The AB- Committed style.

I write ads for a living. As an ad guy, I have very filtered views on advertising. Like almost any other creative, I think most advertising sucks. Unless I had something to do with it or know the people involved who did, in which case I could see why you think it sucks but will tell you why it’s actually pretty good. There are exceptions. I absolutely adore the people who were the creatives behind the AT&T ads with the kids and those ads make me want to poke my eyes out with a spork.

Which brings us to the Cubs, who unveiled their new ad campaign slogan “Committed” this week. Naturally it got panned. There was a rush to pan it. Shouldn’t every team be committed to winning? Yeah you SHOULD be committed and the like. But I find myself not turned off by the Committed campaign. I actually think it works.

Cub fans, by far, offer the most diverse fan base in terms of involvement with the team. They certainly have the most ‘casual’ fans. They hAve die hards. They have the fans that think Wrigley is a giant beer garden occasionally have baseball. They have a little old lady fan quotient that’s been rooting for the Cubs since Truman was in office and refers to the club’s players as “her boys”. It’s hard to find an umbrella that can speak to all these types of fans. “Committed” conceivably could.

Now the first ad I saw where a guy has a Cub tattoo on his head and the headline says something about “not all Cub fans wear their heart on their sleeve”- that doesn’t inspire much confidence. If this campaign is played just for laughs, this could be groan worthy in a hurry. But if Schafer Condon ( the agency that created the campaign) and the Cubs can somehow marry the halfwit with the tattoo on his head, Theo Epstein revolutionizing the front office, Soriano being committed by icing his knees two hours before and after every game, and the fan who still wears his Rob Dernier jersey, this has the makings of something.

I always appreciated the White Sox advertising. Say what you will about “All in” “Good guys wear Black” and “The kids can play”, I remember each of them. And I associate them with the Sox. That’s what advertising should do. of course, it hasn’t really helped put fannies in the seats over there at 35th and Bill Veeck way now has it?

Hopefully “Committed” grows into something cool. And the “Committed” jokes will go away faster than the idea that Chris Volstad could be a good pitcher. The best advertising, of course, is winning. Nobody is hammering “One Goal” with the Blackhawks playing out of their minds now are they? Until then, we have a slogan “committed”. As a person who is committed to the Cubs, I think it can work. And hope it does.

Otherwise, like most advertising, it will just suck.



I’ve had a toe in the water about the World Baseball classic. It’s hard to get behind games where the pitchers have such strict pitching limits. Still, I find myself watching and rooting for Rizzo, and the US team, and even Carlos Zambrano. Hopefully I jump in with both feet once we get out of group stage.

By the way, my favorite baseball campaign for the Seattle Mariners with the tagline “thank god the people play baseball” and featured Randy Johnson as a knife thrower and Jay Buhner as a stand up comedian. I bring up Jay Buhner only as an excuse to look at his one more time.

I haven’t watched too much Cubs pre-season baseball. But when I do here’s what generally happens. I tune in and something cool happens. I say to myself “OK, Spring training appears to be going pretty well.” and turn off the computer. I check back in and the Cubs have given up 8 runs.  Like Javier Baez hitting his first home run yesterday. Yay…. then Brooks Raley happened.

Speaking of Committed, as most of you know, my brother runs and writes “The Committed Indian”, your first stop about all things Chicago Blackhawks. Well, he’s taken on the challenge of doing a Cubs newsletter this summer. It’s called “the Ivy Drip”. Will have more details as we get closer to baseball season. But if you enjoy the Indian, you should enjoy the Drip.

I read Phil Rogers now almost exclusively to see if Marcel clowns him in the comment section.

Am I really going to fall for the notion that Ian Stewart is going to return to a 20-25 HR hitting third sacker ( albeit one that hits .202) with good defense or do I simply have nothing better to do?

Woke up to my favorite song about Sunday, ‘Kris Kristofferson’s “Sunday Morning Coming down” today. If you’re ever at Chris’ Billiards on Milwaukee ave. and hear a crazy old man singing that song as he’s shooting pool…..that’s my dad.

I can’t decide if this dude thinks the Cubs are going to lose 120 games. Or he just wants them too so badly that he’s trying to convince himself that they will. Anyway, judge for yourself.

My Art director has been playing Dylan over and over again. And since I think it’s one of the best albums ever made, today’s Sunday album is “Blonde on Blonde” 

Patrick Mooney is the best thing Comcast Chicago has. He wrote a cool article on Dale Sveum this week.

By the way, who won the bunt tournament?

Maybe I’ll write a wrap of the first three innings of a Cub game this week. Then stretch myself out to 6 next week.

Gotta get ready for the season.

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  • Hey Felzz, I'm always glad to read your Sunday morning column. Didn't know you are an ad-man; that explains a lot...
    --That 120-loss guy is practicing wishful thinking. I see he went to UW-Madtown; he's probably a Brewers fan.
    --Dylan is eternal. Blonde on Blonde is classic. I'd love to hear Bob Dylan sing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" in the 7th inning sometime.
    --My non-Cubs-fans-friends think I should be Committed.

