Lately we have seen any number of brands trying to weave their ways into the news of the day with varying degrees of success. Footlocker told the world none of their employees, who wear referees jerseys, were part of the replacement crews, the site Ashley Madison offered up a cash price for Tim Tebow to lose his virginity, we had a run on “bikini leagues” with “bikini hockey” offering to help alleviate the pain of the NHL Lockout. There were any number of offers for Big Bird following Governor Romney’s references to Sesame Street during the presidential debates etc etc. Some are timely, some grab a headline and draw attention, some draw little and fade quickly.
The latest brand to try and grab the moment was a practical one courtesy of the niche company Farkas Eyeblack. The small upstart with deep roots in a very unique business has raised some eyebrows and gained some spin with a series of offbeat videos using former Jet (now Bronco) Jim Leonhard to promote “real” eyeblack vs. stickers. Their latest timely move came this week, when they designed and sent a series of custom tins to New Orleans saints quarterback Drew Brees to celebrate his breaking of Johnny Unitas’ mark of consecutive games with a touchdown pass. Brees always wears eyeblack, albeit a different brand, so the “traditional” company ponied up to grab some attention and maybe a little spin their way.
Will it work and Brees will suddenly make Farkas his eyeblack of choice? With no endorsement deal and little way to tell what Drew is using under his eyes next week it will be hard to tell, but there certainly is no risk for the brand, and all reward should they steal a bit of the thunder off Brees’ performance and his ever-growing limelight. What’s most important is that it was timely (midweek) and relevant in the context of what the All-Pro does use during the game, and if it gets Farkas a little pop in some notes or on the sidelines, great. If not, no harm no foul. A smart attempt by the niche brand to make some noise and find some space in a very tight but unique spot, under the eyes of a New Orleans Saints quarterback.