Sometimes, advertising agencies have to get a little creative with their creative.
Coors Light has found a clever way to navigate NFL do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do rules for players regarding beer endorsements by hiring Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes to market a Coors Light. Literally.
Because the rules prohibit active payers from directly endorsing beer, the Mahomes spot pitches a branded flashlight. (They’re actually selling the Coors Light flashlight, with proceeds going to the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation.)
Before 2019, active players couldn’t be used in any ads for beer brands. As explained by AdAge.com, a restriction of the rules allowed players to appear in certain types of ads, but they can appear only in their uniforms — with images generated by the Associated Press.
We sent an email to the league yesterday seeking further clarification on whether Coors Light is stepping on any sort of line with this wink-nod effort to use Mahomes in a non-beer beer commercial. We received no response.
The league’s discretion could be influenced in part by the fact that Molson Coors will re-enter the Super Bowl ad game after more than 30 years on the sidelines. Anheuser-Busch recently decided to surrender its exclusive right to advertise alcohol during the Super Bowl, opening the door for the maker of Coors Lite and Miller Lite and other Budweiser competitors.
The issue of alcohol advertising oozes with hypocrisy. The NFL has an official beer sponsor, an official wine sponsor, and official spirits sponsor. But the NFL officially prevents its players from making as much money as they can via similar arrangements.
Who cares if Mahomes or any other player does a commercial in which he holds a can of beer? This random church-lady vibe seems bizarre, given that the NFL has decided in recent years to put its hand out for free money from the purveyor of almost every legalized vice, from beer to wine to booze to gambling to (inevitably) marijuana.