Just Like We Did It In Practice

Baseball enthusiasts who tuned in to see Barry Bonds’ historic Willie Mays-tying home run last Monday experienced a unique case of déjà vu.

Early on in the game, an ad by TBWA\Chiat\Day for the Nissan Murano by showed a father and his twentysomething son driving through San Francisco in search of urban adventure, kayaks mounted on the rack. They pull the boats into McCovey Cove, beyond the right-field wall of the Giants’ SBC Park, hear the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd, and know that a home-run ball is coming their way. A few innings later, Bonds hit his special homer over the wall, and the camera found a similar father-and-son team—Larry and Jeremy Ellison—paddling in the cove and scooping up the prized ball.

Were the lucky pair taking tips from the Murano ad? “One would like to think they’d seen it,” says TBWA\C\D associate creative director Mike Yagi, a lifelong Giants fan who worked on the spot with Ron Schlessinger (copy) and Mark Scheider (art). “It’s a national campaign, but we aired the ad heavily in San Francisco, especially during games.”

Yagi says the agency has been waiting for such a convergence of art and life since last fall, when the spot could have been rushed to air, “but the Giants didn’t last long enough in the playoffs. And since Bonds hadn’t hit the tying homer by the end of the year, we waited until this season.”

The Ellisons also caught Bonds’ record-breaking homer on Tuesday night. Yagi says he’d be interested to know if they drive a Murano, too.