This Old Bracket

As all college hoops fans know, March Madness is almost upon us. Still, with 64 teams vying for the NCAA men’s basketball championship, the real challenge is keeping track of who’s left and who’s been sent home.

Not to worry. New ads from The Ballpark Advertising Agency touting ESPN’s online Tournament Challenge address the issue by spoofing a home-improvement show. Three new spots include a brawny man with a bad haircut and flannel shirt who demonstrates how to turn a big log into a bracket piece just big enough to hold the name of one of the competing teams.

After laboriously trimming a thick log down to size and meticulously sanding it, our host holds up his work and says, “There. Only 63 more to go.”

“ESPN approached us to come up with a unique way to promote one of their biggest annual contests,” said Andrew Shevin, a partner at the Los Angeles ad firm. He added that the cable network’s goal is to “assume ownership of all online NCAA bracket tournaments.”