Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Billboard Wars

All the billboard banter over at Roberto’s VinScullyisMyHomeboy.com, got me to thinking of a crazy billboard controversy here in the San Francisco Bay Area several years ago.  It was the year 2000 to be precise, when they were opening the new ballpark.
In 4 or 5 locations in San Francisco, white billboards with the words “Go Dodgers” started popping up.  The uproar was quite amazing.  Talk shows addressed it.  TV News had spots on them.  They turned out to be a gimmick of Fox Sports Net, cable sports channel.  
As the weeks went by, the billboards would change with mock defacements.  The next week it would be plastered with tomatoes, then followed by  a mock defacement with mud, then grafitti, followed by lettuce, ice cream, and eggs.  You get the picture?  After about a month into the season, the bottom of the billboard had the Fox Sports Net logo with the message, “We know the feeling.”  Some had the statement, “Different Park. Same attitude,” in reference to the Gants changing ballparks.
Funny thing is that before the mock defacements took place, some Giant fans had already started taking matters into their own hands and had begun vandalizing the billboards.
I wish I had had the foresight to take pictures of the billboard at the time.  My searches over the internet for it have come up empty.  That was until I found out who the advertising agency for Fox Sports Net was.  
It was the firm of Wolfe Doyle Advertising, Inc.  A simple search engine query produced their website and 11 years after this add campaign, they still proudly post it on their website under Print Campaign Services that they provide.  They post graphics of the billboards, not actual billboard photos, but the messages they conveyed.  If the purpose of advertising is to get attention, this firm nailed it.  Their statement on the add campaign is as follows:
To fire up fans about the upcoming SF Giants’ season on Fox Sports, we placed outdoor boards across from the Giants ballpark with a headline that rooted on the opponent for their home opener, the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Subsequent boards revealed the true message and who was delivering it.”

Original message, week 1

Subsequent billboard change
Final billboard

Funny thing was that Fox owned the Dodgers at the time.


  1. Genius.

    I don't like it, but it's smart.

  2. Great marketing! Pretty funny stuff even though it was anti-Dodger

  3. I agree with both of you. I could see the Dodgers doing something similar mocking the Angels use of Los Angeles.