Time After Time Inc., a local watch retailer, is taking heat from Philly sports fans over a poor choice of billboards. The retailer is behind two billboards on I-95 featuring New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.
According to Derek Koss, the company’s president and chief executive officer, their nine stores have been flooded with calls, emails and visits from unhappy local sports fans. The billboards are advertising designer watches carried by the retailer and the athletes are the brand ambassadors.
Koss claims his company does not necessarily support the brand ambassadors on the billboards, but also does not have the authority to change them. His company only endorses the products sold by those brands and pays to have those products advertised to bring business to his store.
While Koss’ explanation is reasonable, his decision defies one of the most basic principles of advertising: know your audience. Philadelphia sports fans do not play around when it comes to their sports teams. Their feelings toward the New York teams are no secret. Displaying ads with New York players in Phillies and Eagles territory is like asking your audience not to buy your product. Koss probably would have been better off running no ads than running ads featuring Manning and Jeter in Philly.
To read more, check out the article on Philly.com.