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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

'Miracle Toast'
2007-03-18 20:06
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Highlights from the Dodgers' 2007 ad campaign:

The first of the 30-second spots, called "Foam Finger," captures a Dodger fanatic on game day with a foam finger on his hand going through his daily routines including: turning off the alarm clock, putting in a contact lens and shaving using the foam finger. "Miracle Toast" depicts a husband reverently focused on his piece of toast that carries a likeness of Jeff Kent. His wife stands unconvinced as the Kent image winks at her husband. The last ad "Nomar Van" uses a black-tie event as the backdrop. A van with a huge Nomar Garciaparra mural painted on it pulls up to the elegant setting as the parking valet stands mesmerized by his hero.

The first two strike me as mildly amusing (at least until the wink comes - I would have preferred my miracle toast dry), and maybe the third one is elegiac for all I know, though I'm still not convinced that fanatacism is the way to sell the team. The Dodgers (or their broadcasters) often go this route with their ads, and I'm still not sure why.

Not that I have any market research to stand on, but other people's passion for something I'm not passionate about doesn't move me. You could come up with a really clever commercial about an opera fanatic, but I'm still not rushing to the Operadome.

My instinct remains to show people who aren't going to the games what they're missing. People avoid baseball games because they think they're boring and/or not worth the effort or investment. Show them that they are.

The Dodgers 2007 ad campaign wrote itself on September 18, 2006. And if you need more ads, there were plenty of other great moments to choose from. The Dodgers play an exciting game. They don't need to overthink this.

Update: In the comments below, Daniel Zappala has the simple yet perfect button for the campaign:

Showing highlights of the games people may have missed is a great way to get them there. If I saw the 4+1 highlights, I would kick myself every time and vow to buy tickets for more games. If I had seen the game, it would solidify my resolve to keep going.

Slogan for the campaign: "Dodger baseball. Don't miss out."

* * *

Steve Henson of the Times sees signs tonight that Brett Tomko will start the season as the No. 5 starter and that Jason Repko will be healthy enough to be on the active roster when the team vacates Vero Beach.

* * *

Site that fantasy baseball players (not miracle toast kind of fantasies, but the more conventional kind) might want to check out: Rotohog.

* * *

Update 2: From the Monday morning press notes: "The Dodgers reassigned IF Tony Abreu, OF Choo Freeman, P Jonathan Meloan and P Matt White. The following players were optioned: P D.J. Houlton, P Eric Stults and OF Delwyn Young."

Abreu had a great spring, and hopes are he will pick up where he left off when he recovers from the bone bruise in his shoulder. Meloan, Houlton and White also did well - I'm pulling for Houlton to reestablish himself as a valuable major leaguer.

Comments (69)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-03-18 20:23:11
1.   Suffering Bruin
Lots of teams have players that their fans can readily identify with their team. Heck, the Yanks and Red Sox have a boatload.

The Dodgers have none. So we get foam fingers.

And now, back to planning...

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be new teachers...

2007-03-18 20:23:19
2.   Daniel Zappala
Couldn't agree with you more, Jon. Showing highlights of the games people may have missed is a great way to get them there. If I saw the 4+1 highlights, I would kick myself every time and vow to buy tickets for more games. If I had seen the game, it would solidify my resolve to keep going.

Slogan for the campaign: "Dodger baseball. Don't miss out."

2007-03-18 20:25:46
3.   Suffering Bruin
I like Daniel's idea. Great idea, great slogan.
2007-03-18 20:27:35
4.   Andrew Shimmin
If a piece of toast winked at me, it'd be going down the disposal with extreme prejudice.
2007-03-18 20:30:54
5.   Jon Weisman
2 - That is a pitch-perfect slogan in my mind, actually.
2007-03-18 20:31:23
6.   Bob Timmermann
Ticket ads on milk cartons. I hope I don't get those confused with the missing children. What if there's a picture of Matt Kemp on the carton?
2007-03-18 20:31:26
7.   Greg Brock
We could have a lot of fun coming up with slogans for the Dodgers.

