Ground Zero Coughs Up a Furball

Monster Is Star of Bizarre ESPN2 Campaign
LOS ANGELES–Knowledge is power, at least among sports fans, and that is the premise of a surreal new campaign for ESPN2 from Ground Zero.
In six TV spots backed by nominal spending on ESPN’s cable channels, “knowledge” comes in the form of a big furry ball with feet, which requires feeding with facts from ESPN2’s nightly sports shows.
The ads, shot in a style reminiscent of David Lynch, show a pale, creepy loner in front of his TV watching ESPN2’s various 2Night shows, enhancing his “knowledge” and thus increasing the size of his furry pet, which lives in a back room waiting to be fed.
In one execution, the loner’s buddies attempt to steal his “knowledge” by luring it away with raw meat. Dramatic music and the internal monologue of the loner complete the low-budget, slasher movie feel.
After observing the TV viewing habits of some ESPN2 fans, agency planner David Hattenbach found that hard-core addicts enjoyed arguing about sports almost as much as watching it. “It’s about knowing more than the other guy it makes you feel good,” he said. “In the world of the sports fan, knowledge is power.” Ground Zero is based in Marina del Rey, Calif.