Budweiser activated at the start of the 2019 MLB season with an inspirational, multi-platform tribute to Jackie Robinson – the league’s first black player, born 100 years before – led by a Spike Lee-helmed short film.
Agency: Dentsu US, Isobar, Vizeum
The beer brand’s primary focus on leveraging its baseball rights is to enhance the baseball experience for fans – in-game and at-home – through exclusive content and unique opportunities at point-of-sale, on-premise and via advertising and across its social media channels.
The Project 42 campaign was designed to pay homage to ‘a great American who literally changed the game with the impact he made’.
As with many start-of-season campaigns, it set out to build anticipation and excitement for the season to come – as well as remind the fans of the link between MLB and Budweiser and thus drive sales in-stadium and at-home.
The ‘Rise’ campaign was spearheaded by a three-minute film, ‘Impact’ and included supporting digital and social content, print, OOH work and limited-edition packaging and product design.
It as directed by legendary movie maker Spike Lee and narrated by Robinson’s daughter Sharon. The film’s title, Impact, was inspired by Robinson’s quote that “a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives”.
The commercial debuted online on 26 March and ran as a 60-second TV spot during MLB’s early game telecasts on 28 March and on-screen in ballparks across the USA in the first weeks of the season.
The supporting digital, social, print and OOH creative was all tagged with the hashtag salute #ThisBudsForJackie and #42.
A limited-edition ‘Jackie Robinson 42’ aluminium Budweiser bottle was launched for the new MLB season, and the brand donated 42 cents from every bottle sold to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
The initiative was developed by Dentsu Aegis Network with Isobar leading the creative and Vizeum handling media strategy and implementation.
Since it was posted on 26 March, Impact generated 620,918 views on Budweiser’s YouTube channel, 34,000 on Facebook and a further 50,000 on Twitter.
The film also reached more than 420,000 fans in-stadium in the big screens and the 36 million cumulative TV audience for the opening games of the season.