Sunday, September 18, 2011

Peyton Manning To Miss 2-3 Months of Sony Commercials

Sony pitchman Peyton Manning's cervical neck fusion surgery was announced a "success" by Sony corporate surgeons, but the pitchman is still expected to miss two to three months of Sony commericals. Some estimates place the recovery period as even longer.

The delicate surgery is considered potentially devastating to the entire Sony Bravia sales season, which kicks into high gear in the months leading up to the holidays.

"This is the worst time of year to lose Manning," confided one industry insider.

The entire Sony 3-D television campaign may also need to be scrapped, as Manning is one of the few pitchmen capable of orchestrating the complex ad campaign necessary to sell the units.

"You need a pitchman the caliber of Peyton Manning to convince consumers to buy a television that requires them to buy and wear expensive and uncomfortable glasses," the insider continued. "That guy from Dirty Jobs isn't going to move those things. They're not selling Fords Fusions and Levis there."

Michael Fasulo, Sony Executive Vice President of Sales Operations, expressed optimism that Sony's sale season can still be successful.

"It’s frustrating for Peyton, certainly it’s a bit frustrating for us, but we recognized that the most important thing is that he heals up and he gets ready to go. It’s no sense having him out there in an impaired condition, so the bottom line is he’ll be back at some point. We don’t know when. We can’t predict when. But whenever it is, it will be good to have him back. In the meantime, Erin [Andrews] and Justin [Timberlake] will hold the fort, and we’ll go from here."

Others expess less optimism that Sony can make a seemless transition without Manning, noting that Timberlake and Andrews are mere "system" spokespersons. Peter King of Sports Illustrated doesn't go that far, but he does believe losing Manning could severely impact Sony sales.

"Justin Timberlake is excellent playing off Manning's easygoing charm, but without the veteran pitchman, middle-America isn't going to buy his products. That's no slap at Timberlake, but let's be honest. It's Peyton Manning who moves the Bravias."

Rumors have begun to circulate that Wranglers pitchman Brett Favre would consider coming out of advertising retirement to pitch for Sony, but as of now, it seems unlikely.

"Favre has seen his best pitchman days," explains King. "You can't just plug him into a Peyton Manning commercial and expect the same results."

While the neck fusion surgery could potentially limit Manning's mobility, often essential to his lighthearted antics with Timberlake, Sony doctors believe his charm should return quickly, and expect a full recovery for the 2012 sales season.

"Look, you can't have Peyton in a neck brace running around a Bravia commerical set with Justin," notes Fasulo. "Television viewers don't want to see that, and Peyton could be putting his health in danger. We're 100% focused on getting Peyton healthy, and we're confident he'll be back selling 3-D TVs."

Eli Manning, pitchman for Samsung and Peyton's brother, also expressed confidence Peyton will be back to his pitching ways, possibly sooner than anyone else believes.

"Peyton is a competitor. He wants to sell TVs. It's all he wanted to do since we were kids, so I know he's going to work like heck to get out there for Sony. I wouldn't be shocked to see him out there, selling TVs, before Christmas. You watch."

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