I've edited the team list just to include Big East and other notable teams [Sorry Tommy, Dayton didn't make the cut]. To see the full story, go to here at USA Today.
ESPN drops ad campaign that was to portray college stereotypes
By Michael Hiestand, USA Today
ESPN canceled plans Thursday for a TV ad campaign touting its college basketball coverage after learning that the actors were to depict sometimes crude stereotypes of students at specific colleges.
A leaked memo from Anomaly, a New York agency that has produced past ESPN ads, described a casting call for actors in which it sought someone to portray a Tennessee student as "a slutty girl who would hang out at the cowgirl hall of fame" and a Notre Dame student who is "an Asian kid ... who's always fighting."
The concept of the ad was to have students working at an ESPN call center, representing their schools as they phoned people to try to get them to watch ESPN college basketball coverage.
The campaign was killed as soon as the memo leaked. "Our marketing department just learned of this casting call today," said ESPN's Mike Soltys. "The language and approach reflected in that document were not approved by us and in no way represent ESPN or the respect we have for the college community."
In the memo, which first appeared on awfulannouncing.com, the "defining characteristic" of the Marquette student is that "you don't really remember her." The Kansas student "takes great pains to point out that Kansas is very cosmopolitan." Syracuse would need a "Jewish kid" who loves college — "all you can eat buffets in the cafeteria, who knew?"
The Purdue student needed to look 14 and the Oklahoma student needed to be "wide-eyed, as naive as they come."
The content of the memo is reproduced below.
PAY RATE: SAG PROMO RATE
Director: Matt Aselton
Casting Director: ERICA PALGON
Interview: Thurs 11/13 and Fri 11/14, Mon 11/17
Shoot: 11/24, 25
Location: New York
SUBMIT ELECTRONICALLY LIZ LEWIS CASTING PARTNERS
EVERYONE MUST BE STRONG WITH COMEDY/IMPROV. PLEASE WRITE ANY ADDITIONAL NOTES, IN THE NOTES PAGE, ABOUT ACTOR'S COMEDIC/IMPROV EXPERIENCE/TRAINING, THAT WOULD BE HELPFUL IN LOOKING THROUGH SUBMISSIONS
All roles are ages 18-22 yrs old. WITH THE EXCEPTION of PERDUE.
The concept: The spots take place in the ESPN College Basketball Call Center (CBBCC). All of these guys are there representing their schools, calling people on the phone to get them to watch more College Basketball. Basically they are selling college basketball.
[ DUKE UNIVERSITY ]
MALE. Our guy for Duke UNIVERSITY is a smart, with it, young WHITE male. He's handsome. He's from money. He is, in short, the kind of guy, everyone can't stand. He is the kind of guy everyone wants to be.
[ NORTH CAROLINA ]
FEMALE. She's a Southern bell. She is the counterpoint to Duke. Being young and pretty everyone wants to be around her. She's charming. Not a dingbat, she's sharp.
[ TEXAS ]
MALE. Straight out of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog, Texas is a young man's man. He is the kind of guy that could field dress a deer and then take you to the debutante ball in 20. Polite, farm boy. He's good at everything. Except call centering.
[ KANSAS ]
MALE. Kansas is straight off the farm. However, he takes great pains to point out that Kansas is very cosmopolitan, as witnessed by their record, their burgeoning tech industry, and their hybrid corns (bonus: modified by fish genes!)
[ CONNECTICUT ]
MALE. Connecticut is all things Connecticut. He's a little bit older. He's a little bit thicker around the waist. He's WHITE. He's also competitive. Very. Waspy, blue blood.
[ VILLANOVA ]
MALE. Villanova is the poor man's Duke — he's not quite as handsome, he's not quite as rich, he's not quite as dapper. After 2 or 3 beers though, who cares? As he's friendly enough.
[ NOTRE DAME ]
MALE He's an ASIAN kid who is in to all things Notre Dame, ridiculously so. Oh, and he's always fighting. Every time we encounter him he always has some words or another, be it the faint traces of a black eye, or a scab or whatever. He epitomizes the fightin' Irish.
[ PITTSBURGH ]
FEMALE. Pittsburgh is a tomboy. She obviously grew up in the neighborhood and isn't going to take any guff from anyone and she'll wallop you in the eye with a crowbar if you suggest different. So don't. Think Tina Fey type.
[ SYRACUSE ]
MALE. Jewish kid from Long Island that is loving the college experience. It has opened up a world he never knew existed. All you can eat buffets in the cafeteria — who knew? To Syracuse, everything is a party.
[ GEORGETOWN ]
FEMALE. Georgetown, a 4.36 GPA who's lived in 9 world-class cities, but all the time in her sister's shadow (her GPA is 4.37). She's sort of the female Duke, except most people like her. Think Reese Witherspoon.
[ GONZAGA ]
MALE. No one knows what Gonzaga looks like because no one knows where to find him. He is still stuck in the grunge look, reckless, in from the wild. Flannel look. Chews tobacco. Guy that would go to school in the Pacific Northwest.
[ MARQUETTE ]
FEMALE. Marquette, on a scale of 1-10, she's a six. A B-, C in every category you can define a person by. Her defining characteristic is you don't really remember her. You're not breaking your arm to get to her, but you're not chewing it off to get away. She does have a winning personality though. Midwest, sweet girl.
[ OHIO STATE ]
MALE. He looks like Jim Tressle (head coach of Ohio State football) in the dress code. Red sweater vest. Always. Doesn't care for swearing either — of course we never really test this out as they are commercial advertisements and no one swears in them, but it's true nevertheless. A Republican.