my surprise when I saw the face of Fedor Emelianenko atop a New York City taxi this weekend.
"Wow," I said to myself. "Maybe MMA in New York is more popular than I thought?"
Then imagine my even greater surprise when I read the bizarre question next to Fedor's photo:
"Do you know who I am," it read. Ugh.
I quickly ran to the other side of the taxi to see if there was some kind of clever answer. Nope. Same thing.
Needless to say, this has to be one of the most bizarre ad campaigns I have ever seen. First, let's be real: most New Yorkers probably don't know the answer to this question. I think that's the point they are trying to make here. Maybe. If so, why ask such a question if you aren't going to provide the answer?
As you can see by looking at the picture, this is an HDNet ad campaign. I guess the thought process was that people would be so intrigued by this face that they will feel compelled to subscribe to HDNet. Only problem is HDNet was recently taken off Time Warner Cable, one of the main cable outlets in New York City. So even if they wanted to find out, they would have a hard time doing so.
With that in mind, wouldn't something like, say, "Want to watch the best fighter in the world in action? Subscribe to HDNet," be a lot more effective?
Amazingly, I saw the same billboard hours later, but this time Josh Barnett's face was on it. I then asked seven people around me if they knew the answer to this question. All seven of them said no and only one said that he was interested in finding out.
I applaud HDNet for trying to promote MMA to a large market like New York city, but if you aren't going to do it effectively, better save the advertising dollars for something else.