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View Full Version : TwoByFour: Farewell salute!


BeefyD
06-19-2007, 12:12 PM
Thank you for your genious in the Grinder Rules and other such ads the last few years!!! We'll miss 'em!

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-tue_grinder0619jun19,0,1023410.story?coll=chi-bizfront-hed

IlliniSox4Life
06-19-2007, 12:18 PM
This is unfortunate. I always enjoyed the work that TwoByFour's company did, and his posts here.

jabrch
06-19-2007, 12:18 PM
Wow - that's a surprise. I know it is normal in the industry to, from time to time, put your account out to bid, but given the quality work that Two by Four did, I'm surprised they'd do it now.

That said, I am sure they will get plenty of other work based on the quality of the work they did with the Sox.

BV2005
06-19-2007, 12:24 PM
yea, thats a good way to help a struggling team. get a new ad company.

Foulke You
06-19-2007, 12:27 PM
I don't really understand this move from the franchise's perspective. I realize winning was a part of 2x4's success but the fans response to the recent ad campaigns were very positive and the best the team has put out in years. The park is full and the season ticket base is higher despite the poor record in the standings. Isn't that indicative of successful marketing as well as a winning product? I'm of the opinion of "if it ain't broke..."

roylestillman
06-19-2007, 12:28 PM
yea, thats a good way to help a struggling team. get a new ad company.

Good ol' fashion kill the messenger...

Great work. I really think they elevated the image of the team. Maybe its time to recycle "The kids can play."

peeonwrigley
06-19-2007, 12:47 PM
I actually haven't been a fan of many of the ads this season. The Southside Board of Tourism ones are painful to watch, IMO.

I really thought they did well in 2005 and 2006, though. I find it odd to dump them mid-season like this. Wonder if there is more to it than the article discusses?

tebman
06-19-2007, 12:52 PM
I don't really understand this move from the franchise's perspective. I realize winning was a part of 2x4's success but the fans response to the recent ad campaigns were very positive and the best the team has put out in years. The park is full and the season ticket base is higher despite the poor record in the standings. Isn't that indicative of successful marketing as well as a winning product? I'm of the opinion of "if it ain't broke..."
It's a tribute to the quality of 2x4's work that we're even commenting on a change in the White Sox's advertising agency. I mean, if I had been asked in the last 40 years who the Sox's ad agency was, I wouldn't even understand the question.

Obviously we connected with their work, and that speaks volumes about their effectiveness.

Good luck to 2x4! They're a talented bunch and I'm sure they won't be hurting for new clients.

:cheers:

vegyrex
06-19-2007, 12:56 PM
Seems like a bonehead move to me.

CLR01
06-19-2007, 01:15 PM
yea, thats a good way to help a struggling team. get a new ad company.

Well, the Cubs already tried changing their announcers with little success, the Sox had to do something fresh.

I find it odd to dump them mid-season like this. Wonder if there is more to it than the article discusses?

It sounds like they will finish out the season and the new agency will take over sometime in the offseason.

jabrch
06-19-2007, 01:22 PM
I actually haven't been a fan of many of the ads this season. The Southside Board of Tourism ones are painful to watch, IMO.

I really thought they did well in 2005 and 2006, though. I find it odd to dump them mid-season like this. Wonder if there is more to it than the article discusses?

I don't think they are dumping them midseason - they are putting the account out for review, which means out to bid. Two By Four, from the sound of the article, doesn't care to bid for an account that they are doing a good job on - so they are thumbing their nose at Brooks (probably rightfully so) and telling him that if they don't have a good enough relationship that they know they want to keep them, that they are going to just pass on going through the entire bid process. It's fairly common for small agencies to do that.

Anyhow, they need to start soon to build their 2008 campaigns. That's why they'd put it out to bid so early in 2007.

duke of dorwood
06-19-2007, 01:24 PM
They did a great job-but do we really need slogans every year?

getonbckthr
06-19-2007, 01:24 PM
Brooks is staying though right?

CLR01
06-19-2007, 01:26 PM
Brooks is staying though right?

Brooks works for the Sox. Yes.

peeonwrigley
06-19-2007, 01:29 PM
Anyhow, they need to start soon to build their 2008 campaigns. That's why they'd put it out to bid so early in 2007.

True. Especially if the quality of baseball remains anything like May and June... the new company will have its work cut out for them.:(:

DumpJerry
06-19-2007, 01:31 PM
Brooks is staying though right?
Why not? He is not 2X4, he is the White Sox (and Bulls before that).

This is normal in the advertising industry. Companies change agencies frequently.

NoNeckEra
06-19-2007, 01:47 PM
Seems like a bonehead move to me.

Obviously, your measuring stick and that of the Sox are different.
Maybe they're looking at "walk-up" sales at a standstill this year and feel that the ads' effectiveness are "grinding" to a halt.

spiffie
06-19-2007, 01:51 PM
Obviously, your measuring stick and that of the Sox are different.
Maybe they're looking at "walk-up" sales at a standstill this year and feel that the ads' effectiveness are "grinding" to a halt.
The fact that about 3/4 of Sox games have been played in crappy weather, and about 3/4 of them have had some form of a crappy B-team lineup available due to injury/sucking, strikes me as much greater issues.

That said, a lot of the tv spots this year haven't been all that good, the Buehrle no-hitter one being an exception.

NoNeckEra
06-19-2007, 02:00 PM
The fact that about 3/4 of Sox games have been played in crappy weather, and about 3/4 of them have had some form of a crappy B-team lineup available due to injury/sucking, strikes me as much greater issues.

This "agency review" tells me management already realizes (not even half way thru this season) that next year is going to be a tough sell to existing season ticket holders (myself included) who can't GIVE their seats away.

Season ticket renewals are usually due in November and a new approach to the existing ST base may be part of the mix as well.

jabrch
06-19-2007, 02:01 PM
Maybe they're looking at "walk-up" sales at a standstill this year

I will go out on a limb here and say that there is a much stronger correlation between our record and the low walkup sales than there is between our advertisting and our walkup sales.

jabrch
06-19-2007, 02:02 PM
This "agency review" tells me management already realizes (not even half way thru this season) that next year is going to be a tough sell to existing season ticket holders (myself included) who can't GIVE their seats away.

All it tells me (and I worked for an agency for a long time) is that their contract is up and they want to look at multiple agency's fresh creative ideas. This is 100% normal for the industry.

NoNeckEra
06-19-2007, 02:21 PM
I will go out on a limb here and say that there is a much stronger correlation between our record and the low walkup sales than there is between our advertisting and our walkup sales.

While that may be true, zero walk-up gate indicates that up to this point, for the last two years, it was the teams performance that got the attendence, not the campaign.

ANY campaign works during a championship run. If I'm the Sox, I'm saying, "I want a campaign that will attract more incremental ticket sales, regardless of the product on the field."

CLR01
06-19-2007, 03:01 PM
ANY campaign works during a championship run. If I'm the Sox, I'm saying, "I want a campaign that will attract more incremental ticket sales, regardless of the product on the field."

If this is what they want then the Sox have fools running the ship. It should be clear to everyone by now that they are not going to attract Sox fans and the average Joe, in large numbers, when the product on the field is ****. I don't care what marketing campaign they come up with.

NoNeckEra
06-19-2007, 03:23 PM
If this is what they want then the Sox have fools running the ship. It should be clear to everyone by now that they are not going to attract Sox fans and the average Joe, in large numbers, when the product on the field is ****. I don't care what marketing campaign they come up with.

If all that drives ticket sales is the success of the product on the field, then why advertise at all?

jabrch
06-19-2007, 03:25 PM
If all that drives ticket sales is the success of the product on the field, then why advertise at all?

Because if you don't, you won't maximize the benefits of a successful season.

