SBD/5/Olympics

ADVERTISERS AIM TO RISE ABOVE THE OLYMPIC CLUTTER W/TV SPOTS

          For TV advertisers, the "risks" of the Winter Olympics
     "include trying to tug one too many heartstrings, latching
     onto a few too many Olympic stars, getting mired in cliches
     or blending in so completely that the product gets lost,"
     according to Harry Berkowitz of NEWSDAY.  So "some
     advertisers are trying to step up the humor, inject some
     clever twists" and even "play down the Olympic connection." 
     Nike will use poems from high school poets on Olympic themes
     and athletes.  IBM is "using little-known" Olympic athletes
     in its ads by Ogilvy & Mather "as a way to focus on the
     company's tracking of events on its Web site."  Most of A-
     B's ads are "unrelated" to the Games.  Coca-Cola, as they
     did in '96, is "focusing on fans" and "stressing" its red
     label.  AT&T and "many advertisers are featuring women
     prominently," and Nike and AT&T both highlight hockey player
     Cammi Granato.  John Hancock will use "dramatic ads," with
     one for the Sarajevo Olympic Children's Fund that shows the
     turmoil there since the '84 Games.  One woman says, "We felt
     like sports has died in Sarajevo" (NEWSDAY, 2/5).
          NIKE'S LEAVES OF GRASS: In its poem ads created by
     Goodby Silverstein & Partners, poets and high school
     students to verse on Nike athletes Picabo Street, Cammi
     Granato and Dawn Staley.  One 60-second ad was created for
     each athlete.  Excerpts from the Street poem: "Picabo Street
     -- That's probably the coolest name in the World.  ...
     [W]hen a champion has that name, It's a whole different
     kettle of fish.  There's all kinds of jazz in a name --
     Shakespeare didn't know what he was talking about" (Nike).
     ...Street was profiled on "ET."  Street, on what the Nagano
     Games mean to her following her silver medal performance in
     the '94 Lillehammer Games: "This one's the one.  This is the
     big daddy.  I'm going to go slay that dragon" ("ET," 2/4).

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