The FA Cup is declining in popularity. That’s not a secret. But the oldest club soccer competition in England isn’t exactly an afterthought. It hasn’t sunk to a level where its promotion requires publicity stunts.
So what the heck was the thinking behind this Donald Trump-themed commercial for British broadcaster BT Sport’s coverage of the third round?
Trump is one of the most divisive figures not just in the United States, but throughout the world. Wherever his name appears, controversy often follows. Why would a British television company go out of its way to connect itself to the U.S. president?
Would an animated Trump babbling incoherently, and saying, “no fake games,” compel an English football fan to watch an FA Cup game that he or she wouldn’t otherwise watch?
The commercial then features President Trump saying, “I’m a very smart guy, you need to know that,” which would seem to set up for a sarcastic dig at Trump. But then the animated Trump says, “and if you’re smart like me, I highly think you should watch the third round.” Huh?
To be fair, whoever designed the commercial got Trump’s cadence and vocabulary level – “the third round, beautiful round, the underdog round, it’s very important” – spot on.
And then it does go to sarcasm: “I know what it’s like to be the little guy. I’ve been a billionaire underdog since the day I was born.”
Kind of funny? Maybe?
Nah, not really. Mostly just weird. Cringeworthy. Puzzling.