And I agree. Show the team or the games. Jeff Kent on a piece of toast doesn't really do it for me.

2007-03-18 20:32:44
8.   Jon Weisman
If only Monterey Chris had thought of it.
2007-03-18 20:33:59
9.   D4P
It's a sad day for Dodgerdom when Jeff Kent is the "face" of the team. It's bad enough when he's the face of the toast.
2007-03-18 20:35:30
10.   trainwreck
I like the A's commercials, because they show the personalities of the players. They are all meant to be humorous and are pretty popular. They have even won awards.
2007-03-18 20:52:59
11.   LAT
Is this another brainchild from the McCourt children.

The funniest part is I'm guessing the surly Jeff Kent has never winked at anyone.

D Lo doesn't seem to be getting much love from the Dodger Marketing Dept.

2007-03-18 20:54:47
12.   Andrew Shimmin
Derek Lowe, even as a toastal apparition, winking at another man's wife is a little on the nose.
2007-03-18 21:07:22
13.   PlayTwo
The Dodgers, like MLB & Selig, have forgotten that it is the Game itself that matters. We are given announcers who are unable to see the story unfolding on the field. Scully is the last believer. Population growth and the absence of another local franchise will continue to compensate for their ineptness.
2007-03-18 21:07:59
14.   Ken Arneson
Perhaps it's not the toast, but the toaster, which is miraculous.
2007-03-18 21:15:07
15.   Daniel Zappala
Take that, Monterey Chris.
2007-03-18 21:15:34
16.   Jon Weisman
14 - I see a viral campaign!
2007-03-18 21:21:01
17.   Andrew Shimmin
At what point will it be appropriate for us to start grousing that Colletti isn't beating down Jon's door trying to get an interview? There's a natural constituency here going ignored. How much money are they going to spend showing me toast commercials, when they could be giving me the pitch, directly, for free? Or buying a side bar ad for a fraction of what t.v. time costs?
2007-03-18 21:26:16
18.   Bob Timmermann
So the Dodgers have Miracle Toast, while the Angels just put up an A logo with a halo on it on billboards all over town.
2007-03-18 21:28:19
19.   popup
Maybe the Dodgers should attempt a reference to a popular blog I discovered a few years ago. Show Grady in the pose of Rodan's "The Thinker" with footage of the 5 homeruns in the background, with Vin doing a voice over at the end: "Thinking Dodger Blue."

Stan from Tacoma

2007-03-18 21:30:58
20.   Andrew Shimmin
The Dodger 2007 Preview is starting on FSWPT, right now. Anybody know if it's worth watching?
2007-03-18 21:31:42
21.   D4P
I think they should emphasize the Exciting Brand of Baseball™ the Dodgers will be playing this year, with Furcal and Pierre bunting and stealing and causing chaos on the basepaths.
2007-03-18 21:32:12
22.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Jeff Kent's actually my favorite Dodger. He's definitely a grouch, but I've always thought him one of the more interesting players in the game. His gritty style of play actually goes with consistent production (when healthy), and I think he makes some of the more perceptive comments to the press on everything from in-season streakiness, the whole "chemistry" issue, and his claim that he's not that big a fan of baseball was about as much a slap in the face of baseball pieties as anyone could want. Sure, he's got issues--I think he mishandled the Milton Bradley feud, but Bradley had as much blame there as anyone else.

BTW, Jon, if you have Extra Innings, you'll notice that all the Fox Sports Net channels use a common set of commercials that frequently focus on fan fanaticism. It's hilarious, because the commercials will be exactly the same, but with just the team logos different. So you'll see the same substantive commercial for both the Giants and Dodgers. Examples of fan excess include the paramedics who refuse to treat the fan of the rival team, the fan who jumps into a wall like a player, etc. These Dodger ads are of course more individualized, but this seems to be a common ad strategy.

