Holland Mark Ads Play Off Passion of Game
BOSTON–Boston Globe scribe Dan Shaughnessy and Red Sox slugger Mo Vaughn, both recently involved in an ugly clubhouse altercation, are nowhere to be found in a series of print ads touting the daily newspaper’s dedication to covering our national pastime.
Fashioned by Holland Mark Martin Edmund in Boston, the trio of executions present messages burned into baseball bats like trademarks.
The strategy is to make an emotional connection between Globe sportswriters and fans by alluding to their shared passion for the game. “It’s a very general message,” said creative director Bob Minihan.
“There’s more to life than baseball,” one ad begins. “Let us know when you find it.” The copy continues: “Our award-winning writers eat, sleep and breathe the game. They also find time to write about it in our sports section.” Another headline reads: “6 months and 162 games of baseball. Pity the season’s so short.” The ad concludes: “Time flies when you’re writing about baseball. Savor every beautiful, yet fleeting moment with our sportswriters.”
Roger Baldacci wrote the copy. Scott O’Leary handled art direction. The campaign doesn’t use the “Get it” tagline Holland Mark began employing for the Globe earlier this year.
“We never presented ‘Get it’ to them as the be-all and end-all,” Minihan said. The line is used mainly for Sunday Globe promotions and did not seem appropriate for the baseball campaign, he said.
Ads touting Globe sports coverage of other professional teams are under consideration, Minihan said. The Globe has a rich history–mainly under former longtime agency Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston–of using ads to promote its sports section. Holland Mark began its sports-minded promotions with the Red Sox because baseball fans tend to be the most passionate, Minihan said.
Ads are running throughout the baseball season in program books sold at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. They also appear as backlit signs in the stadium concourse. While it is possible the executions will appear elsewhere, no definite plans have been set, Minihan said.
The campaign’s placement at Fenway and in the team’s media comes at a time when tensions between the Red Sox and some Globe sportswriters are rising.
The Shaughnessy-Vaughn incident, in which the two nearly came to blows, made headlines. The paper’s coverage of both Vaughn’s contract dispute and the team’s defense of a racial discrimination lawsuit brought by a former employee has been tough.
“It’s a case of business superceding any other personal thing,” Minihan said, reporting “no problem” with the campaign’s timing.
Globe marketing executives did not return calls.
Holland Mark took over lead-agency status on the Globe account from Ingalls Advertising, Boston, last year. According to Competitive Media Reporting, the Globe spent roughly $1.5 million on spot television and radio buys in 1997 and $500,000 in the first three months of 1998. That figure does not account for Globe spending on outdoor boards or in-paper ads.