DirecTV and MLB stars give Ghostbusters a playful spin in ad for streaming service
Building on the success it saw with its recent Serena Williams-fronted spot, DirecTV is back with a new campaign starring Major League Baseball (MLB) greats. A-Rod, David Ortiz, Ken Griffey Jr and Randy Johnson team up to promote the company’s video streaming platform in a high-energy, Ghostbusters-inspired ad.
Video programming provider DirecTV has today unveiled a new national ad campaign designed to promote its streaming service DirecTV Stream. To help spread the word, the brand has enlisted the help of four of MLB’s biggest names: Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Ken Griffey Jr and Randy Johnson.
The new spots, developed in collaboration with TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, are an expansion of the brand’s Get Your TV Together campaign. DirecTV debuted the campaign last August with a memorable spot that cast Serena Williams as Wonder Woman.
Like that original spot, the new MLB spin-offs see at-home viewers switching between their favorite programs with such ease that the two programs eventually seem to collide in a wild, high-stakes mash-up. The core message? DirecTV Stream takes aim at the fragmented consumer entertainment experience by centralizing various touchpoints and making it easy to navigate various TV and connected TV (CTV) offerings.
“With DirecTV Stream, I can get live TV and on-demand, together,” a woman tells her partner in the campaign’s hero film. “Baseball, Ghostbusters, baseball, Ghostbusters,” she quips as she switches back and forth between the two programs. Suddenly, an alternate reality sees baseball and Ghostbusters coalesce.
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Viewers glimpse a larger-than-life Mr Redlegs – a Cincinnati Reds mascot – terrorizing a stadium packed with people. Fans flee for the exits. Then a replica of the Ghostbusters’ ECTO-1, a classic 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance, swings into view. But instead of the Ghostbusters, out come the GOATBusters (‘GOAT’ of course being internet shorthand for ‘greatest of all time’ – a slang term frequently applied to top athletes and musicians). Rodriguez, Ortiz, Griffey Jr and Johnson appear at the ready with Ghostbuster-style particle throwers, ready to take down the beast. “It’s good to be back,” chimes Ortiz. “That is one foul ball,” says Johnson. They blast him.
“Last August, the initial version of Get Your TV Together so accurately captured the entertainment magic, as well as cheeky nature of the DirecTV Stream brand, that we are continuing the franchise this spring,” said Vince Torres, the brand’s chief marketing officer, in a statement shared with The Drum. “As the TV world continues to get complicated, I think viewers will really see our passion to bring sports and entertainment back together, all in one place. And it doesn’t hurt to have the help of Ghostbusters and some of baseball’s greatest icons.”
Beyond the Godzilla-like Mr Redlegs spot, for which there are both 15- and 30-second cuts, the campaign also includes a cheeky infomercial-inspired spot starring the same squad, who urge viewers who have been “haunted by their cable service” to call the GOATBusters.
Bringing to life the star-studded spots was no simple task for TBWA\Chiat\Day’s creatives. “When working with celebrity athletes, you never know what you’re going to get. And we didn’t just partner with one athlete ... but four of the biggest baseball players of all time – on an overnight shoot too,” says TBWA\Chiat\Day creative director Ryan Buckley. “With that many variables, big personalities and nerves on the table – not to mention we’re asking these athletes to react believably to a tennis ball on a stick that will eventually be replaced with a VFX ghost in post-production – it was easy to see how things could go south quickly. But they never did.”
He attributes the production success to DirecTV’s trust in the agency, the professionalism of the MLB talent and of course “everyone [at TBWA\Chiat\Day] taking a deep breath and following the fun rather than getting nervous.”
To create even more hype around the campaign, DirecTV is debuting an augmented reality (AR) GOATBusters game, which will be made available via Snapchat and Facebook filters, including a special version for use when attending MLB games.
The campaign will roll out across linear TV, digital, multimedia and out-of-home (OOH). The first National Game GOATBusters spot will air nationally during the April 23 broadcast of the Dodgers-Padres game on MLB Network.