I'd perhaps prefer a more rational campaign, but then again, from a strictly rational perspective, all of us probably seem a little crazy.

WWSH

2007-03-18 21:33:50
23.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
RE: 19

I think Grady would love doing that.

He's got a great sense of humor--it'd be good to utilize it more. He probably should be the face of the team more than anyone else--a self-deprecating and avuncular manager who's smarter than he lets on.

WWSH

2007-03-18 21:35:56
24.   Greg Brock
23 Any advertising campaign that featured Grady Little would be awesome.

Grady + Anything = Comedy Gold.

2007-03-18 21:36:23
25.   PDH5204
Might I ask why the Dodgers are even worried about the fans? We haven't won since '89 but that hasn't stopped people from coming out in droves. Management otherwise has the population base to draw from and nothing ought to attract like success, so I'm still waiting for the correct solution to any dilemma in this regard. But if no success, well, there's always the one soul's view that you can attract more fans with a losing team and bread and circuses than you can with just a losing team [so maybe the rather short fellow gets a chance to bat this year if the team tanks].

Oh, Jon, please tell Grady for me that I took Kuo as a late rounder in a fantasy draft in a head to head league and that I need Kuo to be the 5th starter. Kuo could be pitcher sleeper of the year if he repeats his stats following his second recall last year. And, hey, even if he gets bombed in five in one of the two starts during a week that he'll have two starts, he still put up 6-8 Ks in the loss, and I think that I have enough cover from my other pitchers to make up for the one loss and all that will go with it. If all goes well, Kuo wins two, has that 3.20 ERA and puts up 12-16 Ks for his two starts. Not bad if you can get it. So, please, beg and plead with Grady. Thank you.

I also took Broxton as insurance for Saito and for some Ks and a low ERA and WHIP when Kuo pitches twice in a week. I'm hoping for 40+ saves this year from Saito, but if he falters, then Broxton takes over.

With Martin moving up to hit 6th, I took him as my catcher, since not only should his Runs Scored and RBIs improve playing a full season, moving up to 6th should also mean some improvement in those numbers. If I'm truly lucky, and him and you too, Martin pulls a Mauer and his numbers skyrocket this year.

Lastly, to irritate much of Dodgersland, since he's eligible and I couldn't otherwise get Chase Utley, I took the despised one now playing for the Sox as my 2B. To round out my infield, Furcal is my SS, Pujols is at 1st, and Chipper is at 3rd [with Lugo taking over at 3rd and Kent going from the bench to 2nd when Chipper goes down; so there was some value, fantasy at least, in Lugo playing all over the field for us last year, as he's eligible for SS, 2B, and 3B in my league]. For more irritation, well, after Andruw Jones, I took J.D. Drew for my outfield [I let some others pass by and then took Andruw since, well, he is in a contract year]. The last outfield spot will be by committee and so I've tentatively got Brad Hawpe penned in [he's on fire this spring and should put up good RBI totals when he's on, what with Atkins, Helton, and Holliday hitting in front of him], with Pat Burrell and Milton Bradley waiting in the wings [doesn't Bradley have to have a career year at some point?]. Frank Thomas is my utility player [he shouldn't hurt my fielding, and 40+ homers and 120 or so RBIs won't hurt either, and, yes, only good news for the man's RBI total that 181-hit Lyle Overbay might very well move up in the lineup and hit second in front of him].

And since I'm way off topic, might as well finish, and so in addition to having Saito, Broxton and Kuo on my fantasy staff, I've also got Schmidt, Halladay, Garland, Freddy Garcia, and if all goes well, Anibal Sanchez as a waiver pick up [hoping here that Garland reverts to the 3.50 ERA that accompanied his 2005 18 wins (versus 4.50 ERA that went with the 18 wins last year); hoping also that Freddy's Ks rise somewhat and that the wind blowing out in Chicago = bandbox in Philly and that some lower ERA and WHIP will come with not having to face a DH; hoping lastly that Anibal's half season can be duplicated and doubled this year (10-3 with 2.83 ERA following first appearance and start on 25 June]. Sorry, almost forgot, my other closer, and this was a hard choice, since Dodgers' success means less chances for him, but Brian Fuentes iw my second closer [30-31 saves, last two years].

