An Effectiveness Home Run for MLB


Baseball is Something Else


How do you advertise baseball?

Show the game itself? Eh, maybe.

Show the star players? Pretty good idea.

Show the mascots and hot dogs? OK, now we’re talking!

Weiden & Kennedy’s “Baseball Is Something Else” is a beautiful piece of sports advertising that shows roughly half a second of the actual sport. Made for Major League Baseball, it’s a celebration of the new baseball season which chooses to celebrate the culture of baseball and the buzz of anticipation around opening day and leaves the game itself offstage. The fans, the food, the groundskeepers, the mascots, the bats and balls and pitching gloves – all part of the montage. The ad closes with an opening pitch being thrown and the tagline “Baseball Is Something Else”.

It’s a pitch-perfect (no pun intended) way to celebrate America’s national pastime and deserves its very strong 4.7-Star Rating on Test Your Ad – with exceptional short-term Spike too. The video rolls past so easily and pleasantly, though, you might not notice the subtle creative choices that make it so effective.

It would have been easy, for instance, to use bombastic or dramatic music, but that might have taken away from the onscreen action. Instead the ad uses a vocal group’s version of the William Tell overture. It’s instantly recognizable, but also intimate and quiet enough that the sounds of mowing the field, tapping a bat or striking a drum can blend in with the music.

Similarly, you might easily overlook the way the ad varies the rhythm of its cuts and edits, from staccato cuts as players warm up to longer, more lingering shots on a mascot’s belly or some sizzling dogs. It’s all designed to build up that sense of place and time and trigger happy memories for the audience.

The ad is part of a wider campaign highlighting new rules changes designed to bolster the excitement of some part of the game. Wisely, for this hero ad MLB doesn’t stress those, or distract viewers with an explanatory voiceover. After all, as the ad makes so clear, the heart of baseball isn’t in the rules or even the action, it’s in the experience.

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