Earlier today, Major League Baseball released the first commercial for the 2017 season, and it’s apparently produced by the same crew NBC uses to advertise it’s procedural dramas where everything will change every week. If you’re struggling with insomnia, we’ve got the cure for you right here.
What’s wrong with this ad, besides the fact that it’s missing the flawless jawline of Austin Hedges, the Samson-esque locks of Travis Jankowski, and the charming smile of Wil Myers? Frankly, it’s boring, and it does little to explain why anyone who isn’t already a fan of the game should watch. It promises that baseball is incredibly tense and dramatic, but there’s no follow-through.
Let’s start from the top. The ad opens with the most talented player in baseball... flipping a big tire over. Okay, yes, Mike Trout has all the charm of Adrian Gonzalez on Ambien, but he’s a once-in-a-generation guy making the impossible look easy. And he’s flipping a tire. Next they jump to 2011 SB Nation National League Cy Young Award co-winner Clayton Kershaw, who glares and then throws a fastball that the radar gun reads as “DANG”. It’s... okay, I guess?
It gets a little better from there, showing Giancarlo Stanton working out before pummeling a baseball like it kicked his dog. Lingering on Stanton’s smile? That’s good stuff. Baseball is fun! Jumping to Mookie Betts is a nice choice, but the camera spends more time looking at his feet than his face. Did Quentin Tarantino direct this thing?
And then we get a glimpse of last year’s American League champions... and it’s Edwin Encarnacion getting a new driver’s license? Francisco Lindor was apparently too beautiful for the camera. Then there’s a bunch of guys in suits I don’t recognize eating Italian food. The mob plays baseball, I guess.
The pace picks up after the gangsters get involved. We flash to a bunch of pitchers (going by too fast to properly market these stars) who could be Cy Young contenders, a tiny peek at Jose Altuve (who is apparently eyeing .400, despite his best being .341 three years ago), and Bryce Harper taking a bath (okay, that part is pretty good).
The ad finally shows us the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, the story even someone who knew nothing about baseball knew something about... but you mostly get to see their backs. Okay, that’s an odd way to promote the most marketable team in baseball. And then it ends, with a close-up on a stern looking guy named Tito.
I applaud MLB for trying to hype the “anything could happen” aspect of the season, because one of baseball’s greatest joys is the flukes and statistical oddities that surprise, but this fell extremely flat to me. Next time, show me some Austin Hedges.
Was this ad good?
This poll is closed
Yes, I am so pumped for radar guns saying "DANG!"
No, and what’s with the mobsters?