On Deck for Alcatel: Lou Gehrig

BOSTON—Telecommunications company Alcatel is scheduled to break a TV spot today using digitally altered footage of the July 4, 1939, farewell speech of baseball legend Lou Gehrig. The spot, part of the ongoing $40-50 million “Speeches” campaign from Boston agency Arnold, shows the first-baseman, then dying from amyotropic lateral sclerosis, giving his emotional address at Yankee Stadium. The stands are made to look empty, underscoring the company’s point that “Before you can inspire … you must first connect.” Gehrig’s speech, perhaps the most famous in sports history, includes the line “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” An earlier Alcatel spot showed slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivering his “I Have a Dream” speech to an apparently deserted National Mall. That execution was blasted by some—including Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP—for cheapening King’s memory and reducing him to little more than a “huckster.” King’s family retains control of his speeches and image and approved the spot before it aired.

Hill, Holliday Launches AMD’s Latest

BOSTON—Continuing its push into the commercial market, chip maker Advanced Micro Devices this week will launch a $25 million global print campaign featuring customer testimonials. Unlike past efforts from AMD, this latest round will focus on the brand rather than specific products. The campaign from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, features real-life success stories from companies and institutions that used AMD chips. The first execution, breaking this week, shows how Frog Design, San Francisco, was able to design a car for Ford in 10 weeks—the process usually takes a year. The headline reads, “AMD Makes It Possible.” There is no tag.

Holland Mark Chairman to Start New Shop

BOSTON— Holland Mark chairman Bink Garrison is leaving the agency June 1 to start Bink Inc., a management consulting firm focusing on strategy, innovation and development. A 26-year veteran of the ad industry, Garrison joined the Boston agency in 1999 when it acquired crosstown rival Ingalls, where he was chairman and CEO. “I plan to take the lessons I’ve learned from two decades of running ad agencies as a CEO and use it to help other CEOs,” he said.

Hotline Roundup

BOSTON—Applica Consumer Products has named Avon, Conn.-based Mintz & Hoke its lead public relations agency … Leo Burnett Technology Group will shutter its office in Austin, Texas, rolling up the final remnant of its former regional network. The move follows closings in Boston and San Francisco as LBTG consolidates at its Chicago headquarters … Tommy’s Naked Soda, a manufacturer of all-natural soda, has chosen Fiction to launch its first ad campaign. Fiction, Boston, is creating an e-mail campaign and Web site … Arnold’s Raleigh, N.C.-based McKinney & Silver unit slips a taste of Disaronno Originale Amaretto into selected cable TV markets this month. Digitas has been hired by Barnes & Noble as the bookstore chain’s principal marketing partner. The client spent $15 million last year; it had worked with TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York.