GUMP WATCH; MONSTER VISION

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Contest #435: An American war hero. A Wall Street financial wizard. And the best damn pingpong player this planet has ever seen. He's that goofy, lovable and oh, so decent Forrest Gump. And unfortunately, he's too good to be true. Still, in this era of tarnished heroes, Forrest might be the most marketable celebrity we have, so, T.N.T.ers: come up with the next Forrest Gump endorsement deal.

And now for the results of Contest #431: We asked you for the next use of a monster in an ad campaign and you freaked us with:

First Prize: Major League Baseball owners lash out against their strike-minded players with a demonizing ad effort portraying players as vampires. "Have you ever noticed baseball games are only played at night? Where do those guys go in the daytime?" Cut to a locker room filled with coffins. One opens, and out creeps a player in uniform. He smiles, revealing blood-stained fangs. "Major League Baseball Players Association. Sucking the spirit of baseball dry." Sue Bumpous, environmental education coordinator, Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, Round Rock, Texas.

Second Prize: "Hide that monster!" screams a TV ad campaign for Trojan condoms. In the highly symbolic spot, frisky animated monsters scurry about a candle-lit bedroom until they are "bagged," losing their ferocious appearance under the stretch of rubber. Trojan will also launch a spin-off merchandising effort; five bucks and three "proofs of purchase" will get consumers their own stuffed animal. Tim Biringer, retail advertising director, and Tim Singleton, marketing manager, Patuxent Publishing Co., Columbia, Md.

Third Prize: The newest monster to hit the ad scene is ... Cousin It from "The Addams Family." The hairy horror will pitch for-what else?-the Hair Club for Men. Jennifer Scholl, sales and marketing assistant, Rodenstock USA's Lens division, Danbury, Conn.

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