01/22/08 4:01 PM ET
Cubs unleash bold, new ad campaign
Promotions international in scope with dash of local flavor
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
A graphic red, white and blue image of the Japanese outfielder that includes a rising sun includes the statement, "I don't need an interpreter. My bat does the talking."
The campaign focuses on individual players with a bold treatment using elements from each player's unique background. Ads featuring Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano will use a portion of the Dominican Republic flag as a background. Ramirez's says, "They say hit 'em where they ain't. Well, they ain't on Waveland Ave." For the non-Cubs fan, Waveland is the street behind the left-field bleachers at Wrigley Field, where ball hawks gather to chase down home runs.
There also is an ad with pitcher Kerry Wood that will feature the Texas flag.
"It's a very international campaign. Yet the red, white and blue also makes it very Cub," said Scott Maney, president and executive creative director of Jones, which is based in the River North section of Chicago and the company behind the creation of the ads.
Besides Fukudome, Ramirez, Soriano and Wood, there are plans to develop ads for Carlos Zambrano, Derrek Lee and Ryan Theriot. Last year, Soriano was featured in a "Play like there's no tomorrow" ad campaign.
"We want to highlight the continued connection between the 2008 team and our fans," said Matt Wszolek, Cubs director of sales and promotion. "This team is not only extremely talented, but has connections across the globe."
Maney, a self-described hard core Cubs fan, said the Cubs present a unique challenge.
"Most of the time, advertising has to work pretty hard to lift a brand up," Maney said. "But with the Cubs, the opposite is true. The brand is already so sacred, the advertising has to work extremely hard just to keep up. It has to earn the right to represent the Cubs."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.