Anytime a brand can get a solid celebrity endorsement, it can give its promotions and messages a boost. However, it is still important to utilize the opportunity to carefully consider how the celebrity and the message will be used.
Rob Gronkowski is a big NFL star with a big personality. USAA offers military veterans competitive rates on financial services like banking, investment and insurance. The two have come together to produce some TV ads to promote their special offers to veterans.
Football Star vs. Military Vet
The word "hero" is pretty prevalent in our culture, and occasionally I will see good reminders on social media about its use. For example, there's a difference between a "sports hero" who plays a game and a "military hero" who risks his or her life to protect the nation or others.
During an election season, it's not uncommon for candidates to talk about new ways to better care for our veterans - especially after they come home from the battlefield. We can do a lot more because they're generally not making NFL salaries like Gronk.
So, the optics in this commercial has an NFL veteran and millionaire trying to get an army veteran who is working at a little shop to get him the same benefit as he gets from USAA.
Why would Gronk need this discount?
Why would Gronk try to convince a veteran to get USAA to make an exception and give him the special military rate? "You love me, right?"
They have another ad where he's trying to trick a customer service rep into giving him the membership and rates.
It just doesn't look good in that context.
Alternative: Do Something for the Vets
I thought of a better scenario that puts Gronk in a better light while showcasing USAA's special offer to veterans.
What if the commercial showed Gronk trying to use his fame, influence and personality to do more for the veterans? He knows he can never really do enough to thank Frank for his service, but he will try!
Next thing you know, he's trying to sell pastries, wait tables, clean floors, fix machines and more (and may not be good at all of it). He doesn't think he has done enough, saying, "Frank! What if I made some calls and got you some great rates on some financial services?"
Frank tells him, don't worry - he already gets that from USAA, and it's part of their special membership/offers to military veterans and their families.
Then have some fun with what Gronk tries to do next to "help" Frank.
What do you think of the message? Do you have another idea for the ad campaign?