N.I.L.F. :: Offensive or Ineffective

An outdoor ad campaign started a few weeks ago for Natural Light beer. It has a background of beer, I guess, with the letters N.I.L.F. Below are the words “Natty I’d Like To Finish.” Apparently this has caused a bit of stir in conservative Wichita, KS. Clear Channel Outdoor decided this week to pull the ad after a complaint. I’m not sure but the complaint seems to have been to the Wichita Eagle rather than Clear Channel. (http://bit.ly/cJ8ksP).

It seems to me that Ron Blue, Manager of Clear Channel Outdoor in Wichita, was weak in his response to the complaint. After all, Natural Light and their agency paid for that placement. Besides, does anyone really hold Clear Channel responsible for the content on their boards? Is there a line of protesters outside their office? I think not.

In the end, though, does this ad sell more beer? I see this board every day on the way home. I was dumbfounded that they would run an ad that was so meaningless. I don’t know what “natty” is. I understand now that it is a nick name for their product. Not a nickname that I’d want associated with my product and not something that I’d want to propagate. I’d think they’d be more concerned about me starting a beer rather than finishing one.

All of this together points to a bad idea and poor execution – not because it may be offensive but because it just doesn’t sell.

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