CBS (CBS) is broadcasting the upcoming NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament known as March Madness starting March 18th. Advertisers will spend about $500 million during tournament games to get their message out. They expect over 150 million people to watch this college basketball tournament and another 1.5 million to watch it online. This year, CBSSports.com is allowing all tournament games to be watched on-demand without requiring viewers to register – and opened it up to over 200 websites like ESPN.com, Yahoo Sports, SI.com, YouTube and Facebook to link directly to the CBSSports.com live streaming video. Lots of young and middle-aged men (and women) will be glued to the screens.
If you’re an advertiser without the big bucks, how do you take advantage of this event? Well, one creative idea comes from The Oregon Urology Institute. You might be wondering how a urology institute fits in to March Madness. Well, their pitch is “…lower your seed for the tournament…when March Madness approaches, you need an excuse … to stay at home in front of the big screen…Get your vasectomy at Oregon Urology Institute the day before the tournament starts…It’s snip city.” Is this relevant? Is it a good spend of their marketing dollars?
Understanding consumer behaviour is the key. Men are literally parked in front of the screen during March Madness – in fact, Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc, a global outplacement consultancy, estimated that the lost productivity due to watching online alone would be $1.7 billion! Apparently men need a legitimate excuse to stay at home during the weeks leading up to the April 7th final. It takes 2-4 days to recover after a vasectomy, so why not do it during the games?
The radio station got in on the action as well, leverage the investment with their own ‘package’. Each patient will get a “recovery kit” that includes sports magazines, free pizza delivery and a bag of frozen peas. I wonder if it will be a Green Giant.