This is Us Promos where Creativity Abounds…

Saw a story via AdWeek (AdFreak) about ESPN having a show this week where they pay tribute to the top “This Is SportsCenter” ads.

Launched in 1995 by Wieden + Kennedy in New York, the campaign—originally inspired by the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap—hasn’t changed much over the years. And why would it? You don’t mess with a winning formula, says AdWeek’s Tim Nudd.

You can see the ones ESPN picked as its favorites here.

There definitely are some creative ones (I love “Betrayal”).

Truly Creative from Wayback.

MTV-man-on-moon2But for truly creative, hit the Wayback machine and check out some of the MTV IDs. These are 15-second promo pieces from back in the days where MTV actually showed music videos 24/7. In fact, MTV was a cultural touchstone for the so-called Generation X, the offspring of Baby Boomers. Its overwhelming success made it the first profitable cable channel in American television history.

Which reminds me…

There is a fascinating account of how Bob Pittman started MTV (back in the 80s) in a book written by Ron Powers called, “The Beast, the Eunuch and the Glass-eyed Child: Television in the 80’s.”

MTV broke ground because it was what Pittman called “attitude-based programming” that appeared like a montage of ebb and flow as opposed to the normal television shows where there is a beginning, middle and end. The videos were promos supplied by the record companies, book-ended by the MTV IDs and ads from brands wanting to reach the station’s viewers. Kind of brilliant, actually.

Pittman had this to say:

“The key to MTV, from day one, was our logo. We had a logo that changed colors and shapes and positions. That goes against the grain of what logos are supposed to do. But what we wanted it to do was tell our audience that MTV was change.”

Those were the days for sure!

Circling back to the ESPN “This is SportsCenter Top 50 Countdown” show is scheduled for Thursday, at 8pm Eastern, here’s the promo piece for it.

To read more, check out The Bleacher Report article.

ESPN is promoting this through their Facebook page which you can access here.

A Closing Thought.

It’s probably worth noting that on August 17, 21st Century Fox, the post-split News Corp. (NWS) entity comprising Rupert Murdoch’s film and television assets, is starting Fox Sports 1, a 24-hour network that is, what Bloomberg Businessweek is describing as “the most formidable challenge yet to ESPN.”

With that in mind, seems like it makes sense that ESPN would lead the month tooting its own horn.


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  1. […] We did an interesting post years ago that referenced MTV. […]

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