Phillies Romp Through Tierney TV Ads

NEW YORK Had Pete Rose stuck to this kind of gamboling, he would be in the Hall of Fame by now.

Tierney Communications chief creative officer Kelly Simmons coaxed the Philadelphia Phillies into revealing their softer sides in a campaign that shows them smelling daisies, tossing grass at each other and romping through a green field. Simmons said the players drew the baseline at skipping, however.

“People enjoy seeing men behave in untraditionally male ways,” said Simmons, who worked with independent video producer Sue Redmond and Phillies director of advertising Jo-anne Levy-Lamoreaux. “I think our feminine perspective taps into a more human perspective that you wouldn’t get with [an ESPN] SportsCenter campaign.”

Tagged “Real intimate, real fun,” the campaign is aimed at generating season ticket sales and excitement about the Phillies’ new Citizens Bank Park, which has a grass field and 22,000 fewer seats. Veterans Stadium, the franchise’s former home, had artificial turf.

While the team objected to certain frolicking, a congratulatory pat on the backside was all in a day’s work. In “Most Intimate,” the players run up behind one fan during his workday and offer him dugout-style encouragement while he rehearses his presentation, parks his car and tries to catch the morning paper.

In “Everywhere,” players wave a commuter safe as he slides through the closing doors on a subway car, motion a grade-school kid across the street and offer assistance in office meetings.

Simmons has worked on the Phillies account for four years, beginning when she ran a small Philadelphia shop called Bubble. The client followed her to Tierney, where she became CCO of the Philadelphia agency in June.

Spending was undisclosed, but the organization spent nearly $2 million on ads in 2002, according to Nielsen Monitor Plus.