A Small Step To Fix A Larger Problem

I’ve lived most of my life in Southern California, which means I do certain things and like certain things.  For instance:  Halloween Night is meant to be spent at Irvine Meadows listening to Oingo Boingo.  Freeways are referred to as the number without an article before them (you take 5 North to 405 North to 10 West.  No ‘The Five’.  Heathens.).  And arguably the best fast-food burger joint around is In-N-Out.

Man, I love me some In-N-Out burger.  I had last Friday off, so I headed over to my closest location to pick up lunch.  As I drove through the shopping center, I saw a poster advertising the showing of MLB games at a sit-down restaurant.  It made me do a double take, but as I was in a hurry I didn’t stop to take a picture.  When I went back over the weekend that particular poster* was gone.  However, the front door had a small advertisement mimicking what the poster showed.

10 June 13 047

I have nothing against DirecTV.  They’re trying to convince businesses to buy their product, and provide marketing materials to those businesses.  This ad sits on the front door of a local Oggi’s.  I have nothing against Oggi’s Restaurant either.   They’re trying to attract baseball fans as paying customers by showing them games they might care about. The issue I have with this ad is in the team shown on it.  Some focus group deep inside DirecTV determined printing ads showing the Dodgers would do more to attract customers than printing materials showcasing the Padres.

There was a time when all of San Diego could be considered Los Angeles Dodger country, back when they were the closest major league team.  That lasted all of 3 years.  When the Angels came into existence, they were geographically closer to us than the Dodgers, so one could argue we turned into Angels country for about 8 years.  That all ended before I – and, I suspect, most of you – was born.  We’ve been nothing but Padres country for the past 40+ years.  So why wouldn’t that display have a Padre player on it? Are more people in our local area interested in watching the Dodgers than in watching the Padres?

That a major restaurant would be OK with having an LA-logoed player on an ad for baseball in San Diego ought to scare the beejezus out of the Padres marketing people.  Businesses will advertise however they think will best drive business their way.  It speaks volumes that this particular Oggi’s restaurant believes having a Dodger on an MLB ad stuck to their front door is a good way to attract business.

On Sunday, the Padres unveiled an addendum to their 2013 promotional schedule.  Padres Public had details and some commentary about it yesterday.  Adding flesh to what was one of the sparsest giveaway lists I’ve seen from the Padres is a good thing – a very good thing.  San Diego has always been conflicted about the teams we locals support.  Specifically regarding the Padres, years of losing, uncertain team ownership, and poor baseball decisions have taken their toll, and driven some fans back into the arms of the teams from the north.  The tide needs to be stemmed.

Ron Fowler’s note in Sunday’s paper was a start.  The new promotional schedule is a start.  Exciting players like Jedd Gyorko, Kyle Blanks, and Chase Headley are a start.  But as this ad shows, there’s still lots of work to do.

*That phantom poster had both a Dodger and a Giant player prominently displayed on a 6′ by 4′ banner.

I post pretty regularly on Tuesdays, and sporadically on Twitter @Padres_Trail


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  • shaynes41

    I always thought calling I-405 “the 405” was a SoCal thing… In fact, if you grew up in LA, you would call I-405 “The San Diego Freeway” so calling I-405 “the 405” is actually a very San Diego thing…

    • Lonnie Brownell

      I grew up in Orange County (Seal Beach, starting in about 1960), and it was always “the [freeway number]”. True that people might say “take 5 north”, but more often “take THE 5 north”.

      Indeed, the 405 (there, I did it!) was (is) referred to as the San Diego Freeway, which, once I was old enough to figure it out, I found ironic, as it didn’t even make it to San Diego County, let alone the city.

      As for DirecTV’s marketing material–I wonder if the Oggi’s near Disneyland/Angel Stadium also has those same posters. With Posey and Kemp, it looks to me like that’s the California ad, and may well be state (region?) wide. I think that would really cheese off Angel fans, with all their high-priced/high-profile poster-boy talent, even more than it does us Padres fans.

      • Not in my experience, obviously. Interesting that both of yours are different. Lonnie predates me out here by (ahem) several years.

        Now I wonder if my globe-trotting days destroyed my memory…

    • Sean Dreusike

      That’s my understanding as well. The Bay Area people leave out the article and think we are weirdos for putting it there. They take 5, we take The 5.

  • ItsDis

    The larger poster shows Kemp and Posey.

    • Thanks. Where did you see it?

      • Lonnie Brownell

        I think the Oggi’s in Encinitas has that larger posted. We may be going there tomorrow; if so, I’ll report back.

      • SDPads1

        At the Santee Sportsplex they have the huge one with Kemp and Posey hanging in the bar area. I noticed it last night and it irked me. Little did I know you would be posting this today. I’ll get a picture next Monday if its still up.

      • That would be awesome.

      • Lonnie Brownell

        Oggi’s Encinitas has removed the poster. I’m sure it bothered them, too.

      • ItsDis

        Peabody’s, in mission valley. I’ll try to grab a picture for you.

  • Brandon Cline

    It shall forever be known to all people who operate vehicles in this land as “the [freeway number]”. Any reference otherwise is treason and punishable by stoning, or 8 hours of listening to Hacksaw.

  • I NEVER prefix the freeway number with the word “Interstate” or its abbreviated form “I”. I’ll usually say take the 5. If I’m telling which direction one needs to travel I will drop the “the” and say take 5 North. I’ve only known driving in Ca FWIW.

    Typical San Diego. I love my home but business owners don’t give a crap because most people don’t give a crap. We are the exception.

    Just for fun we should organize a boycott of Oggi’s. For Social science!

    • By organize I mean write a brief letter to Oggi’s and then exaggerate the importance on Twitter

      • Lonnie Brownell

        Fortunately, my Oggi’s has removed the poster. So leave them out. Gotta have that Wednesday night two-topping large pizza for half-price deal (with a 22oz mug of Hop Juice)!

  • ey215

    While I don’t like seeing Posey and Kemp on anything either, that campaign is a national one.

    I did a double-take and wondered why the hell they’d have those guys on advertisements in a restaurant here in the suburbs of Atlanta.

    And my god I need an In-N-Out. Is it too strange to buy a cross country plane ticket just for that?

    • padrestrail

      Thanks for that insight on the DirecTV posters. It’s actually nice to know they weren’t just targeting SoCal with those posters.

      And nope – not strange at all to buy a ticket just for a burger. My sources tell me In-N-Out has opened a store in Dallas, which is a little closer to you.