This is America. Home of the brave, land of the free. And where you can get paid to shameless plug any product you what if the price is right and if you have an audience. Brent Musberger definitely had the audience last night during the Tostitos National Championship game when he shamelessly plugged the title sponsor, but the price was definitely wrong. In fact, there was no price because Tostitos says they had nothing to do with Musberger plugging their product to millions of people.
Tostitos had zero to do with Musburger’s call, said Justin Lambeth, vice president of marketing for Frito-Lay North America, in an interview Tuesday.
He helped negotiate the deal and there’s nothing like it in the contract. Lambeth believes Musburger ad-libbed the line on his own. “We didn’t have anything to do with it. We were just fortunate.” he says.
I guess you can call that fortunate.
ESPN did not ask Musburger to utter the line either, says spokesman Josh Krulewitz. “Absolutely not. He was having some fun.”
Is Tostitos worried about a consumer backlash to the plug that’s gone viral on the Internet — and may go down with Chico Bail Bonds’ sponsorship of the fictional Bad News Bears as one of the most memorable product placements in sports history?
“Clearly, some consumers will say, ‘Well Gosh, what a shameless plug for Tostitos or for Frito-Lay.’ The fact that we had nothing to do with it, the fact that it was literally Brent’s idea, I think consumers will give us leeway on that,” Lambeth answers. “I think more consumers than not will find it very clever and funny versus saying, ‘Gosh, what a cheesy plug.’ Again, we didn’t have anything to do with it.”
Clever and funny? Not at all.
Chessy plug? Indeed.
The fact that Tostitos had nothing to do with it? Brilliant, I guess.