Does breaking news sponsorship put steak’s image at stake?

I receive an RSS feed from CNN Breaking News. So, throughout the day, I'm peppered with incoming news items that range from the sublime to the ridiculous.

December 7 Lately, I've noticed that Omaha Steaks has been running a special 66 percent promotion along the bottom of each news feed.

I let it pass once or twice but, then, after reading a CNN Breaking News about 40 people being killed in Pakistan, I came to a complete standstill.

What 23-year-old media-buying genius decided to sponsor a breaking news feed on Omaha Steak's behalf? What's the logic? How does one equate whatever the news of the moment is to ordering steaks? '…..Hey honey, check it out! At least 40 people were just killed by an explosion in Pakistan! Let's buy some steak online.'

It got me wondering: Did CNN Breaking News coverage of the balloon boy's epic non-adventure produce a sudden spike in orders of petite filet mignon? Or, maybe Tiger's recent mishaps prompted readers to order some extra rare New York strip steak.

This is one media buy that totally belies logic. If I were Omaha Steak's chief marketing officer, I'd think twice about running a special promotion alongside a newsfeed that broadcasts bulletins about mass murders, natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

I've heard of 'feeding the media beast,' but this is one brand that should find a better location for its online ad spend. Having said that, I must admit that last week's RSS feed announcing Obama's 30,000 Afghanistan troop surge made me pine for a juicy prime rib.

3 thoughts on “Does breaking news sponsorship put steak’s image at stake?

  1. Thanks Julie. I’m starting to think the Omaha Steaks’ folks are positioning their frozen steak as comfort food in a world gone mad. In that context, it actually might make sense. Still, who wants their brand associated with non-stop negative news? It would cause me indigestion if I were the CMO.

  2. Steve – I couldn’t agree with you more; one would have thought that the highly-paid marketing geniuses at these consumer brands would had learned about the value of contextual advertising.