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Andre Dawson and the commercial you can’t stop seeing

Oct 22, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

dawson and wood commercial

If you’ve watched the playoffs you’ve probably seen the State Farm insurance commercial featuring Kerry Wood pulling Andre Dawson out of the ivy at Wrigley Field.

It’s been playing on a non-stop loop all month, although it’s amusing enough that the baseball-watching world hasn’t completely turned against it and Dawson is loving the reaction.

“It’s been off the charts,” Dawson told Mike Bernardino of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Everywhere I go, people are saying, ‘Hey, I saw the commercial. Good job.’ Now I’ve got more friends than I can imagine.”

Bernardino has the details on how the commercial was shot:

Turns out there was no green-screen technology required to make the “Hawk” look like he’d been stuck in the famed ivy all these years. All it took was a rectangular table, some makeup-room magic and a little extra ivy to cover up a door in the right-field wall. The production crew opened the now-hidden door and had Dawson, 58, lie Superman-style on the sheet-covered table. Each time Wood reached in, Dawson would hand him a different item.

It’s nowhere near the worst constantly running commercial of the postseason and if nothing else seeing Wood and Dawson a million times beats “Frank TV.”

  1. heyblueyoustink - Oct 22, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    What would be really funny is someone pulling Bartman out of the ivy bound with duct tape and gagged.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 22, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      The courts have ruled that it is OK to laugh at heyblue’s Bartman comment as long as you feel a little bit guilty afterwards.

  2. deathmonkey41 - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    It’s a terrible commercial.

  3. Old Gator - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    I wish they’d run some of the commercials from Putney Swope instead.

  4. thelucasjj - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Still better than Cougar Town commercials.

  5. cur68 - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    I love that commercial. Nice to see Dawson again and in uniform, too. He and Wood look fit and I have to remind myself that neither is playing anymore. Which is a shame, if you ask me.

  6. beefytrout - Oct 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    The biggest thing I take from this commercial is that Kerry Wood would probably have a nice career as an analyst if he ever wanted to.

  7. temporarilyexiled - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    So how did we end up with: cell phone…French horn…Andre Dawson?

  8. randygnyc - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    I’ve mentioned here before, I think the commercial is exploitive and quite possibly racist. It belittles one of the cubs most recent high caliber players. He’s dragged out of the wall as if he hadn’t been missed in many years. It also makes the viewer feel like Andre has been lost, perhaps in a drug/alcohol induced “fog”, for years. Why he would agree to be the guy pulled literally out of obscurity, is beyond me. I’m assuming he wanted the money.

    • nategearhart - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      He was “literally” pulled out of a wall of ivy, not obscurity.

    • kopy - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      You’re reading way too much into it. It’s a funny commercial that wouldn’t work with anyone else. The only other retired/alive prominent Cubs outfielder is Sammy Sosa, who probably wouldn’t fit since he wasn’t known for defense (to even get into the ivy) and isn’t the best marketing tool due to his PED links.

    • heyblueyoustink - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      Still not over the sweep, Randy?

      • protius - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        Any excuse to avoid the truth, stinky?

    • cur68 - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      Aww man, really? “a drug/alcohol induced “fog”, for years”?? Really? You may not be aware of this but The Hawk is loved and respected by a good many people. Know what I see? I see a living legend stuck in another living legend, in one of the most historic stadiums on the continent being assisted by a recently retired guy with an excellent Big League career. Drugs, alcohol, fog…WTF?

    • gostlcards5 - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:43 PM

      Wow, I admit, I did not see that coming. Racist, really? I think you’re trying to find things that really aren’t there.

      I love this commercial. I grew up watching the rivalry of (primarily) the Cards/Cubs/Mets in the old NL East in the late 70’s-80’s, and as a Cards fan, I LOVED watching Andre Dawson play. He was phenomenal. He was an absolute defensive stud with a cannon in RF (I’ve never seen an outfielder with a better arm, and to my recollection, only Ichiro and Ankiel could rival the strength/accuracy combo). I saw this commercial as Andre being willing to do anything to catch a ball, including slamming himself into the ivy-covered wall.

    • husky2score - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      This is not a Deep Thoughts article dude.

  9. moagecu - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    randy, you are thinking way way too hard about it.