2007-03-18 21:37:55
26.   trainwreck
22
Is this Extra Innings from last year? Or are we still able to order it this year?
2007-03-18 21:40:33
27.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
RE: 22

From last year--or maybe even earlier than that. I've had the package for a few years now.

I haven't got a formal renewal notice from DirecTV, although perhaps they're just assuming I'll renew it (which I do want to do).

WWSH

2007-03-18 21:41:52
28.   bhsportsguy
Abreu update, says he feels a lot better, doesn't recall ever sliding head first until yesterday, Duncan recalls him doing it in Rookie ball.

http://tinyurl.com/2qly33

2007-03-18 21:45:09
29.   bhsportsguy
Unless your Fantasy league is really deep, Kuo seems like a player who would be available after the season starts. Good luck, but unless something happens to Tomko, Kuo is going to be in Vegas when April 2nd rolls around.
2007-03-18 21:57:16
30.   Andrew Shimmin
29- Splitter.
2007-03-18 22:09:10
31.   Dodgers49
20. The Dodger 2007 Preview is starting on FSWPT, right now. Anybody know if it's worth watching?

Well, with five minutes to go they did show the 4+1 again and that alone made it worthwhile for me. :-) Other than that it was a typical spring review (although I missed the first ten minutes).

2007-03-18 22:10:19
32.   PDH5204
29 I was actually trying to will Kuo into being the 5th starter by my selection, but still, didn't Tomko have his chance last year? And the year before in SF? So why an different this year? I'm with Chris Bahr on this one:

http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=188644

So please, Grady, please, no more Tomko. If it helps, from Gomer Pyle, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me...

2007-03-18 22:10:41
33.   Andrew Shimmin
Yeah, it wasn't great. But if you turned the sound down, there were some pretty pictures.
2007-03-18 22:11:43
34.   Dodgers49
"typical spring preview"
2007-03-18 22:14:01
35.   D4P
there were some pretty pictures

Any numbers...?

2007-03-18 22:15:41
36.   Andrew Shimmin
Not pretty ones. JP's hit total was discussed. [shudder]
2007-03-18 22:18:29
37.   Andrew Shimmin
Psycho is bullish on Repko's being healed in time for opening day. Said he was running in the outfield. Did not say whether said running reminded him of a puppy, but maybe that was implicit.
2007-03-18 22:22:41
38.   Dodgers49
>>> Whatever the case, I think the Dodgers are making a huge mistake by leaning toward Tomko as their fifth starter. <<<

He may be right but my gut feeling is that unless Tomko is traded he will start the season as the Dodgers 5th starter and be given the opportunity to pitch himself out of the rotation.

2007-03-18 22:24:17
39.   Andrew Shimmin
and be given the opportunity to pitch himself out of the rotation [again].
2007-03-18 22:24:42
40.   D4P
given the opportunity to pitch himself out of the rotation

An opportunity he'll likely avail himself of

2007-03-18 22:25:25
41.   D4P
An opportunity he'll likely avail himself of [again].
2007-03-18 22:26:02
42.   Greg Brock
and be given the opportunity to pitch himself out of the rotation

Cynical yet prescient comment goes here.

2007-03-18 22:27:20
43.   Andrew Shimmin
40- I can't keep straight which blog I'm commenting on, but I'm still faster than you. Hang your head in shame.
2007-03-18 22:27:44
44.   Greg Brock
Ibid

Tomdrickson is very quickly replacing that "It just won't die" feeling that Gio gave me for three years.

