The Royals unveiled a new commercial over the weekend. They did the same last year, running a spot during a local break in the Super Bowl. It’s strong.
The spot opens with three iconic home runs from last October. First up is the best one, in my opinion: Alex Gordon going over the batter’s eye in dead center in Game One of the World Series. That’s followed by Alcides Escobar’s inside the park job off the leg of Yoenis Cespedes, then Kendrys Morales’s we discussed on Thursday in Game Five of the ALDS to put the game out of reach. Kind of funny that a franchise that doesn’t hit home runs starts their 2016 marketing campaign with three in a row. Rumor is, they couldn’t find any footage of Royals batters taking walks. I kid, I kid. Those home runs were amazing and they all have earned a rightful spot in the pantheon of tremendous Royals at bats.
Then you have Eric Hosmer’s slide across home and Drew Butera jumping into Wade Davis’s arms. Cut to the parade. Party time.
The spot is decidedly smaller budget than last year’s tour of Kansas City with images projected on buildings and landmarks. The only special effect in this spot is the removal of all color except for the blue in a couple of scenes. That is a cool effect and the spot could have used more of it. We’ve seen this footage thousands of times (if you haven’t, what the hell is wrong with you?) so it’s OK to desaturate here or there, or to boost the contrast to give it a different feel. The parade is in the spot likely to highlight the connection between the team and the fans, which is definitely the correct call. I still scoff at the estimate of 800,000 people, but that’s just picking nits. Whatever the number, say there were a ton downtown for the celebration, and I would nod my head in agreement.
If you get right down to it, the Royals don’t have to spend a ton of marketing cash. Ticket sales are probably though the roof and The K is going to be packed all summer. It would’ve been nice to have a more polished TV spot like last year’s, but when you have a drawer full of postseason highlights, that’s plenty. It’s not a great spot, but it’s a good one, and that’s all they need.
The only thing missing was a Salvador Perez Gatorade bath. Which is kind of surprising because the billboard the team put up last week at Southwest Trafficway and Westport Road was epic.
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) February 1, 2016
I mean, this is great. Really, really great. The Perez celebratory bath should have it’s own hashtag. At this point, it’s as much of the Royals as the fountains at The K. Hell, yes. Market around that.
The billboards have become legend the last couple of years. So much so, there’s some solid anticipation ahead of the unveiling every winter. This year’s entry may be the best of the bunch. If it was possible, I would pour a celebratory bucket of Gatorade on the billboard. How’s that for meta?
Overall, I’m much happier the team and their advertising agency brought back the Forever Royal slogan from last year. Whatever works, right? Yet it’s more than that. You won’t find someone more worn out by the trite and cliched Royals slogans than me. And let’s face it, the Royals have had some really, really bad ones over the years. In fact, the slogans are usually easily ignored and forgotten, noticed only when you had a pocket schedule lying around. But there’s something about Forever Royal that resonates. There is power in permanence. It reminds everyone the last two years have been about a rebirth of baseball and the Royals in Kansas City and it’s something that will always stay with us. This may seem cliche, but this Royals team has brought the city together in ways I don’t think anyone believed was possible. I loved the slogan last year. I love it even more today.
It’s the perfect slogan for the perfect time.