JUST SAY OOPS; STREET STORIES

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Contest #417: The American knack for self-deprecating humor is now a hot advertising hook, dubbed "mistake marketing." Examples: budding basketball superstar Chris Webber milking his famed "time out" blunder from last year's college basketball championship game in a commercial for Logo 7 or Chevy Chase spoofing his career setbacks in Frito-Lay spots.

Mistake marketing isn't restricted to flawed personalities: Oaktree, a men's apparel retailer, ridicules its past ad efforts and products.

Don't just learn from your mistakes-exploit them! T.N.T.ers: come up with the next company to market its own-or a spokesperson's-mistakes.

And now for the results of Contest #413: we asked you for the next ad campaign to feature Olympic gold medal skier Picabo Street and you hit the slopes with these medal winners:

First Prize: In a spot for Cover Girl, Picabo Street is seen applying makeup.

"If you want to hide those annoying facial blemishes, do what Picabo does. Hide them with the natural look of Cover Girl before they have a chance to say `Peek-a-boo!' Take it from me, this is one street that never shows its potholes." William Paterson, copywriter, AM&A, Buffalo, N.Y.

Second Prize: Ms. Street pitches for Victoria's Secret in a campaign that shows her modeling a revealing undergarment. Voiceover: "When it's time to put it all together, Picabo Street goes to where the real "peek-a-boo" was invented-Victoria's Secret." Ray Vaughan, manager, External Communications, Mobil Corp., Fairfax, Va.

Third Prize: Hospital Corp. of America hires Picabo as a spokesperson and licenses her name for a new chain of Intensive Care Units for people who suffer sports-related accidents. The units will be dubbed "Picabo I.C.U." John Fox, director-research services, Matrixx Marketing, Cincinnati.

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