OOH fun: Celebrating the Cubs’ historic victory
How a handful of advertisers used OOH to laud the Chicago squad
November 7, 2016
Even a few days later, it’s still hard to believe.
At long last, after 108 long years, the Chicago Cubs actually won the World Series.
It wasn’t easy. It took an epic win in Game 7 Wednesday night to finally clinch the title, which drew a record audience, the biggest to watch a baseball game in more than two decades.
Everyone was talking about it the next morning.
Whenever a big national event like that happens, advertisers are eager to jump into the excitement.
It boosts their brand to be associated with a historic occasion, of course, but also makes the business seem more relatable and less self-serving.
So perhaps it’s no surprise that a number of out of home advertisers stepped in to offer their congratulations on the big win (or encouragement along the way).
Here is a sample of the best Cubs-related OOH campaigns this fall.
Toyota cashes in big
Either way, a decision by Toyota to sponsor the famous marquee sign at Addison and Clark Streets on Wrigley Field could pay off for years to come.
Before this season the automaker expanded its deal with the Cubs to include the company’s logo on the marquee sign, one of the most famous stadium signs in the U.S.
The move itself was savvy–the sign receives millions of impressions annually. But the World Series win may have boosted the value of the move exponentially.
Immediately after Game 7, the marquee flashed the words “World Series Champions” as thousands of fans celebrated below (the game was played in Cleveland but people had gathered outside Wrigley to watch the game on TV). Photos of the sign circulated widely across social media.
Also seen in those photos: Toyota’s name and logo. The photos will be shared for years to come, giving the car company more additional exposure than it could have hoped for.
Cubs Win! Presented by State Farm
The company used a digital billboard along Chicago’s Kennedy Expressway that read “Cubs Win! Cubs Win!,” alongside the team’s logo.
State Farm’s name and logo is seen at the top of the ad.
It wasn’t the most creative or mind-blowing billboard. But the ad is another good example of how digital boards can capitalize on current events to make ads that much more relevant.
Congrats, from your crosstown rival
It ran after the Cubs won the National League Championship Series to clinch their first berth in the Fall Classic since 1945.
The sign itself was simple enough. It read, “Congratulations National League Champions” and featured the Cubs’ logo.
The unique thing was where it was placed, and who sponsored it. The sign was outside U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, the Cubs’ crosstown rival, demonstrating a bit of hometown goodwill.
This ad also circulated around social media, giving plenty of exposure to sign sponsors Volkswagen and Miller Lite.
The ad read, “From the White Sox.” Of course it was a lot easier for the Sox to congratulate the Cubs since in 2005 they overcame a long drought, winning the World Series for the first time since 1917.
Nike’s ‘living’ OOH ads
It featured a kid playing baseball alone in a park beneath the Chicago skyline while imagining a Cubs World Series victory.
The end of the ad featured the words “Goodbye Someday,” and analyst commentary from the series could be heard.
The TV ad was part of a larger overall campaign in Chicago that included “living” billboards that reacted to actual plays in the game. So, for instance, when the Cubs went up early in Game 7 with a leadoff home run, the billboards reflected that play and the lead.
Nike ran a similar “Worth the Wait” campaign that celebrated the Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA title last summer.
Live long enough to see a title
The board read, “Cubs Win World Series,” which up until Wednesday just before midnight was considered unlikely.
Beneath in parentheses, the board read, “Live to see it.”
Below was the phone number for the smoking cessation hotline.
Hopefully plenty of people took the ad up on the offer and made it to Game 7.
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