Fox Saturday: "McGwire" and "Logo"
Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York. Creative director: Eric Silver; account exec: Jon Brody
"McGwire" art director: Taras Wayner; copywriter Kevin Roddy. "Logo" co-art director/copywriter: Mark Schruntek and Dan Kelleher
In a panoramic view of the playing field at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, we see seven baseball players spaced evenly across the outfield expanse, while the pitcher delivers to a batter; the catcher crouches behind home plate. Under the large b&w photo, we learn the reason for this strange shift in one sentence: "The Mets vs. Mark McGwire and the Cardinals." Big Mac's awesome power has apparently forced all the fielders to position themselves 300-plus feet from the plate.
This full-page ad for Fox Saturday -- the "Game of the Week" broadcast -- was voted the Advertising Age co-Best Newspaper Advertising of 1999. It shares the award with another execution in the same Fox Saturday programming series.
The other AA Best Newspaper Ad of 1999 uses Major League Baseball's venerable batter-and-ball logo, but with a twist. The logo is repeated three times, with the ball moving toward the batter until it "beans" him in the third iteration.
Again, the raison d'etre for this bit of hardball is explained at the bottom of the page: "Dodgers vs. Giants. The rivalry continues Saturday, 1 p.m."
DaimlerChrysler, Jeep: "Math Quiz"
FCB Worldwide, Southfield, Mich.
Full-page ad, sans headline, has a student's completed multiplication test displayed against a plain back-ground. The answers are on target: 2x4=8, 3x4=12, 7x4=28, etc., with one exception: 4x4=Jeep Wrangler.
Text at bottom: "It figures. When most people think of 4x4s, they think of Jeep Wrangler. It's the epitome of fun, freedom and adventure. For more answers, call us at 1-800-925-JEEP or click on www.jeep.com."
Arnold Communications, Boston
The familiar weather map has varying shades of color depending on the temperatures, and the darkest (warmest) areas form the silhouette of a VW Beetle. The only text: "Drivers Wanted," adjoining the Volkswagen logo.
Rootin' Ridge Toymakers: "To Make Toy Go"
GSD&M, Austin, Texas
A b&w photo shows a child's hands holding up a wooden toy train. The headline, "To make toy go, unplug TV." The only other type on this clean spread is tucked into the lower left-hand corner: "Rootin' Ridge hand-crafted wooden toys."
Fox Sports: "Cops"
Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York
Page is dominated by a larger-than-life b&w photo of a face, presumably that of a hockey player. He needs a shave, there's a scar on a cheek and the eyes are nothing if not menacing.
Near the top of the page are four choices, with boxes to check next to them: "Cops," "When cameramen get too close," "Shark week" and "Fox NHL Conference Finals." The fourth choice seems the most likely, as the label in the lower right-hand corner tells us it's "Fox/NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs."
Target Stores: "Oil Filter (Elizabeth)" Target Advertising and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York
A model, clad in a black sweater and looking not unlike actress Cate Blanchett in the film "Elizabeth," wears an oil filter around her neck -- looking not unlike the elaborate ruffs worn by both men and women in the Elizabethan era in England. This incongruity is explained by the heading "fashion and automotive" and the price tags (air filter $9.99 and sweater $16.99).