  10. dmvdmv101560 - Oct 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    To randygnyc:

    Ahhh yes – playing the race card because only black men get lost in a drug and alcohol induced “fog”. I believe if anything is racist about this column it’s your comment trying to make it about race. It’s meant to be a funny commercial, as most of the State Farm commercials are, and there are absolutely no racial undertones to it. And it certainly does not belittle a former Cubs superstar and if he did it only for the money – as you assume – so what? Your probably still pissed that the Yankees got swept and your trying to take it out on other people – at least that’s what I assume!!

    • protius - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      Mxyzptlk:

      Clearly, the subtleties of Hyperbole, simile and metaphor are lost on you.

      • Old Gator - Oct 22, 2012 at 6:18 PM

        Clearly, the refreshments of mere pleasantry were never yours in the first place.

  11. lew24 - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    How much weight has Kerry Wood lost? He must of lost those pounds in the ivy too!

  12. Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    How has no one complained about the ATROCIOUS Levi’s commercial with the godawful beat-style poetry? I would think that one has to be in the running for all-time worst commercial.

  13. randygnyc - Oct 22, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Funny, I made mention about this commercial, in this very blog, befor ethe Yankees got swept. So, that’s not it, lol.

    Look at Andre’s face and eyes as he pulled out. Either he’s been sleeping, or getting high.

    I found the commercial offensive and I was embarrassed for the Hawk. You don’t have to share my opinion. I think Allstate exploited an ex player, who, if he was flush with cash, would have told them to go f@ck themselves.

    • mrwillie - Oct 22, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      Offended? By an insurance commercial?

      In the words of the comedian Steve Hughes….”You were offended? So what?……nothing happens. No one is offended and then wakes up in the morning with leprosy. We teach our kids ‘sticks and stones….and grown folks run around being offended. Be offended then, no one cares”

    • lawdog7326 - Oct 22, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      First off, it was State Farm, not Allstate but that’s a minor point. As for looking at Dawson’s face, a)he’s not an actor so don’t read too much into that and b)even so, the concept of the commercial was that he’d been stuck in the ivy for years so any direction he was given was likely something along the sort of “act like you haven’t seen the sun in a long time” and c)it was meant to be lighthearted and funny.

      Now, I can’t seriously believe you think a 30 second insurance commercial is attempting to make a statement about Dawson’s life for race. And how do you know he’s not flush with cash and didn’t do this just because he thought it’d be fun? You’re entitled to your opinion but I wouldn’t assume for Dawson his motives for agreeing to do a quick commercial.

    • kopy - Oct 22, 2012 at 3:38 PM

      I would imagine that someone trapped inside of ivy for multiple years would definitely have vision issues trying to instantly adjust to natural light – if we’re still reading this much into it.

    • mba242012 - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:01 AM

      I echo mrwillie:You were OFFENDED? Really? By a commercial that was just for fun?

      Here’s a news flash Skippy: The country is on the verge of economic collapse, millions of us are unemployed, our kids are addicted to drugs both legal and illegal or stalked by pedophiles, 20% of us live in poverty, and 400 folks in your beloved Chicago have been murdered since the All Star break. Oh yeah, we just had 4 Ameicans murdered in Libya, and over 4000 soldiers killed surving in an inferno known as the Mid East, in part, so you can maintain the right to be offended. Is it any wonder those among us who are engaged in the real world see a lighthearted commercial for what it is…lighthearted?

      By the way, Andre doesn’t need your approval to go out and make a few bucks and have a few yucks doing a commercial. If it’s at all important to you, The Hawk says he had a blast doing the spot and has gotten tons of positive feedback. So..are you saying Andre is too dumb to know he was exploited? Hmm…who’s the racist?

      Wake up! Your vision’s worse than Andre’s, and he’s been hidden in that ivy all these years…

  14. timpaz - Oct 22, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    For some reason I smile every time I see it.

  15. umrguy42 - Oct 22, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    I loved the State Farm one from the other year, with the little kids in all their team gear, the part where the parent with the baby in the Cubs outfit sits down next to the parent with the baby in the Cardinals outfit, and the Cards parent turns their kid away from the Cubs kid :p

  16. yahmule - Oct 22, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    The Hawk is my all time favorite player. Few athletes in any sport have been as universally admired by fans and teammates.

  17. sleepyirv - Oct 22, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    How can you literally change the face of late night tv? And why was that the statement that they drilled into my head so I could never forget it?

  18. hojo20 - Oct 22, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Who watches commercials outside of people in nursing homes & prisons that aren’t allowed to use the remote?

    • cur68 - Oct 22, 2012 at 8:34 PM

      er…people who like funny commercials?

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