  • I think the whole "Committed" campaign might work. Since it is vague enough so each individual fan can apply it to what they personally think it means. Some fans will think it means them as uber-Cub fans. Others will think it applies to the players/coaches. Others will think it means the F.O./ Ownership. And yet others will think it is a combination of all the above. One battle cry(for so many decades) of all those who hate the Cubs has been "the ownership doesn't care about winning, only making money". This ad can also be seen as an attempt to make a clean break from past ownerships. But most importantly, as you pointed out Felzz, winning takes care of everything.

  • Good stuff Felzz. I'm no ad man but I'm okay with the "committed" slogan as well. I took it differently than a lot of people. To me it was just about sticking with your team while they rebuild. This team is going to lose quite a few games (probably) and they're asking fans to bear through it and it will pay off. At least that's the way I took it :)

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    That's certainly how the Cubs want us to take the slogan.

    The problem is that the word also means "locked away in an asylum".

  • I first heard about "committed" before I saw the announcement or saw some of the ads. You're right, it's general enough to work.

    I was in Ad-School in Miami the year the Marlins won the series in 97 Before Huizinga tore it all down. The slogan that year was "Be here when it happens" and everyone laughed. Then they won it all. And no one was there. And then I laughed.....

  • In reply to felzz:

    "Committed" is tons better than the Marlins' and Astros' 2013 ad campaigns:

    Marlins: Stanton and Juan, and Everyone's Gone

    Astros: We'll Be Watchable By 2017

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Ha! Alternative slogan for the Astros: Winning the race for Rodon

  • Tis true Mr. Hubbs. Tis true.

  • Anyone see that tv ad from a gym called "Planet Fitness"? is so funny, I almost fell out of the chair.....

    Some skinny guy is in the locker room looking up at some big muscle guy who has one leg on the bench with a long towel going back and fourth between his legs towards the little guys face......talking how great the gym is........I cannot believe the network let that ad go on tv.....but it was damn funny.

    I saw a story one time how the #1 baseball cap seen around the world was the Cubs.......Yankees came in at #2......

    What a fight last night......Team Mexico and its low class fans v Team Canada.........Mexican fans throwing bottles at Canadian players just hurt their chances of expansion...........I hope now Selig is not thinking of expanding MLB teams to that nation........MLB does not need fans who can harm players.

    I wonder who will be the next Cubs player to get traded?...Soriano, Marmol or Dejesus?

    Anyone believe Rusin should be the 5th starter instead of Wood?....

    So far our pitching looks like this if going North with 12 pitchers......



  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Because only Mexican fans have ever done something to harm the product on the field? No one has ever thrown objects on the field or at players before yesterday? Attacked players, coaches, umpires?

    There are idiots everywhere, nothing you can really do about that. In fact, some of them are the product on the field.

  • In reply to mcneilscot:


  • In reply to mcneilscot:

    Violence at Mexican games have a long history. Reports of violence is noted at soccer, baseball and other events dealing with Mexican national teams. Until the people of Mexico, Mexico Security and their National Sports committees can stop this violence that happens with their fans, MLB will not expand with a team in Mexico.

    Rare do we see this type of antics in American sports. And when it does happen, punishment is swift to those fans who incite violence and riots..

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    At best this is a grossly uninformed rant. At best.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks, John. It just doesn't belong here.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Yeah, nothing has ever happened at a ballpark or stadium that's gotten out of control in the States... except for in Philly... or LA... wait... maybe Indianapolis... or Atlanta in the playoffs, etc. etc. etc.

    Agreed that it was classless by the Mexican fans, but hardly unique to them. Seems that no nationality really has the market cornered on being douchy:

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    Agreed, the "COMMITTED" slogan works for me on a lot of different levels. First, it's nice to know we have an owner that's actually committed to winning, and he has the sense to put quality cutting edge people in place to build the team. Second, if they don't win soon, I'll need to be committed.

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    Great article, Felzz. These Sunday pieces need to be a staple for this site. Every one is a good read and you always find a way to link different things going in the world with the Cubs.

    And Rogers....Been too busy lately to speak on that nonsense. Unless he goes all "Trade Castro now because Baez" on us then you can bet i'll be on it full force lol.

  • Thanks Marcel.

    Writing the Anarchist's Brunch is a highlight for me. It will be interesting to do it in addition to write ups once the games start.

    I don't expect you to dog bird Phil Rogers every article.... We got more important birds to shoot. It's just every article of his has been deserving of a smack.

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    In reply to felzz:

    Trust me, your right on about every article being worthy of a thrashin, but then it'd seem like I hate the guy personally and not just because he is terrible at covering cubs baseball lol

    Definitely right about having more important birds to shoot. Funny part is most of those birds originate from the tribune.....If we could just take em all out somehow....

    I think AB will fit in fine with the recaps. Maybe combine AB with the recap for Sunday games?

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    Felzz -

    Your article doesn't address the actual problem with the "Committed" slogan.

    It isn't that "every team SHOULD be committed to winning" - it's that the word "committed" also means "involuntarily confined to an insane asylum."

    And dude - it's Bob Dernier. Not Rob Dernier.

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