SBJ/June 9 - 15, 2003/Sports Spots

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  • Sports Spots: "Head Game"

    Client: Miller Brewing

    Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, New York

    Principals: For Miller: Rob Olejniczak, group marketing director for Miller Lite; Tom Bick, brand manager for Miller Lite. For Ogilvy & Mather: David Apicella, senior partner/co-creative head; Joe Johnson, senior partner/creative director.

    Media buy: Late-night network, like David Letterman, and cable sports programming, including NBA/NHL playoffs and "SportsCenter"


    Summary: One of a trio of beer-swilling buddies watching three-time heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield box on TV opines that "For a million dollars, I would totally go a round with Holyfield. How bad could it be?" That question is answered quickly as we're transported to a ring where a vicious punch from Holyfield separates our hero's head from his body. As the head rolls across the canvas, it spits out a mouthguard and says, "That's all ya got?" Cut to the corner of the ring, where the same head is on a stool surrounded by the buddies. Last question: "Who's going to carry my million?"


    Grades

    B For overall creative. We're not quite sure what this has to do with selling Miller Lite, but it's flawlessly executed and generates yuks viewing after viewing.

    A For use of sports as a marketing vehicle. Nice use of a boxing icon, giving Holyfield appeal and meaning beyond boxing fans.



    Sports Spots is a monthly feature of SportsBusiness Journal. Please submit VHS tapes of recent TV ads for sports brands or brands using sports as a marketing platform to Terry Lefton, SportsBusiness Journal, 1180 Sixth Ave., Third floor, New York, NY 10036.

    Print | Tags: Boxing, ESPN, MillerCoors, Sports Spots
  • Sports Spots: "Meter Man"

    Client: Reliant Energy

    Agency: The Richards Group, Dallas

    Principals: For Reliant: Rusty Ford, vice president, advertising; Sharon Haak, director of advertising. For The Richards Group: Angie Hitt, account supervisor; Mike Malone, creative group head.

    Media buy: Cable and spot buys in Texas, including MLB game broadcasts


    Summary: Reliant Energy, whose brand adorns the Houston Texans' new stadium, uses its relationship with the Texas Rangers to distinguish itself. "Tom," a human version of Reddy Kilowatt, charges up the team's grounds crew. "It's important you don't have any unexpected hops — same thing with your electricity," he tells them, as they drag the field. From the stands, with a megaphone in one hand and a baseball glove in the other, he announces, "Switch to Reliant — the Rangers did." Staring at the light towers of The Ballpark in Arlington, he connects it all: "baseball, summer nights, kilowatts."


    Grades

    B For overall creative. Hundreds of millions are spent annually marketing long-distance. The biggest challenge for those marketers is that LD is a low-interest category. Compare that with energy, another deregulated service, and you get an idea of how tough it is to market what may be the ultimate commodity service.

    A- For use of sports as a marketing vehicle. Since most MLB games are played under the lights, electricity is as indispensable to baseball as the grounds crew. We get it. And thanks for not pounding that to death.



    Sports Spots is a monthly feature of SportsBusiness Journal. Please submit VHS tapes of recent TV ads for sports brands or brands using sports as a marketing platform to Terry Lefton, SportsBusiness Journal, 1180 Sixth Ave., Third floor, New York, NY 10036.

    Print | Tags: Baseball, Football, Houston Texans, Reliant Energy, Sports Spots, Texas Rangers
  • Sports Spots: "Out, Brown Spot"

    Client: Wilson Sporting Goods

    Agency: Euro RSCG Tatham Partners

    Principals: For Wilson: Tom Gruger, business director, golf balls. For Euro RSCG Tatham Partners: Scott Maney, creative director; Greg Wells, art director.

    Media buy: Primarily ESPN


    Summary: A foursome fidgets as a duffer lines up his tee shot. As he swings, a Scottish brogue in hushed tones reminiscent of a TV golf announcer says, "The new Wilson Jack — you can really hit the crap out of it." As the ball is satisfyingly struck, a malodorous brown ooze lands on one of the quartet's golf shirts, bringing the words to life.


    Grades

    A- For creative. We don't think there's a category where it's more difficult to be distinct than golf equipment. Almost every ad is the same. This spot cuts through the clutter. If you find it distasteful, you probably play the top-shelf balls that cost twice as much.

    B+ For use of sports as a marketing vehicle. Golf is too much of a sacred cow and this is an effective cowcatcher. Still, Jack Nicklaus Golf Equipment wasn't amused. It's suing Wilson, claiming anything that combines "Jack" with golf is automatically associated with the Golden Bear. What a load of ...



    Sports Spots is a monthly feature of SportsBusiness Journal. Please submit VHS tapes of recent TV ads for sports brands or brands using sports as a marketing platform to Terry Lefton, SportsBusiness Journal, 1180 Sixth Ave., Third floor, New York, NY 10036.

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Golf, Sports Spots
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