NFL presents marketing brain-teaser

Patriot_helmet1Even though the NFL’s Opening Kickoff 2005 show last night on ABC ran with a 10-second delay to blunt the possibility that Kanye West or Mick Jagger might say something nasty about Dubya, the whole thing was still riotous—NFL marketing at its most manipulative. In fact, for people with marketing on the mind, it was like a brain-teaser to figure out which demo the NFL was trying to hit with each specially selected musical act. Here are our guesses: Green Day: disenfranchised young white males. Ozzy Osbourne: disenfranchised older white males. The Rolling Stones: enfranchised older white males. Maroon 5 and show emcee Freddie Prinze Jr.: young women forced to watch the game with their boyfriends. Santana: young/old crossover with Hispanic appeal. Kanye West: African Americans, with a healthy dose of white male teen suburban crossover. Kanye West with Adam Levine of Maroon 5: African Americans, with an even healthier dose of white male teen suburban crossover. Trisha Yearwood singing the national anthem: red staters. As the show zig-zagged all over the musical map, we were hoping and praying for a Spinal Tap moment. It came close when Ozzy emerged from a giant New England Patriots helmet singing “Crazy Train.” How great would it have been if the helmet hadn’t opened?

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor