Two ad agencies. Two teams. One social media battle.
Conover Tuttle Pace (CTP) and HughesLeahyKarlovic (HLK), the respective advertising agencies for the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals, began a friendly wager in the spirit of the World Series. They developed a website, beardsvsbirds.com, entirely devoted to smack talk—everything from Twitter taunting to Vines poking fun of the other team/agency/city.
Both agencies are doing work to promote their clients' appearances in the World Series, but it's hard to say who is benefitting more, as the reps seem to be embracing the competition body and soul.
"That's the great thing about this," said Brian Heffron, executive vice president and partner at CTP. "The agency is having so much fun with it and that was a really big driver on this. Beyond working for the Red Sox as their agency, we're also die-hard fans. We take our baseball and the World Series pretty seriously."
Using the hashtag #beardsvsbirdsad, each agency throws down digs at the other team, feeding the fire for the other to develop a creative response.
"We thought it'd be fun if we took those old-school political bets that you see and added a little bit of creativity and a little bit of humor to it," Heffron said.
Here a taste of the type of humor getting tossed around:
The Sox are enjoying #beardsvsbirdsad so much they're just making sure it lasts more than 4 games.— CTP Boston (@ctpboston) October 25, 2013
The competition, born from sports, evolved into a creative sparring match following Game 1 of the series.
"We called them on Monday and said, 'do you want to have some fun?'" Heffron said. "Within a half hour they called us back and they were all over it."
CTP and HLK have used Vine, Twitter, Instagram, and other social channels, keeping even those who aren't baseball fans involved in the series, Heffron said.
"We have different dogs in this fight, but we found we're so similar. Their sense of humor is similar, their level of creativity is great. I guess when you sit around and stare at an arch all day you have a lot of time to think," Heffron said.
CTP even sent HLK a box of Sox hats. In case you couldn't guess, it did not go over well:
And it prompted an Instagram-video response:
But this isn't just in the name of spirited competition—with any wager comes a payoff, and these agencies have agreed to a hefty one:
-Losing agency CEO interns for the day at the winning agency.
-Losing agency serves winning agency dinner. If Boston loses, CTP will bring Harpoon Ale, Fenway Franks and clam chowder to HLK. If St. Louis loses, HLK will bring Budweiser, toasted ravioli and pork steaks to CTP.
-Losing agency turns website and social channels over to winner the day of the victory parade. The winner will also re-write the email signatures of the losing agency and the receptionist must answer the phone with, “Congratulations to the World Series Champion (Boston/St. Louis), you have reached (HLK/CTP).”
-Losing agency will re-name softball team in honor of winning team.
(Courtesy CTP Boston)
There are a few more games to go before CTP and HLK find out who'll be paying up, but until then, Heffron said, there's much fun to be had.
"We're hoping not only for a win for the Red Sox, but also for a lot of ammunition for taunts."