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April 23, 2010

Is the new Preakness ad campaign "Get Your Preak On" in poor taste?

preak on billboardIn the ad, a feisty young volunteer at a retirement home gushes about getting his "preak on" with an elderly woman.

"How could I resist, especially considering this might be her last chance,” he says. “I was a little concerned with how her hip would hold up, knowing we'd be at it all day long."

The commercial, one of six ads airing on local radio stations, is part of a controversial ad campaign for this year’s Preakness Stakes. Listen to it here. The "Get Your Preak On" slogan also appears online, in TV ads and on billboards and bus stops around Baltimore.

Do you think it's in poor taste? Or is it effective? E-mail me at ...

When Pimlico officials banned the long-standing tradition of BYOB last year, the infield was a shade of its former self. This campaign is aimed at bringing back the party-seeking 20- and 30-somethings to the infield.

So far, it's working, according to Maryland Jockey Club President Tom Chuckas. Infield ticket sales are up five percent compared to this time in 2008 -- the last year patrons could bring their own beer and wine to the infield.

"People like the campaign and people don't," Chuckas said. "But I will tell you one thing -- everyone has an opinon and everyone’s noticed it. And after all, isn’t that what advertising and marketing is all about?"

(Photo courtesy of Elevation)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:54 PM | | Comments (47)
Categories: Random stuff


It sucks

How about:
Super Preak
Preak Out!
The Preaks Come Out at Night

Maybe get that drunk from 10 years ago who ran out on to the track and took a swing at one of the horses to be the spokesman.

They're just creepy!

DITTO (via Evan)

The ads are obnoxious, irrelevant to the race and insulting to the intelligence of anyone who's graduated 8th grade. The only good thing about this campaign is that it will be gone by May 16th.

"Get your preak on," you have earned your rightful place on the StopTheAdness Wall of Shame.

I think we should fine the officials who made this campaign.

@BigBill wow that was 10 years ago? Let me be the most recent one on this blog to say, "I feel old."

I think it's fine. It's a lot better than a gigantic George Lopez laughing at me maniacally (@Evan). Besides, nothing about the infield at Preakness is in good taste; it should stay that way.

"everyone has an opinion and everyone's noticed it...isn't that what advertising and marketing is all about?"

No. And I guess we can see why an ill-conceived campaign like this saw the light of day. Good advertising and marketing is about creating a positive brand connection that resonates with your core target audience. Unless the Preakness is willing to forgo corporate sponsors and the well-heeled audiences in its grandstand, it ought to move away from lowest common denominator positioning aimed at hard-partying infielders. Big mistake....not to mention an embarassment to the city when viewed by national audiences.

Low class, trashy, and dumb.

This is an awesome ad campaign. It hits it's target audience, gets the message across, and it is unique. It may be kinda crass, but if you didn't find it funny you probably weren't going to go anyway. It isn't like the Preakness infield was known for it's propriety and civility.

Yep, it's gross. But so is the Preakness infield. Never had the slightest interest.

Terrible campaign. sg's comment nailed it.

Hoping they didn't pay someone for coming up with the ad. You probably could have achieved the same result for nothing by asking a group of 8th grade boys....

Poor taste? Maybe. Some folks need something to complain about at all times.

Effective? Apparently ... getting talk and looks like it will be getting a story in the Baltimore Sun.

How many people complaining about the ads are also the ones to complain that they took away your BYOB pass-out-in-your-vomit infield?

Who are the ad wizards that came up with this??? I wanna know!!

yeah it's low brow but so are most of the drunken morons who pack the infield anyway.

You can kid yourselves and say it's all about horse racing but we all know it's not.

It's about college kids and white trash drinking too much in the sun until they throw up or pass out or both.

Quit your crying people. That add is fine and if you don't like it then you don't like it. Get over it and move on chumps.

Allow me to second or third the other comments. Regardless of the taste or lack thereof, it's a lousy campaign.

Hahaha NR, that damn George Lopez sign STILL DRIVES ME INSANE

Ticket sales are up a whole 5%? If I were the Maryland Jockey Club, I wouldn't exactly be doing cartwheels to celebrate just yet. I guess that means they'll be 3,500 people in the infield this year.

Mather, It's not creepy.


My god people!!! It's an ad campaign. For the most of us, you're either going to the Preakness or you're not...
Everyone knows what it is....a drink-a thon...
I think the ad is funny, tongue-in-cheek, and purposely smarmy.
Get over it!!!!

I think it's brilliant. @sg: You talked about "creating a positive brand connection that resonates with your core target audience." Well, that's definitely been achieved. And, obviously, you (and most of the other commenters) are not the target audience -- no offense, and none taken I'm sure.

Love 'em or hate 'em, I think those targeted people are going to find this campaign appealing and will show up at the infield this year. I just like the campaign because it has cojones. So few agencies are willing to go there these days, nice to see one outside of Europe get a little raunchy.

My family and I think the ads are hilarious. Love 'em!

Perfect's doing what it's suppose to do. Having people talking about the campaign without paying a red cent for it. My hats off to the ad agency.

