GS&P Channels Starship in This Season Opener Tribute to the San Francisco Giants

By Patrick Coffee 

If there’s one song that personifies all the most extreme things about the 1980s, it’s “We Built This City” by Starship.

The band made it to the big time purely on past glories (remember when they were Jefferson?), and the song proceeds to brag about those glories in depth. GQ, Rolling Stone and others have called it the worst tune of all time.

We personally think there are worse examples, but it’s perfect for advertising.


The latest brand to use it is the San Francisco Giants in this heartfelt tribute by Goodby Silverstein & Partners and its in-house production division, eLevel. Are you ready for some highlights?!

Oh, Barry. We remember when he was about 100 pounds lighter.

About the rap in the middle of that jam, the agency said, “Going all the way back to the ancient Greeks, a list of heroic names is a stirring way to evoke great feats and inspire the people.” And this ad, which will run regionally on broadcast, social and digital, is a celebration of those names.

“It’s our wish that fans everywhere will look forward to Opening Day as much as we do,” said Jeff Goodby. “My partner, Rich Silverstein, was riding his bike past the newly named Oracle Park right after the death of Peter Magowan. Somehow, the Jefferson Starship song ‘We Built This City (on Rock ’n Roll)’ came into his head. I rewrote the lyrics a bit, and added this litany in the middle. It makes us crazy for baseball, and we hope it makes others crazy, too.”

The season starts in April, about two-and-a-half months before Goodby and Silverstein get the Lion of St. Mark in Cannes. Now watch them reflect on how they built that city.