Fans will agree to disagree, but baseball die-hards will never let go of their firm belief that America's favorite pastime is the best out there. Capitalizing on that fanaticism, Sony Computer Entertainment America and Mutt Industries called on baseball players—and Danny McBride (best known as Eastbound and Down's Kenny Powers)—to make the case for their sport.
"We wanted to take back baseball's swagger," Mike McCommon, creative director at Mutt Industries, said.
Sony says the Baseball Is Better campaign, which was an advertisement for MLB 14 The Show, is resonating extremely well. Sales for the game are 40 percent ahead of projected. It also had the strongest day one and week one for the franchise, and is expected bring in the strongest sales year for the series. Fifty-six percent of people who are playing the game never played a baseball-themed video game in the past, per the company.
"In terms of a creative campaign, it’s one of the best we've produced," Sony Computer Entertainment America director of marketing Mike Webster said. "It's bold enough to get people's attention and compelling enough to reignite their passion around the game and say that our baseball game is better."
Success is partially thanks to the efforts of Miguel Cabrera, Brett Lawrie, C.C. Sabathia, Brandon Phillips, Andrew McCutchen and Jason Heyward. The campaign focused on providing flippant sharable online content, including Instagram videos, GIFs and infographics. But, the centerpiece was the YouTube videos that the athletes created that each explained one specific reason why exactly baseball should reign supreme. New videos are still slated to be released, including a brand new clip below featuring Cabrera.
Martin Navarette, the managing director of the campaign, explained that the agency themed the content to fit each athlete's personality. For example, Phillips' arguments capitalize on his trash-talking skills, while Cabrera's was a series of exercise videos that showcased his athletic skills.
"He's the best player in baseball, and has the largest contract in professional sports," Navarette pointed out. "We had him doing the silliest stuff like yoga and double dutch."