It's better than the queer Orioles/MASN commercials.

"Because apparently the gay community is a single-minded monolithic beast that only thinks in one way about a all issues. "

Wonder job, mod, of letting casual homophobia in as a legitimate comment.

As a horseman and head of an organization that is dedicated to aiding in the future growth of the horse industry I can only agree with Andrew Beyer when he says Maryland racing can't sink much lower.

You ask, "Do you think it's in poor taste? Or is it effective?"

The first question is subjective. The second is objective. But the two are not mutually exclusive.

Whether some people consider it to be in bad taste doesn't determine whether the campaign works.

The Maryland Jockey Club says the campaign is a success. If this is the only thing they've done differently compared to last year, then perhaps they're right.

I must, however, respectfully disagree with the Club President's definition of good advertising — "to get noticed."

Successful advertising motivates the targeted consumer to take a specific, desired action.

The ad? Not even remotely offensive. The actual race? Doesn't anyone remember the horror of Barbaro in 2006? Now that's offensive. Seriously, the suffering and death of a beautiful animal for the sake of entertaining the masses is a lot more offensive than a stupid frat-boy-centric ad.

I find them smugly amusing. As in a characterization of some of my friends that i should probably not let them know i find highly amusing. Will i go to p(h)reakness? No. Now that i am old enough to attend the infield, i no longer possess the want to.

How about they just let people bring there own beer in? much cheaper to change a rule than an ad campaign. The infield is a right of passage of sorts.

1) The add is in poor taste

2) The add is in poor taste and isn't funny or clever, just crass

3) The add confirms what the Preakness has been for years as a result of the infield - The White Trash Kentucky Derby. The Derby is classy and refined, the Preakness is known for beer grenades and drunkeness. Makes you proud to be from Baltimore doesn't it?

Well, we're talking about it here right? Job done.

This is all free advertising from the paid advertising, that's smart marketing.

Muffin and I so much do prefer the Hunt Cup over the (ugh!) Preakness. But we do attend the Preakness every year with Mayo Shattuck and his lovely wife. You can find us in one of the corporate tents munching on gourmet cheeses and crackers and quaffing crisp Chardonay. This year we'll be bringing along our dear dear friend Steny Hoyer who has promised to bring some Cubans. Ciao!

This is the worst ad I have ever seen in my life. It sure tops the "Who's you Daddy?" billboards I see around town paid for by a law firm.

It says to me: Leave your beer home but you may want to pack a condom. Or two, or three. 8 hours is a long time.

How low can one go?
Getting ones preak on with an old lady is nothing but sad and downright scarry advertising.

It reeks of the desperation of a dying organization.

The White Trash Freakness. It's Cesspool by a nose.

"I get my phreak on for 8 hours"
Sounds like they are promoting getting drunk all day long. Will the cops hand out the "new proposed" tickets for public urination and disorderly conduct and public intoxication. The P(h)reakness sounds like a drunkfest, I would love to see Jack Young there, if he can be on Cross Street at 1:30am why not the infield at 4pm. The P(h)reakness would be a great opportunity to raise a little extra (tax) money for this poor city.

Personally, it's just an ad (not an add) people just love to complain about any and everything. Can't we all just get along and have a good time.

Sorry, but the ads are hilarious. Get over it people.

Low class, trashy, and dumb.

Posted by: Bill Drain | April 23, 2010 3:29 PM
What else would you expect from a dying decaying city, with thugs roaming the streets, a mayor stealing gift cards from children gets convicted but gets no jail time and receives a $82,000 yearly pension from the city suckers paying the taxes and living in fear of crime. Horse racing is a dead industry in Maryland and it's a shame tax payer monies have to go to prop up an industry that has one day of attendance and any money come into the city and state. They whine and cry about the industry in Maryland? Let the rich obnoxious horse owners and breeders put up their own money if they want racing to survive in Maryland. Think of all that money that could go into something constructive for the citizens of Baltimore instead of pampering the rich elite who don't step foot in Baltimore City (can't say I blame them) except for one day of the year. I for one won't shed a single tear when the Preakness moves out to a better place; right alongside the neighborhood of the rich obnoxious horse breeders.

Lighten the hell up morons! It's very creative. End of story.

The ad slogan was actually ripped off from Churchill Downs who used the slogan to promote Preakness Day at their track last year.

People. The word you want is 'ad.' As in short for advertising. Not 'add.'

You have got to be preaking kidding me.

I find the ad to be unfortunate since it implies that anyone attending the Preakness is a partying low-life, which is far from true. I don't know which is worse, those that think anybody having anything to do with thoroughbred racing is nothing but a low-life or those who think everybody in horse racing is rich! Just tells me they no nothing about what they are talking about. Why do those who are against horse racing have to be so nasty? Grow up. I could care less about the Ravens or the Orioles, but I don't go around trashing them. I intend to enjoy my Preakness to the fullest, no matter where I am at.

preak all you want but accept the fact that these adds are preakin-hensive, preak-in clever and preak-in hilarious...preak on and preak-away and dont get preak-y w me. see you all at the preakness

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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