Risky Biz: A Michael Phelps, A-Rod marketing team

February 10, 2009

Sort of a tough week to have Michael Phelps featured in one of your advertisements. Or Alex Rodriguez, for that matter. But what if you use both world famous athletes in your advertising? Or worse yet, what if you use them both in the same spot?

Then you’d know how Activision feels.

Starting last October, the video game maker launched a new TV advertising campaign for the release of Guitar Hero World Tour, the new installment of the mega-popular game. Here’s how they described the idea behind the campaign: “Paying tribute to the famous lip- and guitar-syncing scene that appeared in the popular film ‘Risky Business’, each ad will highlight different celebrities jamming on instruments from Guitar Hero World Tour to the song ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’, performed by Bob Seger.”

So who do you think Activision picked to feature in its first Risky Business jam session? Yep, A-Rod and Phelps… Normally that would seem a rock-solid choice for a marketer, but it’s all a bit awkward at the moment, what with all that drug stuff.

Check out the commercial below (It also features Kobe Bryant and Tony Hawk).

An Activision spokeswoman says the commercial happens to be nearing the end of its scheduled run. She declined to comment on Phelps or Rodriguez.

One comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Why are the police making such a big deal about smoking marijuana? I was sitting at a stop light and a guy plowed into the driver’s side of my car. The police said they weren’t going to pursue the case because they wanted to spend their time catching murderers and rapists. Maybe that’s what they should be doing instead of pursuing youngsters over a few puffs of marijuana.
Judi Turner

Posted by JUDI B. TURNER | Report as abusive