Cubs’ rising stars featured in 2016 campaign from SCC

The Chicago Cubs’ 2016 ad campaign, “Kids. They Grow Up Fast,” created by agency Schafer Condon Carter for the fourth season, was designed to help fans get to know the team’s rising young star players, in charming 30-second spots, billboards, social media, radio and out-of-home. The spots end with a repeat of 2015’s “Let’s Go” tagline.

First baseman Rizzo, as he rises from baby to Little Leaguer to Major Leaguer, was featured in the first spot that debuted in late March. The newest spot is about pitcher Jon Lester and his battle with lymphoma. Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber and others will appear in the campaign as the season progresses.

The new Cubs campaign is more personal than those of teams that want fans to connect on a performance level, notes SCC creative director Ron Sone.

“We’re going beyond anything that happens on the field. We’re humanizing each player, showing that they have dreams and aspirations just like any fan. It allows fans to share in the destination which is unpredictable and the drama which is undeniable.”

Adds the Cubs’ Alison Miller, senior director of marketing: “In 2013, we made the campaign about the fans. In 2014, while rebuilding the team, we turned the attention to Wrigley’s 100th birthday. Going deep into post-season in 2015, we realized the team was beginning to gel. That influenced our decision in making 2016 about inviting fans to take a season-long journey with the ball club.”

To create the campaign, SCC and the Cubs’ marketing department reached out to the players and their families to obtain old photos and VHS tapes of them as children. Ironically, the mementoes revealed that some of the boys had played on Little League teams named the Cubs.

The spots were edited by Nate Pence at post house Conspiracy and visual effects and finish came from The Mill Chicago.

SCC credits: CD Ron Sone, CD / art director Michael Dorich and executive director/producer Leroy Koetz.

Colin Costello, who still calls Chicago “home,” is a screenwriter whose credits include the 2016 family film, “Traveling Without Moving.” He can be reached at