The Buck Sweep – At the Movies Edition (aka Down with Demetra)

The 2012 University of South Carolina promotional video/campaign was launched this week with the “It’s Great to Be a Gamecock” video.  The video has mostly received praise from the Gamecock fan base from what I’ve seen on social media platforms.  But as a professional marketing man, I think the video ultimately misses the mark by a wide margin.

First, let’s start with the positive – the imagery.  The stark black and white shots that dominate the first minute of the video are fantastic, particularly the spectacularly lit images of Lattimore, Shaw, Taylor and Clowney (the white jerseys were an excellent choice).  The point-of-view game footage throughout the video is nice, giving you the feeling you’re there.  And the practice footage of Connor Shaw (“one more, one more”) could’ve easily felt fake, but it doesn’t, it’s actually quite genuine. 

On the downside, the “brick and mortar” and Farmer’s Market images don’t seem to fit.  I get the idea, but there are just not enough of them to tie it into the rest of the video.  They are images looking for a theme.  Plus, while the new video board is going to be an exciting addition to Williams-Brice, who cares about seeing footage of the old board being taken down?  Again, not a good fit. 

One final note on the imagery – I would’ve liked to have seen a more distinguishable jump from black and white to color.  It’s so subtle that the first couple of times I watched the video I thought “when did that happen?” 

The final shots of the new video board in CGI, and the shot of the stadium from the corner of the end zone are magnificent.  All in all, the folks who chose and produced the images we see deserve a solid A.  Not quite an A+, but they’re not far off. 

At about ten seconds in, the voice over commences, and it is immediately a disaster.  What a bad choice.  An overcooked, stuffy professional v/o man is absolutely not what this video calls for.  This video needs someone more “normal”, maybe even someone with a little South Carolina twang.  The days of the John Facenda-sounding voice talent are gone folks.  Give me an everyman, every day.  Voice over gets an F.

Then there is the cliché-riddled script.  I guess the writer (Andy Demetra, not surprisingly) was pandering to the fan base when he wrote this, much like Dabo does with his speeches to the CTU base.  

This script is a whole bunch of sound and fury signifying nothing.  Just listen closely to the words, and how they’re strung together.  It’s one cliché trailing another from Mr. “back to back for the garnet and black.”  I seriously think Demetra has a notebook filled with sayings he thinks we like to hear, and just can’t wait for the right moment to break the next one out. 

“Kiss the ring!”  Shut up, you’re the radio guy, not the first baseman.  (Do you get the idea I don’t like Demetra?  Good, cause I don’t.)

Script gets a D+.

Last but not least, the music is not my favorite either.  I’m not a musician, so I can’t exactly put my finger on it, I just know it doesn’t work.  I’ll give the music a C, but it gets the benefit of the doubt since it has to carry a horrible voiceover choice and an equally horrible script.

If I watch the video with the sound down it gets me much more fired up than with the sound up.  And that’s too bad, because I think the guys at Gamecock Productions are on the right track, they just have to learn to put all the pieces together. 

Maybe they should’ve called in Justin King as a consultant.

Sweeping on…

Fan First Fan Fest.  As I mentioned below, I had the opportunity to attend the Atlanta Gamecock Club’s Fan Fest on Tuesday evening at Gwinnett Braves stadium outside of Atlanta.  The good news is there were only about 150 Gamecock fans willing to make the trip up I-85 (a long haul if you’re not familiar with the ATL), so there was ample opportunity to talk to new head basketball coach Frank Martin, and ample opportunity to look at Steve Spurrier from a safe distance, lest Jamie Speronis claw your eyes out.

Martin was everything I had read about him – affable, congenial, and he genuinely seemed happy to be hanging out with his new set of fans.  When I talked to him personally he gave me nothing blogworthy, just a lot of “glad to be here” and “thank you for coming”.  And his speech was a condensed version of every speech you’ve heard him give so far, so there was nothing new.

When it came to Spurrier, I was armed and ready to bring hard evidence that he had taken a can’t-spell-Citrus-without-UT-style shot at CTU or any SEC rival.  But alas, he was on his best behavior.  The only thing remotely Spurrier-esqe was a comment about UGA’s schedule being “a whole lot easier than ours”.  When talking about players to watch for the upcoming season, he had high praise for Ace Sanders, Shaw, Taylor, Clowney, and effusive praise for Kenny Miles, his dedication to USC, his work ethic and willingness to return for his final season.

But, not a single mention of CTU.  That’s a bummer. At the same time I think it tells you that the HBC doesn’t feel the NEED to talk about them.  That might be the biggest slap in the face of all.

Hardball Blues.  Last night’s loss to Vandy in the SEC baseball tournament on the heels of a home series loss against LSU apparently had a lot of Gamecock fans searching for tall bridges.  Calm down folks.  First, we never play well in Hoover.  I don’t accept that, and I don’t believe it will last forever, but at the same time I think it has exactly zero impact on how we’ll play in the NCAA tournament.  (And we have proven we can still make it to the CWS without hosting a super regional – see: 2010).

Media-type Blues.  On the other side of the cage, the media-types on Twitter last night were awfully testy before, during and after the USC game.  First, the aforementioned Andy Demetra had an uber-smartass response to a Tweeter who asked if the game “was going to be on AT&T Uverse”.  Our friends at Team Garcia called him out on it and he responded that he didn’t want to be “hassled” while he’s getting ready for a game.  Hassled?  Seriously?

Then, apparently the bridge jumpers were in a tizzy after the game, calling out Chad Holbrook among others, so much so that John Whittle and Demetra (there’s that guy again) proceeded to call them “whiners”.  SportsTalk continued their tradition of getting into at least one slapfight per night (which we quite enjoy, actually, those guys crack us up). 

First of all folks, it’s Twitter.  You don’t have to respond to anyone.  Ever. 

Second, there is a happy medium.  If you need directions to it, shoot me an email.  

Half-Cocked is Right.  Our friends over at Garnet and Black Attack have a podcast called “Half-Cocked” that you should check out.  In their most recent episode they discuss Twitter accounts (mostly Gamecock related) that are worth following. 

You know what the first one they mention is?  @GamecockRadio.  You know who that is?  FRIGGIN’ DEMETRA!!!

You know who doesn’t get a mention?  @RubrChickens OR @ITS_DABO. 

Man, those dudes owe us big.

Happy Memorial Day errybody!

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About buck

A writer whose facts may not always be correct, but whose opinions based on those facts are.
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4 Responses to The Buck Sweep – At the Movies Edition (aka Down with Demetra)

  1. Agreed! Agreed! AGREED! Also, you know who else doesn’t get a mention? @TeamGarcia5! I only watched the video once because I thought it straight up ba-LOWed! #AwfulWaffle

  2. tbone says:

    Worst line: “Experience it for the first time. . . AGAIN.”

    The voiceover guy sounds like he’s doing a PBS special on endangered Tigers or something . . . wait, they couldn’t have meant for us to think that, could they? Cause that would have been AWESOME!

  3. Connor says:

    Thanks for the shoutout, pardon the exclusion. We’re working to remedy the omission. That segment required more forethought than I gave it and, honestly, we didn’t really think anybody that mattered listened.

    As for my Demetra plug, his stock is plummeting with me in the past several days. Didn’t know he wrote the AWFUL script for that video (BTW, podcast was recorded before the video was released), and I was willing to let the sub-optimal announcing voice slide as long as the Watch The Throne references kept coming, but hearing the Mike Morgan call on last night’s game made me realize what we’ve been missing.

    • buck says:

      No problem CT, just ragging you guys because we know you can take it. Keep up the good work.

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