Cat Thief
06-19-2007, 03:29 PM
That said, a lot of the tv spots this year haven't been all that good, the Buehrle no-hitter one being an exception.

Not a big fan of that spot as the background fans are from a day game and not one of them is standing and cheering.

NoNeckEra
06-19-2007, 03:32 PM
Because if you don't, you won't maximize the benefits of a successful season.

So DID they maximize the benefits of a successful season with their advertising campaign?

areilly
06-19-2007, 03:37 PM
If this is what they want then the Sox have fools running the ship. It should be clear to everyone by now that they are not going to attract Sox fans and the average Joe, in large numbers, when the product on the field is ****. I don't care what marketing campaign they come up with.

I always thought that was the genius of the Grinder Rules campaign; it framed 2005 brilliantly as "this team could suck, or be awesome in previously unseen ways - come find out! And be a tough guy in the process!"

But to answer a lot of other poster's comments, it's very rare for business/agency relationships to last forever.

2008 White Sox Baseball - Shank or be shanked!

ws05champs
06-19-2007, 03:41 PM
I don't think they are dumping them midseason - they are putting the account out for review, which means out to bid. Two By Four, from the sound of the article, doesn't care to bid for an account that they are doing a good job on - so they are thumbing their nose at Brooks (probably rightfully so) and telling him that if they don't have a good enough relationship that they know they want to keep them, that they are going to just pass on going through the entire bid process. It's fairly common for small agencies to do that.

I've never understood why an ad agency would drop a client for wanting a review. Competition is part of business. If anyone should know this, it is an ad agency.

No matter what we think of TwoByFour's work we are not privy to what the marketing goals of the White Sox are and how they were being met by the work of TwoByFour. Only Brooks knows that.

downstairs
06-19-2007, 03:48 PM
I've never understood why an ad agency would drop a client for wanting a review. Competition is part of business. If anyone should know this, it is an ad agency.


Well, first of all if something is "open for review" it may also mean that even if you win it again, they're going to lowball you on price or amount of work they want for the price, etc. It damages the relationship.

Plus, if you've done good work and can stand up for it... that may be your best bargaining chip: "we're not re-bidding, take us or leave us, but you lose out on good work", etc.

IlliniSox4Life
06-19-2007, 03:56 PM
2008 White Sox Baseball - Shank or be shanked!

Why would we steal the Bengals slogan?

FireMariotti
06-19-2007, 04:35 PM
I hope they hire whoever does those McDonald's ads!

jabrch
06-19-2007, 05:46 PM
So DID they maximize the benefits of a successful season with their advertising campaign?

I'd think so - they sold tons of tickets for the two following years. I'm sure their renewal rate next year won't be anywhere close to where it has been in any of the the past years.

jabrch
06-19-2007, 05:54 PM
I've never understood why an ad agency would drop a client for wanting a review. Competition is part of business. If anyone should know this, it is an ad agency.

No matter what we think of TwoByFour's work we are not privy to what the marketing goals of the White Sox are and how they were being met by the work of TwoByFour. Only Brooks knows that.

I agree with your second paragraph. While what you say in the first paragraph is true, I don't agree with it. Some agencies will say - look, we've done great work for you for X years in a row, delivering everything we promised. We aren't going to be put in a position where we have to invest our creative people's time coming up with campaigns for you when we are not being paid for it, only for a client to take some other agency.

NSSoxFan
06-19-2007, 06:00 PM
Anyone that thinks TwoByFour, the actual agency not the poster, is responsible in any way for the rise in attendence is in need of some serious help. The ads were great for the first two years, but as some have already commented, this year was just plain bad. I mean, "Party like it's 2005"??...puhhhlease. Of course, Brooks deserves some 'blame' for this because he is the final decision maker.

jabrch
06-19-2007, 06:04 PM
Anyone that thinks TwoByFour, the actual agency not the poster, is responsible in any way for the rise in attendence is in need of some serious help.

Do you really think that all the advertising and marketing the Sox did the past three years had NO EFFECT on attendence?

