Friday, February 24, 2006

Admit it. Jerry Rice danced his way into your heart.

Thanks to TVTattle -- who in a perfect world would post every hour instead of merely every day -- we can now contemplate this nation's latest controversy, which is: has Jerry Rice ruined his marketing potential by appearing on Dancing With The Stars?

"To Jo Muse, chairman of the multicultural marketing firm Muse Communications, Rice's TV dancing and his recent role as a Miss America pageant judge seem 'odd' and misdirected. 'I think he's a guy who had a great career, and he has been struggling since he retired to stand out and do something meaningful. He appears to be taking what comes along instead of crafting a branded direction.'"

Now see, I just don't get that. First, have you seen the ratings? More important, have you seen the show? Because intentional or not, Jerry Rice has spent the last few weeks winning fans among people who were maybe only vaguely aware of his football career -- which might matter if you think appealing to women is ever important to a brand. But he isn't simply upping his name recognition. As a sports guy who turned off the TV to take ballroom lessons, Jerry Rice has just become every woman's dream husband. He dances! And doesn't think it looks gay! He listens to direction! From his 5-year old daughter! Yeah, women love Jerry Rice. His conquest of America is complete.

That's not misdirected. It's genius.

But then, I love a good quick-step.

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