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FCB Ads Evolving as A's Improve

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In what has become a bit of a tradition, FCB's office here worked around modest budgets and tight deadlines to create its annual ad campaign for the Oakland Athletics.

The work, breaking now ahead of baseball's opening day in April, departs from the recent A's campaigns which used the "Generation A's" tagline and featured players experimenting with careers outside the diamond. The nine new spots offer comical situations involving athletes, stadium employees and fans. Spending for the campaign is $3-4 million.

"Back then it was, 'They are going to be a great team.' Now they are a great team," said creative director Kevin Gammon. "You want to have a flexible and broad campaign."

In a spot titled "Groundskeeper," a worker who tends to the San Francisco Giants field gets pelted with baseballs. The spot then flashes to show A's slugger and American League MVP Jason Giambi hitting balls from across the bay into Pacific Bell Park.

"The spot was tricky to pull off," Gammon said. "We shot everything in Arizona because we wanted to get the players together in the place where they practice [during spring training]. But the players are busy, and you have to get everything done in a short period of time."

In another spot, titled "Cockpit," an airplane is seen presumably flying into Oakland International Airport. The front window of the plane is suddenly hit by a baseball. On the ground, an A's coach quips, "Nice place for an airport."

Another spot, titled "Remote Control," shows several A's players watching television in the clubhouse, arguing over the channels, which they change by pelting the TV with baseballs.

"It doesn't matter how much money is involved. ... You get to work with players and just have fun," Gammon said. "And I'm not saying that just to suck up to them."

The campaign, FCB's third for the team, will run throughout the season in the Bay Area. The A's won the American League West last year with a record of 91-70.