NSSoxFan
06-19-2007, 06:05 PM
Plus, if you've done good work and can stand up for it... that may be your best bargaining chip: "we're not re-bidding, take us or leave us, but you lose out on good work", etc.

There are certain business relationships where this is true, but not if the content of work only spans for 2 years. Monster.com put Cramer & Krasselt on review a few months ago, and C&K responded by dropping the account. There is a huge difference, and I mean huge, between what C&K did for Monster and what 2x4 did for the White Sox. The Sox winning in 2005, was the best advertising campaign anybody can offer.

NSSoxFan
06-19-2007, 06:07 PM
Do you really think that all the advertising and marketing the Sox did the past three years had NO EFFECT on attendence?

Obviously there was an impact, but a very minimal one. If the Sox were under .500 in 2005 under the same marketing campaign, do you really think ads would drive casual fans to the park??

MarySwiss
06-19-2007, 06:48 PM
If this is what they want then the Sox have fools running the ship. It should be clear to everyone by now that they are not going to attract Sox fans and the average Joe, in large numbers, when the product on the field is ****. I don't care what marketing campaign they come up with.

If all that drives ticket sales is the success of the product on the field, then why advertise at all?

NoNeck, I don't see anywhere in CLR's post where he said that success is all that drives ticket sales. However, IMO, one of the great things about being a Sox fan has always been that we are not mindless sheep who slavishly support a team when that team sucks interminably. I love the Sox, but while they're losing like this, I'm not watching. And if I lived in town, I would be saying it with my wallet as well.

They don't have to win the WS (or the AL, or the division, for that matter) to get fans watching. But they absolutely cannot be as pathetic as this year's team has been (so far). That's. Not. Acceptable.

Brian26
06-19-2007, 07:19 PM
What year did TwoxFour start? Were they responsible for the Win or Die Trying Ads in late 2004? Those were great.

RallyBowl
06-19-2007, 07:49 PM
2 x 4 has been great, but I also thought the campaign was slipping this year.

We are Chicago Baseball? Jeez, I thought Chicago baseball was historically about losing. I guess they nailed that one.

thomas35forever
06-19-2007, 08:40 PM
What year did TwoxFour start? Were they responsible for the Win or Die Trying Ads in late 2004? Those were great.
You mean 2005. I don't recall any WoDT ads not from that year.

Brian26
06-19-2007, 08:47 PM
You mean 2005. I don't recall any WoDT ads not from that year.

How about the commercials with Rowand on the train after he dies? I thought that was late '04.

thomas35forever
06-19-2007, 08:50 PM
How about the commercials with Rowand on the train after he dies? I thought that was late '04.
I remember seeing a news report for that commercial being filmed around April of '05.

NardiWasHere
06-19-2007, 09:16 PM
Was TwobyFour responsible for the ads where a Sox player would die or almost die and have a dream sequence? I can't remember what year that was...

oeo
06-19-2007, 09:43 PM
Anyone that thinks TwoByFour, the actual agency not the poster, is responsible in any way for the rise in attendence is in need of some serious help. The ads were great for the first two years, but as some have already commented, this year was just plain bad. I mean, "Party like it's 2005"??...puhhhlease. Of course, Brooks deserves some 'blame' for this because he is the final decision maker.

The new ones (the Contreras, Erstad, and the new Buehrle no-no one) are the best they've made, IMO.

Seems like they've had three different marketing campaigns this year. They had the ones you're talking about, TSSBOT, and now these new, "This is Chicago Baseball," ones which are great.

The Immigrant
06-19-2007, 09:50 PM
Jalapeno...or Wasabi.

BV2005
06-19-2007, 10:29 PM
Was TwobyFour responsible for the ads where a Sox player would die or almost die and have a dream sequence? I can't remember what year that was...

yes that was 2x4.

TomBradley72
06-19-2007, 11:30 PM
All it tells me (and I worked for an agency for a long time) is that their contract is up and they want to look at multiple agency's fresh creative ideas. This is 100% normal for the industry.

