In-House Advertising: A Horror Story

In case you missed it, the world’s most controversial sports trophy was unveiled this week. The University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the sponsor of their rivalry game, the Iowa Corn Growers Association, were looking for a new trophy design to replace their old one.

And together, this is what they came up with.

I can hear them in their early group brainstorm. The Corn Grower Marketing Exec exclaims, “Let’s top it with a young, Iowan family gathered lovingly around a bushel of corn. It says Iowa, corn AND togetherness, it’s perfect!” Everyone claps.

Meanwhile, the sports world wonders, “Did you steal that from my grandmother’s mantel?”

How they thought this design was suitable for the sport of football, let alone a high-profile rivalry, is beyond me and the rest of fankind. We revolted and the design was scrapped in just four days. Ironically, the universities and the Iowa Corn Growers Association have now decided to publicly crowdsource the design.

What happens when you fail to vet your advertising with a third party? You risk making something only you could love.

Photo courtesy The Des Moines Register / Andrea Melendez

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