USOC, Ad Council take on roids

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The US Olympic Committee (USOC) and the Ad Council are capitalizing on the Olympic spirit by debuting a new three-year public awareness cam­paign that addresses teen steroid use.

Omnicom's TBWA\Chiat\Day created the multichannel campaign pro bono. The creative ties back to a new Web site, DontBeAnAsterisk.com, which features information on the risks of using steroids, including testimonials from former Olym­pic athletes who used steroids. US Olympic Team sponsor Johnson & Johnson funded the campaign, though the brand does not have a presence in the campaign.

“There is an increasing number of teens using steroids — it's not just male wrestlers anymore,” said Priscilla Natkins, EVP and director of client services at the Ad Council. “The campaign is aimed at stopping this by focusing on the loss of credibility that comes with using steroids.”

Banner ads that link back to the new site run across the Web on teen-frequented sites. These ads feature puns and humor similar to the tagline and Web address — for example, the word “jock” turns into “joke” and the word “player” turns into “poser,” next to an asterisk.

While the target audience is willing to admit to cheat­ing when it does, it is also “concerned about coming across as fake, so we decided to have the creative show that using steroids is inauthentic,” said Gary Scheiner, executive creative director at TBWA.

The campaign also includes 30- and 60-second TV spots, as well as print and radio ads.

In addition, both the USOC and Ad Council Web sites, at teamusa.org and adcouncil.org, respectively, link to the public awareness site.

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