won't exist as it does now. No one will want to see that.

To be sure, Pollard’s comments are over-the-top. But consider President Obama's recent remarks that if he had a son he would think twice about letting him play football.

From a TV perspective, the violent hitting is what attracts viewers -- but NFL supporters say the league is getting better at safety.



During the big Super Bowl game, marketers are looking for bigger hits -- and one beverage company would have liked to offer some full-contact TV advertising.

SodaStream -- which allows people to make their own flavored beverages -- wanted to run creative with an eco-green focus on saving all those plastic bottles used by other soda companies.

No way, said CBS. The proposed commercial was a bit too hard-hitting, since it featured deliverymen adorned with Coca-Cola and Pepsi logos. We don't know the full extent of the commercial, but we do know that soft-drink companies have taken pot shots at each other in the past.

The Super Bowl is the place for real impact. TV marketers are looking for the same thing,  because viewers have come to expect different and entertaining commercials with an edge.

So why not let marketers go at each other for this one time a year? Well, networks need to protect the integrity of their advertisers. The bottom line is whether or not more SodaStreams are sold. If that goal fails, perhaps the creative didn't work. Competition continues to increase, and agency creatives will do what is necessary.

Down the road, expect more contact between TV networks and their advertisers -- maybe even more than what players do on the field.

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