Just in time for opening day for Major League Baseball (April 3), unconventional agency Funworks has teamed with video game developer Glu Mobile for a humorous campaign to promote multiplayer game MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2017, starring National League MVP Kris Bryant of the champion Chicago Cubs.
To create the ads, Glu Mobile enlisted San Francisco-based Funworks, an agency that uses social science and sketch comedy techniques to help clients align quickly behind unconventional creative.
For the MLB Tap Sports game, they had Bryant ham it up a bit for a couple of 30-second spots. In “Pop Fly” Bryant waits to catch a seemingly never-falling fly ball, and as he holds up his glove, he turns to his mobile device to hit a home run as his digital self in the game. Then he nonchalantly catches the pop fly.
In another spot, “Kris Bryant Steals Second,” the star player steals second base during a game, then gets up and brushes off the dirt from his uniform. As he does so, he pulls his mobile from his sock and plays the game, followed by the tagline, “There’s Always Time for More Baseball.”
Glu Mobile’s goal was to create a campaign around Bryant and the launch of MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2017 that reflects how easy, seamless, fast and fun it is to play the game, anytime, anywhere, even on the diamond.
"Our goal was to create an advertising campaign featuring Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant that captured the authenticity of baseball combined with the play-anytime-anywhere accessibility of MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2017,” said Chris Akhavan, Glu’s chief revenue officer. “We were working against an extremely tight timeline and Funworks went above and beyond to deliver creative that absolutely nailed what we were looking for."
Funworks worked with Glu executives to cut through the usual red tape that partnerships in gaming and national sports can put up, coming out with the campaign in record time.