HOOP DREAMS REDUX;ACROSS THE GREAT DE-VOID

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Contest #464: While basketball fans the world over scrambled for the latest news and gossip about Michael Jordan's return to the NBA, we at T.N.T. were getting an earful from anonymous Oliver Stone-wannabes, espousing conspiracy theories as to why he left in the first place and why he now wants to return. We investigated all the familiar suspects-that gambling got him suspended, that his sponsors wanted him back in basketball, that he just plain misses press attention like this-but came to dead ends. What have you heard? T.N.T.ers: come up with the next Michael Jordan conspiracy theory.

And now for the results of Contest #460: We asked you for the next utterly stupid marketing campaign and you drooled forth these mindless replies:

First Prize: Quayle/Gump in '96: "Dumb and Dumber." Brad Grau, assistant product manager, Sun Gro Horticulture, Bellevue, Wash.

Second Prize: Microsoft has already jumped on the stupidity trend by launching its new operating-system-for-dolts product called Bob. Ad tagline: "Duh." Phil Frankenfeld, free-lance writer, Milwaukee.

Third Prize: Harvard University, in a change-with-the-times marketing effort, hops on several pop culture trends-grunge, rap and Jim Carrey-to win new students. First, it moves from a high-brow to low-brow pronunciation of its name; now it's "Har-vUHHHHd." Then it will cap cumulative SAT scores at 400, provide scholarships solely on the basis of athletic ability and hire National Enquirer Editor Iaian Calder to edit the Harvard Business Review. Loren Yeager, director of marketing, Coopers & Lybrand, Cleveland.

Entries for Contest #464 must be sent by April 11. Send entries to T.N.T. Contest #464, Advertising Age, 6500 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 2300, Los Angeles, Calif. 90048, or fax them to (213) 655-8157. Please include, legibly, your name, title, company, address and daytime phone number on the sheet with your entry. Users of the online Prodigy service can file T.N.T. entries to Ad Age through the Prodigy Bulletin Board. Top three winners win T.N.T.-shirts. Entries become property of Ad Age and cannot be returned.

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