Our House, in the Middle of DC
Now, I loved, absolutely loved, the "TRADITION" campaign. So it's likely that most things after that are going to be a bit of a come-down. I mean, part of what I liked was the almost anti-marketing feel of that banner. It said "Look, we don't need corporate graphics, or focus-group tested phrases, or phones ringing at 3 A.M. (uh-huh, uh-huh, KLF is gonna rock you!), or any of that, what we have is a simply shot of our trophy cabinet, and tells the story you need to know." That was powerful.
Now, "WELCOME TO OUR HOUSE" is fine, acceptable, and decent enough. It's not bad. But I do have some quibbles, which I list here in increasing order of importance.
THE "YOUR COACH IS FAT" QUIBBLE: It does seem a bit familiar, almost like the Under Armour "We must protect this house!" line. Which is okay, given that Under Armour is at least a local company. Baltimore is still United's market, even with Philly entering the league. But it also just seems a bit, well, derivative. And Tom Soehn and Ralph Friedgen are different people. So it seems a bit played out.
THE "YOUR HOUSE IS CONDEMNED" QUIBBLE: What's interesting is if you want to overread the slogan. Apparently we're making a big deal that our house is RFK. And RFK is not where I want to live. Yes, I'd prefer a stadium in PG County over staying at RFK, even though the trip would be two or three times longer for me to make. Because that would truly be our house. Our House isn't Ours, it is DCSEC's. And I'm not happy with staying in our house.
THE "EMPHASIZE THE POSITIVE" QUIBBLE: My last issue is that United has seen some major changes over the off-season, and most are designed to make this team better. Given that United has adopted the MLS practice of including player images, I think it would be nice to emphasize what makes this team different. A series of comparative adjectives with a player photo would make the point. "STRONGER" with an image of Perralta. "FASTER" with an image of Gallardo. Heck, even steal that Daft Punk song that Kanye's sampling, the one that sounds like intelligent androids decided to invent jazz fusion based on first principles. There's two more adjectives right there. "HARDER" with an image of Jaime, or Emilio. See, this works. "Welcome to Our House" makes it seem like we've got nothing except home-field to talk about, and we actually have so much more.
So, it's not that I dislike the campaign. I think it's a pretty decent one, it's just that I don't love it. Which is fine, I don't need to love everything, but it just seems like a missed opportunity to say so much more in a way that doesn't sound to my ear like marketing speak.