In a spot touting its NFL coverage, CBS enlists the services of its newest network spokesman: Baby Bob, an infant who, thanks to some special effects, speaks with the voice of a grown man. "I love smash-mouth football," says the tough-talking tyke. "I know, I'm only seven months, but I'm old school."
Introduced last year in a series of ads for FreeInternet.com in which he costarred with Shaquille O'Neal, Baby Bob proved to be a breakout success. Although the Internet service provider he was shilling for went out of business, Baby Bob became so popular that CBS bought the rights to the character and built a sitcom around him, which will premiere in 2002. Meanwhile, the network's marketing execs, looking for a hipper, more youth-oriented approach for their NFL and fall promotional campaigns, decided the raspy-voiced infant would make a perfect pitchman. "We figured, why wait?" says Ron Scalera, CBS's creative director of advertising and promotion. "Let's make him part of the CBS image now. Hopefully, he'll be well received and become a franchise character."
A cheap Look Who's Talking knockoff that appeals to infantile sensibilities. In other words, NFL viewers should love it.