In the Outback Bowl on New Years Day, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney obliterated Michigan running back Vincent Smith on a tackle, forcing Smith to fumble the ball and sending his helmet flying about 10 yards down the field. It was one of the best hits of the football season, and has turned Clowney into a household name.
This week in the Free Times of Columbia, South Carolina (where the University of South Carolina is located), a bar named Uncle Louie's sponsored the above ad, with Smith's helmet marked as missing. The phone number used as contact information on the ad is the main contact number for Michigan Stadium, where the Wolverines play their home games.
This ad is pretty brilliant in that it's really not advertising anything, aside from a sense of pride in the local school. You need to look hard to see the sponsor of the ad, and just looking at the ad gives you no inclination as to what type of business they are. This ad has turned viral online quickly, and now, *everyone* knows who sponsored the ad and what exactly they're about. Not bad for an ad in a newspaper that likely didn't cost an arm and a leg to print.
So many newspaper ads get overlooked and skimmed over daily, and for something like this to go viral as quick as it has speaks to the effectiveness of the ad. It's also not offensive or in bad taste, considering Clowney's hit (for as brutal as it was) was 100% clean and by the book. If Clowney had grabbed Smith's facemask and ripped his helmet off, or speared him with his own helmet, there would be a case for this being in bad taste. But considering the circumstances of the hit, it's just an effective, memorable ad that will make Gamecocks fans smile whenever they see it.
[Detroit Free Press]