2007-03-18 22:29:04
45.   D4P
Hang your head in shame

Cue: "Christmas time is here..."

2007-03-18 22:40:29
46.   Dodgers49
You guys seem to be overlooking the fact that Tomko has altered his delivery this year. He hides the ball longer. This is certain to fool Bonds, Pujols, Howard and many others. :-)
2007-03-18 22:45:41
47.   regfairfield
Now, I may be misremembering something but didn't the exact same thing happen last year? Tomko pitches extremely well in Spring, we hear about how he's turned it around, etc, then he proceeds to still be Brett Tomko.

You'd think we'd be able to display some pattern recognition here.

2007-03-18 22:58:01
48.   trainwreck
47
Yeah, like how we got a boost when the youngsters got to play.

Totally forgot that one.

2007-03-18 23:03:05
49.   Dave91
Thanks for the mention! The RotoHog.com team thanks you and your readers for visiting our site. Many of us our Dodger fans (and Angel fans...we are headquartered in LA), so we applaud your efforts.
2007-03-18 23:47:23
50.   Dodgers49
Minors report: Dodgers' Miller to start
Lefty given clearance after finding proper arm slot

http://tinyurl.com/22b8je

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-03-18 23:57:24
51.   deadteddy8
Up here in the Bay Area, SF MUNI has Giants ads all over their vehicles with short catchphrases, such as "Splash Hit", "Grab Some Pine, Meat" (Krukow says that a lot), "Bochy Ball", and the like, and below the phrases, it says, "Do You Speak Giant?" No player pictures. Simple works. Remember that one of the most successful ad campaigns of the past few years has been Apple's, which consists of shadows dancing on a solid color backdrop, either in still image or video.

The funniest part about the Giants ad campaign, though, is what the A's did in response. On the Oakland side of the Bay, just after getting off the Bay Bridge, is a huge billboard in green and gold, with the word "Playoffs", and below it, of course, "Do You Speak Athletics?"

--David A.

2007-03-19 00:09:07
52.   trainwreck
RotoHog says we may be trying to get Byung-Hyun Kim (as a reliever) in a trade for Mark Hendrickson.

I have no idea why we want Kim.

2007-03-19 00:25:09
53.   Dodgers49
DODGERS: STILL LOOKING
The Dodgers still would like to add a right-handed slugger such as the Devil Rays' Rocco Baldelli, but they probably will need to settle for a lesser outfielder — if they make a move at all.

The Royals' Reggie Sanders is one option; the Dodgers pursued him as a free agent after the 2005 season. The Brewers' Kevin Mench also would fit as a right-handed complement to corner outfielders Ethier and Luis Gonzalez

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6581210

2007-03-19 00:34:00
54.   trainwreck
53
Aren't Repko and Kemp right-handed?

Obviously, if we could get Rocco without giving up prospects I would be very happy, but that is not happening.

But really, what is the point of getting Sanders or Mench? Anger the posters at Dodger Thoughts?

2007-03-19 00:35:17
55.   trainwreck
At least this is coming from Rosenthal, which means it probably will not be happening.
2007-03-19 00:52:55
56.   Andrew Shimmin
Jayson Werth is right handed. Maybe we could trade Wolf, plus his salary, and a couple low profile prospects for him in a couple of months.
2007-03-19 07:08:01
57.   Bob Timmermann
I had non-magical cereal for breakfast. It didn't wink at me.
2007-03-19 07:28:34
58.   Jon Weisman
From the Monday morning press notes: "The Dodgers reassigned IF Tony Abreu, OF Choo Freeman, P Jonathan Meloan and P Matt White. The following players were optioned: P D.J. Houlton, P Eric Stults and OF Delwyn Young."
2007-03-19 07:54:44
59.   Hythloday
It's nice to think of what outfielders may be available, but it seems as if the Dodgers are a bit locked in at the moment. Gonzales and Pierre aren't going anywhere which leave Ethier as the one slot open to change. I think when we fantasize about upgrading the outfield that's not what any of us have in mind.