And in business in general.

The campaign this year was very disjointed...SSBTC, We are Chicago Baseball, Back to the Grind...three different themes/slogans, etc..very muddled message.

chisoxmike
06-19-2007, 11:31 PM
Good. They should have been fired for the "Back to the Grind" campaign.

DieTrying79
06-20-2007, 12:09 AM
Ironically, my girlfriend was at a seminar today where Brooks was the keynote speaker. He actually praised TwobyFour, and spoke highly of their work. No mention of the separation...

russ99
06-20-2007, 08:20 AM
Ironically, my girlfriend was at a seminar today where Brooks was the keynote speaker. He actually praised TwobyFour, and spoke highly of their work. No mention of the separation...

Due to Brooks' work, I'd be surprised if TwobyFour wasn't one of the agencies bidding on the contract.

Opening up contracts is part of the advertising business, so this shouldn't be a surprise.

Law11
06-20-2007, 08:26 AM
All it tells me (and I worked for an agency for a long time) is that their contract is up and they want to look at multiple agency's fresh creative ideas. This is 100% normal for the industry.

Exactly.. We just reviewed our agencies for our business and went new after 5 years with our prior agency.. Sometimes you just need to start fresh. Agencies can get laxed (not that this was the case with 2x4, I have no idea) but its normal business.

WikdChiSoxFan
06-20-2007, 08:42 AM
I'm disregarding all the previous lame bickering commentary on the ad campaigns, cause you're all entitled to your own opinions, blah, blah, blah...

but the title of the thread was "farewell salute", so i will do just that...

TwoxFour, your work is great, (are you related to Micheal Rock and 2x4 in NY?)... Seriously, as a member of the design community, you brought a lot of welcome attention to the Southside. You pumped me up. You made me proud. You instilled a passion/fever in this community that I've never seen before. You have some serious design chops, and I wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors.

Though I am not in marketing/film/graphic design, please see my attached resume and put PBR on tap in anticipation of my arrival.

Once again, Thank you.

-Wikd

jabrch
06-20-2007, 08:47 AM
Due to Brooks' work, I'd be surprised if TwobyFour wasn't one of the agencies bidding on the contract.

Opening up contracts is part of the advertising business, so this shouldn't be a surprise.


Per the Tribune, Two By Four appears to have already said that they will not compete for this business. If the Sox want them to stay on, they can probably renegotiate a deal. But I don't believe 2X4 will be pitching.

For those not in the advertising/marketing/PR business, pitching a new account is a very time consuming process. It takes multiple months and many man hours to put together a strong pitch. Companies don't like doing this for their existing accounts unless it is really worth a TON of money. I doubt the Sox account is that big that 2X4 thinks it is worth doing this. And I believe that they think their work speaks for itself.

slavko
06-20-2007, 09:34 AM
No matter who gets the account, they're going to be part of a period of declining revenues and have to shoulder part of the blame, if my eyeballs aren't lying to me every time I watch this current team.

Why is there no periodic review of deadly dull broadcasters to see if they're contributing to the revenues of the team?

billcissell
06-21-2007, 12:48 PM
I've spent my entire career (29 years and counting) in the ad agency business. The decision by the Sox to put the account up for review is a standard business practice.

Two by Four has done outstanding work for the White Sox over the last few years. They have elevated the brand image of the Sox with a steady series of compelling and humorous concepts that have attracted and retained the attention of the hard-core and casual fan.

An agency's creative work and accomplishments are only as good as the client they work for.

I believe Boyer wants to take the marketing of the Sox in a new direction, and get a feel for what else might be out there in terms of creative execution. So he's putting the account up for review. Two by Four gracefully declined to participate, signaling that they may be in agreement that it's time for both parties to go their separate ways.

Best of luck to the folks at Two by Four. I believe they have set the bar very high in terms of creative excellence. Boyer and his marketing team may be hard pressed to find another agency that can match their performance and approach to selling the Sox.