Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thanks Eric

I moved to Manchester about 18 months ago, and realised pretty quickly I needed to pick a side: Red or Blue.

I chose red (I didn't want to follow the new Chelsea, I prefer Stone Roses to Oasis, I like the club's history and positive style), though I wouldn't claim to be a true fan like the guy sat on the next desk.

However even when I lived down south (where the percentage of Utd fans was higher...) I knew that the best thing about United in recent times was Eric Cantona. A legend of the Premier League, and the kind of player that everyone can appreciate.

See, I'm about to cancel my Sky Sports subscription, I just don't watch it enough. But seeing the collar flinging legend promoting Sky's Sports coverage very nearly changed my mind.

To some extent the execution doesn't matter, it's Cantona, the definition of personality branding. Just seeing him talking about Premier League and HD makes me want to buy an HDTV and sit there watching Stoke vs Everton.

I think there is a lesson here. Most of the time you can't rely on celebrities and their personalities to sell and make your brand look good without a solid idea behind it. Just occasionally though, you can. (See also Thierry Henry and Renault).

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