Ball Busters

The Red Rubber Ball photo contest was feeling blue, but not so its contestants, whose playful creative entries few clients would ever sign off on.

The Big Idea magazine and Acme Photo Works again sent 500 Detroit-area creatives a 12-exposure disposable camera and a deflated ball—this time a blue one—and invited them to shoot photos including the ball and return the film undeveloped for judging.

In the 127 entries, the ball appears variously as an olive in a martini glass, as a bowling ball and, of course, as underwear. Nicky Wawrzyniak of SMZ Advertising won top honors for a Cast Away spoof, with roommate Nate Lockwood as Tom Hanks and the ball as Wilson. It may look warm, but the shot was taken on a Lake St. Clair beach in 20-degree weather. “We had to walk through mounds of snow to get to it,” Wawrzyniak says.

Second place went to PentaMark’s Kim Harris, who, like last year, got husband Tony to dress as a woman (this time the ball is his dress, not his bikini top). Campbell-Ewald’s Cristina Duchaump won the People’s Choice for a copy of Man Ray’s “Glass Tears” photo with the ball as the iris. Duchaump says it was great fun. “I had a ball,” she says (groan).