LOS ANGELES Energy BBDO's new campaign for the Chicago White Sox shows star players responding to fans in the stands holding signs with signs of their own. And now Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley has flashed his own: I want in.
The campaign concept is distinctive baseball marketing. For example, in one spot first baseman and captain Paul Konerko responds to a fan sign ("Run Paulie run") with a sign at the plate ("I don't run"), then after he belts a homer and rounds second base, holds up the punch line ("I trot").
According to Greg Braun, svp and group creative director at the Omnicom Group shop in Chicago, Brooks Boyer, the Sox vp and CMO, ran into the mayor at a function and he said he liked the campaign, agreeing to star in one spot that filmed over the weekend and will break next week.
Braun explained that the spot features slugger A.J. Pierzynski, "who has a reputation for being stubborn and surly." He steps up to the plate and rebuffs signals to bunt from the third base coach and the manager. The camera cuts to Mayor Daley in the stands holding an understated sign to bunt, which Pierzynski obeys, legging out a base hit. "He defers to a higher authority," Braun said.
"You know you have a funny spot when the security guys with the dark glasses and black suits and the earpieces start laughing during the filming," said Braun. "We shot the spot on Saturday and I went to the game on Sunday for Father's Day. It was gratifying to see fans holding all these signs with lines relating to the earlier spots, misspellings and all."
Braun said the campaign has gained a lot of traction in Chicago for making the distinction between the players and the die-hard ChiSox fans. The team likes them too, he said, because the players hit, run, and catch, rather than do a lot of acting.