Wieden Puts the ESP into ESPN The Magazine

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Francis has a close encounter with ESPN.
Can ESPN The Magazine read your mind? Can it see into the future? That's the premise of a new campaign for the biweekly from Wieden + Kennedy/New York. In four new spots, directed by RSA's Carl Erik Rinsch, Chargers runningback LaDainian Tomlinson, Steve Francis of the Houston Rockets, former Knick/presidential candidate Bill Bradley, and the Oakland Raiders' Charles Woodson get the uncanny feeling that the sports title is stealing their thoughts.

The magazine's precognitive powers are further demonstrated in a print ad in which an old article about Karl Malone seems to have foretold his move to the Lakers. When all the mentions of Karl are connected, they spell out "L.A." The campaign's payoff is a play on the title's first three letters, ESP, or extra-sensory perception, which apparently helps the magazine stay ahead of the game.

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