Andrew McCutchen And The Pittsburgh Pirates Win The World Series…In MLB 13 The Show

Exactly one year ago, I wrote about an MLB 12 The Show commercial, which featured Chicago after the Cubs won the World Series. Of course, it’s only in the video game that they win it all. One of my favorite ads of last year. This time around, MLB 13 The Show has a spot featuring Pittsburgh Pirates star outfielder Andrew McCutchen, who is on the cover of the game. The Pirates are another World Series longshot, seeing as that they’ve had 20 consecutive losing seasons, the longest streak in American professional sports history. But in a game that’s “so real, it’s unreal” anything is possible. Not nearly as interesting as the Cubs commercial, but still pretty amusing.

3/14 update: The Buster Posey commercial is quite funny too. “It’s a video game, moron.” “You’re a video game!”

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The 2012 Joshys: Part I

December is a time for year-end lists/awards and here at Commercial Society, I have my own…The Joshys. Just on a personal note, it’s been a memorable year for me. In late June, I moved to New York City to try to pursue my goal to be an advertising copywriter. The combined effects of being busier and lack of cable have meant that I haven’t updated the blog as much as I used to, but I’m still definitely going to keep it active. Now, a few things about The Joshys. I’ve kept most of the same awards from last year (which you can see here). Every award winner must be something I’ve covered on the blog. This eliminates some potential winners. Sorry. And there’s quite a bit of overlap between categories, but a commercial can only be mentioned for one. Without further adieu…

Campaign of the Year: DirecTV’s “Don’t”

This was a pretty clear-cut choice for me. Consistently funny and unexpected. There were a lot of spots in this Grey campaign, but I think the Phil Shifley one was the best/my favorite. Here’s the first ad and the one with Charlie Sheen.

The Don Draper Award: Best commercial of the year. These are the ads that make people want to go into advertising. The hardest category to pick a winner.

Winner: Wideroe “Grandpa’s Magic Trick”

Read the short description of this award. When I first saw this Norwegian commercial, I thought “THIS is why people want to go into advertising!” A beautiful setting, stellar acting, and a clear and smart message. Magical.

Honorable mentions: The Guardian’s Three Little Pigs: Compelling is the best word.

MLB 12 The Show “Cubs Win”: One of the best representations about the ecstasy and resignation of being a sports fan. Incidentally, the 2012 Cubs were one of the worst teams in franchise history.

Axe’s “Susan Glenn”: Maybe the best copy of the year. A huge departure from Axe’s usual lunkheaded marketing strategy. It’s a great commercial, but one that might make you squirm a little bit, as you’ll inevitably think about all the Susan Glenns in your life.

ESPN/This is Sportscenter “John Clayton”: If you watch ESPN, you know about nerdy football expert John Clayton. The alternate reality of him being a sloppy metalhead who lives with his mom is hilarious.

The Houston Van Gogh Award: These commercials were so annoying that they made me want to gouge my eyes out and/or cut my ear off. Or at least change the channel.

Winner (loser?): Target’s Back To School

Gahh. At least the back to school nature of these commercials meant that they weren’t on for too long. I have no idea how these spots have gotten positive reactions on YouTube.

Dishonorable mention: 5-hour Energy Pink Lemonade: 5-hour Energy has horrible advertising, and this sucks too. Dishonorable mention in this category for the 2nd year in a row. The fact that some of the proceeds go to breast cancer and the singer isn’t terrible-looking redeem this one a little. A little.

The Field of Dreams Award: Field of Dreams is a movie that is known to make grown men cry. This award goes to those tearjerker commercials that have the same potential.

Winner: Dick’s “Father’s Day”

Beautifully shows the father-son bond. The lengths that the father goes to see his son succeed and the gratitude in the end.

Honorable mention: Expedia “Find Your Strength”: Honestly, this is more of a pure tearjerker, especially since it’s a true story. The only thing that keeps it from winning is that it’s a longer-form, online video and not a commercial that would be shown on broadcast TV.

Stay tuned for Parts II and III.

phil shifley

The Chicago Cubs Win The World Series…In MLB 12 The Show

“How can you not be romantic about baseball?”- Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt) in Moneyball

It’s March, which for sports fans means March Madness (the best sporting event in America) and spring training. Ehh, and maybe some offseason NFL news too. Spring training marks the optimistic start of the baseball season. Teams train in warm Florida and Arizona locales for the long season ahead. “Hope springs eternal” is the common phrase heard…everyone starts off with a clean slate and you never know what might happen. Of course, those hopes will be dashed for a lot of teams as soon as they get on the field for their first official game. Expectations are different based on the team. The Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t had a winning season since 1992, so that would probably be their only goal right now. And there’s the Chicago Cubs…they haven’t won the World Series since 1908. 1908! Just think about that. Long curse-like droughts can be broken, but based on how the Cubs are looking right now, I feel safe in saying that they won’t win it this year. Will they ever? This exquisite commercial for PlayStation’s MLB 12 The Show (created by Deutsch/LA) imagines the reaction if the Cubs won it all. Well, sort of.

Awesome. The cinematography and music make me forget for a moment that I don’t like the Cubs and find their failures amusing. It would be pure ecstasy on the North Side of Chicago. And then there’s the twist…coupled with the slogan “so real, it’s unreal.” Will the Cubs ever win the World Series again? No, they will not.

Bonus: The pivotal scene in Moneyball where the opening quote comes from.

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