Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday May 19, 2011
On the heels of ESPN’s announcement that it will utilize new technology to bring NASCAR race fans a “split-screen” commercial format during its airing of the Chase for the Sprint Cup later this year, BSNews has learned even more details of this heralded event, straight from the horse’s mouth.
“Fans have, apparently, been dreaming of ‘split-screen’ technology for a few months now,” said NASCAR CEO, Briana France during a rare Wednesday daylight sighting. “It is my understanding, and as a marketing major myself I can understand it, that television fans have become adamant that we showcase our advertisers in this unique format.”
“We of course, listen to our fans every chance we get so, we figured why not devise this technology ourselves. Of course, no one on our staff had that kind of expertise so we figured, why not bring on board the one man who has changed America, or even the entire planet for that matter, the man who invented the internet: Al Gore.”
Apparently, after only a few meetings with France and ESPN techies, the former Vice President laid out a few diagrams on a cocktail napkin, ideas which all in attendance agreed, would really work. Unfortunately, as told to BSNews by an anonymous servant at the meeting, France became so enthusiastic and animated that he spilled his drink and the cocktail napkin became a soggy, undecipherable mess. For a moment, Gore’s solutions seemed doomed to be lost forever in a Florida landfill.
“After one of our meetings,” explained France, “We flew Al up to our NASCAR R&D facility, which I am told has all sort of new technological gizmos, including my favorite, this one machine that goes ‘PING!’ Anyway, it was there that Al was able to create the solutions that will allow ESPN to air two commercials at once, over a background of the race in progress. As was announced Tuesday, we have decided to call it NASCAR NonStop.”
“Since we returned to NASCAR racing in 2007, one of the most common questions from our fans has been ‘why don’t you do the commercials side-by-side?’” said John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. “We’re very pleased to be able to do it now with NASCAR NonStop and showcase the advertiser while still showcasing the race. ESPN’s mission is to serve sports fans and this is a way to give the fans more racing commercial action during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.”
Skipper confirmed that ESPN worked hand-in-hand with NASCAR and Gore to create the format for NASCAR NonStop and alluded that even more breathtaking breakthroughs may be forthcoming from this terrific triad of collaboration.
“In the course of our research, Briana, Al and I, found that we all happen to be very fond of pea soup,” he continued. “It was not one of those things that was planned, but just sort of happened when we all coincidentally, ordered the pea soup at a local eatery after a hard day in the lab. Al suddenly had the idea that, ‘hey, if we can split a screen to enhance the fans commercial viewing pleasure, why couldn’t we do this with peas as well!’ I have to admit that I was dumbfounded! It seems so simple… split a pea and double the flavor of the soup! If I remember right, Briana was so excited about the concept that he almost spilled his drink.”
“Yeah,” said France with a chortling snicker, “The idea did kind of excite me. Imagine, the mind that could come up such an idea as to split a pea to doubly enhance the flavor of my favorite soup! That Al is one amazing guy. In fact, I guess I can tell you this… Al is actually going to be returning to our nifty R&D center to see if he can bring this idea to fruition. I for one, certainly hope he can. If he is successful, this could usher in a whole new concession favorite at our race tracks…provided our marketing department could come up with a good name for it. ‘Cut in half legume soup?’ I don’t know…I still get all giddy just thinking about it! Oh Sh*t! Did I get that on you…?”
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