Cricket legends caught up in racy promo blunder
AUSSIE sport commentators have been left "staggered" by an unfortunate oversight that's launched Channel 7's cricket operation in controversy.
Having shaken up the Australian sporting media landscape when it snatched the free-to-air cricket rights from Channel 9 in a joint bid with Fox Cricket, Seven is hoping to cash in this summer on its $450 million gamble.
There was always going to be an adjustment period for cautious fans so familiar with the Wide World of Sports cricket jingle officially ushering in the summer of cricket - as it had for more than 40 years.
Seven and Fox Cricket were always going to be judged harshly as they found their feet and established themselves as the new pieces of furniture in Aussie lounge rooms.
Unfortunately, Seven can't blame any unfair treatment for the absolute hammering it's received for the promotion designed to announce themselves to every red-blooded Aussie that owns a TV.
While Aussie sport commentators are crying foul of the promotion designed to show-off Seven's world class commentary team and its free-to-air coverage of the Aussie summer of cricket, it's the Aussie cricket legends featured in the ad who are the real victims.
Former Australian test captain Ricky Ponting, fast-bowling legend Glenn McGrath and Test opener Michael Slater are all featured in the promotion, awkwardly blurting out the catchphrase: "Hold on. I'm coming".
Perfectly innocent for some. Cringe-worthy cannon fodder for others.
AFL great David Schwarz and sports commentator Mark Allen were among the first to have a giggle over the ad on their Thursday afternoon show on Macquarie Sports Radio.
The promotional clip of Ponting, McGrath, Slater, Damien Fleming, Simon Katich and Brad Hodge all repeating the phrase "Hold on - I'm coming" one after the other was simply too much for the pair.
The ad also features Seven commentators Bruce McAvaney, Lisa Sthalekar, Dirk Nannes, James Brayshaw Andy Maher, Mel McLaughlin and Abbey Gelmi.
"What the hell was that," Allen said after the ad was played on their show.
"That's not a real ad is it? No. I am staggered."
Schwarz said it would be hard for Aussies to accept the promo after so many previous cricket marketing promotions had struck the right cord with Aussie fans - most notably World Series Cricket's iconic "C'mon Aussie, c'mon, c'mon" jingle launched in 1978.
"So, Channel 7, when it comes to sport, they are very, very good," Schwarz said.
"So their promo has just come out. This is Channel 7 launching into cricket. Now just picture what you will. We've got Ricky Ponting, Glenn McGrath, Simon Katich, Damien Fleming and (Michael) Slater.
"I want you to listen and think of that last song and think about this one because if this doesn't get you up and about, nothing will.
"I'm not trying to stick the boot into Channel 7, but you would think in 30 years we might have learned.
"I'm a little bit flat after that. Now I know Channel 7 will do a great job of their coverage, but far out, that is not great."
Other Aussie cricket commentators were much more scathing.
The poor response to the unfortunate campaign comes just days after Seven West chief executive Tim Worner proudly declared the network's cricket adventure had already boosted their advertising arm with strong financial results forecast for December.
"Looking at the market as a whole, the first quarter was flat with a softer September and October partly due to a pullback in spend from banking and insurance given the royal commission, as well as government spend," Worner said, according to The West Australian.
"Overall, we expect the metro TV ad market to be broadly flat in the financial year, but for Seven to increase share."
In Seven's defence, they have also launched another cricket promotion on social media that has been received much more warmly.
They'll never get anywhere near the genius that advertising gurus Allan Johnston and Alan Morris gifted the world when they cooked up the "C'mon Aussie, c'mon, c'mon" jingle.
Seven's new era of sport begins on December 6 on the first day of the first Test against India at the Adelaide Oval.