Hot Seats for Sale

Putting Fannies in the Tenn. Oilers Stadium
ATLANTA–Gish, Sherwood & Friends broke the first ad last week in a three-spot television campaign aimed at selling the remaining permanent seat licenses for next year’s games of the Tennessee Oilers of the National Football League.
The Nashville, Tenn.-based agency has a media budget of nearly $2 million in the coming months. Its mission is to help sell the outstanding permanent seat licenses for the Oilers’ new stadium, which will open in Nashville for the 1999 NFL season.
The prime audience of the advertising campaign is adults 25-54, as well as corporate buyers.
“We have just over 80 percent sold out,” said agency president Jeff Lipscomb. “We’re hoping very soon that only 15 percent of the [permanent seat licenses] will be available.”
The first of the three television ads is “That Seat Is Taken.” The spot shows a Tennessee Oilers football fan asleep in his bed, clad in Oilers-blue pajamas and sleeping on Oilers sheets. In his dream, he is wandering through a sold-out stadium looking for a seat in which to watch his team. Each time the fan is about to sit down he is told, “That seat’s taken.” He wakes up screaming and bolts from his bed, presumably to order his Oilers permanent seat license.
The second broadcast spot, “Only One Way,” shows a man against a plain background. While the voiceover talks about how fast permanent seat licenses are being sold, he mocks the announcer’s words, as though he has all the time in the world to secure his reservations. Towards the end of the commercial, two football players appear and roughly dress the man like a stadium food vendor. That is the only way he will get to see the games if he waits too long to secure his tickets.
Finally, “Vanishing Seat” shows a stadium perch that, during the course of the commercial, turns to dust and blows away, much like people’s chances of securing a permanent license if they wait too long.
All of the spots utilize longtime sportscaster Harry Callas, who has narrated several NFL videos and game highlight shows on cable TV.
At Gish, Sherwood & Friends, production credits include Lipscomb, creative director Roland Gibbons, account director Joe Harkins, account supervisor Johnny Franks, and copywriters Bill Owens and Jon Schulenberger.