CHECKING IT OUT: ESPN, in one of the first major ad efforts by a TV network for its Web site (www.espn.com), has spawned "Netboy," a nerd courted and tortured by sports celebrities and others. In one spot from Ground Zero, Santa Monica, Calif., the Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Cruz Jr. and the Detroit Tigers' Tony Clark try to win Netboy's favor as he posts data for a "Sportszone" matchup on who is the better player. They ply him with memorabilia of "Star Trek's" Chekov character, culminating with Mr. Clark bringing in Walter "Chekov" Koenig. Copywriter: Mike Burdick. Art director: Pat Harris.
GO LIGHTLY: Frankel & Co.'s Detroit office splashed the names of some of its key clients in lights around Motown at the charity preview for last week's Detroit International Auto Show. Messages were projected on buildings, including the City/County Building, surrounding Cobo Hall, site of the charity event.
IMAGE OF THE WEEK: These kinds of "extremes to protect your pigs from respiratory disease" are unnecessary, assures Eli Lilly & Co.'s Elanco Animal Health, if you use its new Pulmotil feed medication. CMF&Z, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, notes in the ad Pulmotil is "one small step for swine. One giant leap for swine health management." Copywriter: Jeff Hartz. Art director: David Howes.
Imagine having the attendant park your BMW or Mercedes, and he gives you a ticket that sports an ad for a gleaming new Audi. That's the concept behind one of the Street Media out-of-home venues offered by KBA Marketing, Chicago. KBA signs deals with valet parking companies to run the ads. Another recent ticket in Los Angeles featured an ad for DreamWorks Pictures' "Mouse Hunt."
THE BIG PUSH: EQUAL'S WEIGHT-AND-SEE POLICY
NutraSweet Co.'s Equal sweetener gears up for its busiest time of year -- the holiday-gluttony post-season -- with a new TV and print campaign. The predawn quiet is shattered by screams as women across the land check their scales in the spot from Y&R Advertising, Chicago. Equal has an improved sweet taste to help people keep those New Year's resolutions to lose weight. The other spot focuses on women trying on swimsuits in a department store, with a similar chorus of screams. Copywriter:
Eric Oken. Art director: Kent Ottwell.