It’s easy to forget how much the U.S. military sacrifices for us so that we can enjoy our freedom even when it comes down to football.
Their sacrifice was witnessed once again last week when their “please stand” advertisement, showcasing the importance of all players standing during the national anthem at the Super Bowl, was declined by the NFL.
The first reaction was disappointing. Many objected to this decision as a capricious, apparently one-sided, pro-player opinion.
However, when pondering its long-term effects, rather than succumbing to a visceral reaction, this NFL decision may have an even more significant impact than the actual airing of the advertisement itself — a phenomenon beyond which anyone could ever imagine. Here’s why.
By not airing a provocative advertisement where both sides could once again take their predictable corners, the NFL may have successfully convinced all sides to put away their respective grievances — even if it’s for only one day.
All so that we can enjoy some good old football. And due to the good women and men of the military, who ignited a controversy with their “please stand” appeal!
Thanks to the NFL, Super Bowl Sunday, an unofficial holiday that some have suggested, can now proceed with bringing us together and reminding us the importance of getting along and how much we have in common.
The catalyst for this opportunity to resolve this season-long hullabaloo between players and fans is the unrelenting courage of veterans and their related publics to remind NFL players and owners that the flag and the anthem are more than symbols. For them (and now us), they are the fabric of who we are as Americans and must be treated as such. All because the NFL decided not to run the advertisement.
Over the season, there was intense sparring on both sides. One side believed it was inappropriate for players to exhibit any behavior perceived as disrespectful to the flag or anthem, especially in their workplace, and to put their own needs above those of their customers.
On the other side, players felt that no one understood their plight nor that of their inner-city comrades. These political vocalists believed that they needed to be heard, discussions initiated, and corrections made. The only problem with their argument was that their audience — the fans — had their very own personal problems to confront every day, without a large paycheck to numb their pain!
But it was the NFL that used its good judgment and initiated a well-needed “time out” for all parties, so that America’s favorite game could continue even if it were for only one day until calmer heads prevailed.
A very positive sign over the last week is the NFL inviting veterans to participate in the kickoff ceremonies. This is another wonderful step in the healing process. And should be commended. Kudos to the NFL.
By not airing the “Please Stand” Advertisement, a solution to this unfortunate standoff became apparent. If only both sides would consider the Good Book’s Ecclesiastes 3, “For Everything, there is a Season” (King James Version #7), perhaps this spat can be left behind.
The passage relevant here for healing is the one which says: “For everything, there is a season. … A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.”
With this as a model, just perhaps it may be the time to be silent, to think, so that the spirit moves all contending parties to put aside their differences.
And to once again thank our military for reminding us the importance of flag, country, and all that we love about America, especially football.
And with that said, it is always easier when you have marketing and branding in mind.
Today’s Marketing & Branding Lens Thought
“A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
Ecclesiastes 3, Verse 7 King James Version
Dr. John Tantillo is a marketing and branding expert, known as The Marketing Doctor. JT utilizes his doctoral skills in applied research psychology to analyze the issues and personalities of the day utilizing his marketing and branding lens. This provides his readers with additional insight needed to understand the “new normal” in politics, news, and culture. Dr. Tantillo is the OpEd writer for Political Vanguard. He is the author of "People Buy Brands, Not Companies,” and the Udemy course "Go Brand Yourself!" You can follow him on Twitter @marketingdoctor and at Facebook.com/dr.johntantillo. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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