The Marketing Lesson of Lance Armstrong

Ouch! Lance Armstrong finally comes clean after lying for so many years. But how did we totally find out about the truth? Oprah Winfrey! Here is an inventive way to get the word out. However, the ratings failed.

Let me put it in perspective:

  • 34 million watched Bill and Hillary Clinton in regards to Gennifer Flowers accusations.
  • 48.5 million watched Monica Lewinsky with Barbara Walters.
  • 5 million watched Mel Gibson state he was ashamed of his anti-semitic remarks.
  • 10 million watched LeBron James announce he was leaving Cleveland for Miami.
  • And on January 17, 2013- 3.2 million people watched Lance Armstrong admit the truth.

Marketing humans has always been a very fine line to walk. It is believed right now that Lance Armstrong has no future marketability. Tiger Woods, Ben Roethlisberger, Ray Lewis, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Michael Vick have bounced back from scandals. Lance has disgraced his sport, Cancer and his reputation all in one interview.

Here is how he failed during the interview
Marketing is about observing. It’s about believing. It’s behavior patterns. But if you have DVR’d the interview watch these signs. He took a dominant-male position with one foot crossed over the other and took up as much room as possible. He looked away from Ms. Winfrey rather than looking her in the eye. He touched his hands to his face repeatedly, bit his lips, took deep breaths and swallowed hard. All signs of anxiety. He shrugged his shoulders when he answered questions which is a signal he didn’t believe what he was saying.

But the most interesting moments were when Mr. Armstrong nervously covered his groin with his hands. Watch him do this several times. Why was he doing this? He was wringing his hands. That’s a sign of somebody who’s under pressure.

He called Betty Andre, “crazy” and a “bitch”- but joked he never said she was “fat”. He showed so much arrogance. Not enough real remorse. That could of saved his dying brand. But he closed those doors on his brand and people all over the World took off their yellow bands.

This marketing effort by Lance probably just created MORE problems in the long run. Let this be a lesson in Marketing. Where you advertise your product is just as important of how you display it, convince the consumer, and BELIEVE in the product yourself. Americans spoke when they TURNED LANCE OFF. That tells me, that his brand will vanish.

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Mark Beebe
Mark Beebe oversees all current clients. His secondary focus is leading the creative with original thinkers who provide innovative processes and insightful answers for clients’ marketing needs. His 30+ years has garnered the team to over 50+ national and international awards. As a partner, Mark, looks for unusual solutions to bring smart results and metrics to your bottom line.