I just don't see any trades or changes in the outfield until some time into the season.

2007-03-19 08:46:28
60.   BigJoeB
Takashi Saito!!!

Show his saves in a highlight reel, starting with him coming out of the bullpen while playing... "Turning Japanese". This should be his entrance music. I think it would get everybody in the crowd fired up! Let me see a show of hands Yo!

2007-03-19 08:53:15
61.   Jon Weisman
We'll be right back after this commercial message. See above. (TiVo through it if you prefer.)
2007-03-19 09:00:32
62.   underdog
I feel like Houlton is likely to be traded (or at least probably wants to be traded) because I just don't see him getting much of a chance with the Dodgers. (Certainly sounds like he and his agent have asked the Dodgers about that.) Overall, I do feel like the Dodgers will try to hold onto the younger pitchers and would rather trade a veteran like Tomricksonko, should an opportunity arise. (I keep thinking, which teams are particularly lacking starting pitching depth right now. Tampa Bay is certainly one of them, but I doubt they'd want Hendrickson back, nor Tomko. Washington, which has nothing to trade back, but heck, if it gets rid of one of those veterans, that may be okay. Baltimore, despite (or because of) the Trachsel signing, could still use pitching. Who else?)

At any rate, I'm rooting for Houlton, too, but I'd be less upset if he was traded than I would be if it were, say Miller, Kuo, Meloan, guys like that.

2007-03-19 09:09:48
63.   jasonungar05
Turning Japanese-a

Do u know what that song is about?

2007-03-19 09:23:22
64.   BigJoeB
Yeah it actually has mixed meanings as all songs do. Unless you wrote the song and were a part of The Vapors in the 80's, then I would asume that your guess is as good as mine. Although the most interperted meaning to the song is self love while thinking of someone else and I believe that is most common. If using that meaning, it would then be a bad choice. However, considering the intro music and the chorus is all I am refering to, then perhaps it wouldn't be so bad? After all, coming to LA and OD'n in "Welcome to the Jungle" wasn't exactly what Gagne was promoting. Hey, it was just a thought.
2007-03-19 09:39:40
65.   Jacob L
I continue to be annoyed/amused by the Halos marketing which seems to be geared around getting their logo billboard as close to Dodger Stadium as possible without getting their backsides kicked. I think a fun parallel t.v. campaign would show Angel players wandering some of the meaner streets of central Los Angeles a la The Warriors. (movie not NBA team)
2007-03-19 10:22:36
66.   Bob Timmermann
"Angels ... Come out and play ...."
2007-03-19 14:02:08
67.   Uncle Miltie
Possibly the greatest beer pong table I've ever seen…
http://tinyurl.com/yvduol
2007-03-20 09:47:00
68.   Frip
RE: Dodger commercials showing highlights.

A person that thinks baseball is boring is not going to be fooled by highlights that he or she knows only come around a few times a game.

You reach a potential advocate by showing him that loving something deeply, means...well, that he'll get to love something deeply. As the 2007 ads attempt to do.

Highlights are snake oil from snake oil salesmen. A more honest ad, would not be the 4+1 aberition, but something that shows the peaceful, once-upon-a-sumertime nature of the game. Something along the lines of the breezy Corona ads.

We're already highlighted to death. American tv imagery is nothing but a big guady highlight. What, another is going to make a difference?

2007-03-29 01:41:39
69.   Tripleplay
Frip is right on with his comments.

I would also suggest how incredibly boring it would be to have Dodger highlight commercials every year. Why go to the game when you can get the "highlight" experience watching the game on TV or Sportscenter? How does showing fans what they can experience while watching a Dodger game on TV convince them to go to the game? I'll reserve judgement till I see the commercials, but kudos to them for doing something out of the ordinary. Commercials should be fun. Isn't that what going to a game is all about?

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