How DirecTV hit it out of the park with baseball’s greatest
The campaign won in the Data & Insight and in the Entertainment categories at The Drum Awards for Marketing Americas 2023.
DirecTV Stream's ad campaign references an '80s classic / Credit: DirecTV
Some of the greatest players of all time, legendary MLB hall of famers Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Ken Griffey Jr and Randy Johnson, were transformed into bat-wielding Ghostbusters in the sports/movie mashup of the season. The result? A home run for DirecTV and agencies Critical Mass and TBWA\Chiat\Day.
Endless streaming options and heaps of original content competing for subscriptions have made TV – something that should be joyful – overly complicated.
DirecTV Stream – an aggregator of content, but owner of none – was already behind in the count, so how could a legacy brand build relevance and prove it could be as entertaining as entertainment itself? By embracing consumer behavior with platform and audience insights. And with the help of four living legends ... And an 80-foot-tall possessed mascot.
Reuniting four of baseball’s greatest reuniting to fight MLB mascot ghosts, ’GOATbusters’ proved that thumb-stopping entertainment shouldn’t be a hassle. The tagline ’Get Your TV Together’ became shorthand for DirecTV’s ‘all in one place’ value proposition.
Knowing that breakthrough was a critical gateway to consideration, the team tracked video completion to help optimize media and creative. The mashup constructed around the MLB season opener was enough to generate buzz, with 60- and 30-second spots in broadcast and CTV freaking fans out. Short, telegraphic, social-first films delivered off-the-charts engagement. Sure, everyone knew it was an ad, yet they watched the whole thing anyway. The agencies activated mass awareness further by dropping behind-the-scenes footage on Reddit and a few home-run tweets from the likes of A-Rod.
To drive massive consideration, they also hyper-targeted mid-funnel OLV, paid-social and display units to hit three core groups with hyper-relevant product features. For a primary sports audience, they focused on premium sports content DirecTV could provide and focused all the attention on the GOATs.
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For secondary cable audiences, the team built stronger acquisition videos that encouraged cable switchers and cord-cutters by having the GOATs focus on hard-hitting value props and compelling offers. They also refreshed executions to optimize performance and combat ad fatigue, all while retargeting to bring in straggling subscribers.
Then, the agencies swung for the fences with an AR lens series that could be unlocked only in MLB stadiums. With never-before-used technology, fans could scan the field, revive mascots and learn more.
The work delivered above and beyond the client KPIs baselines for creative quality and audiences were watching the digital content for longer and engaging at the highest rates of the year.
Not only were people engaged with the content a whopping two times longer than the other videos in the market, they also went to directv.com, a key conversion metric in consideration goals:
Site visits increased by 30% and brand search demand lifted by 23% week-on-week, the highest organic brand search for DirecTV for 2022. There was also a 43% increase in social engagement, the highest for DirecTV in 2022.
Treating CTRs like RBIs, the team broke through by meeting and engaging with audiences where they were, backed by platform and data-driven insights. All in a day’s work for the GOATbusters.