MLB’s “Always Epic” Campaign Is Already An Epic Fail

  • Dan Fogarty

Perhaps you’ve noticed MLB’s new catchphrase, “MLB: Always Epic.” It’s part of a hip new advertising/social media campaign that aims to change the minds of young viewers who think baseball is, like, the most boring thing ever. Hopefully, once they warm up to baseball, they’ll talk about it in their status updates.

From the New York Times:

Not only are the tone and approach different from previous campaigns, which took more traditional tacks, but the ads will have a far larger presence in social media that younger Americans adore, like Facebook and Twitter.

Not surprisingly, the center of this campaign is eccentric Giants closer Brian Wilson. In MLB’s debut ad for the campaign, there are ninjas in Wilson’s beard.

It’s somewhat entertaining, but unfortunately, it’s not on YouTube. To watch it, you have to go to the campaign’s “microsite,” which I will not link to, purely out of spite.

Once at the site, you have to watch a different advertisement (the one I encountered was for baby soap) before you see the actual video you’re there for.

What’s worse, when you finally get to the video, you can’t embed it. This means that if, say, someone had a website and wanted to write a post about it (translation: free advertising for MLB), they couldn’t show the ad itself. Instead, they would have to link to the page directly. This is a lot less appealing than having the content itself on my site.

I’m confused by this, since such a strategy seems exclusionary. I thought one of the objectives of an ad campaign was to get people to see the ads (they call it reach, right?). When you couple in the fact that this ad is aimed at “younger Americans,” and their Facebooks and Twitter feeds, it looks even more counterproductive.

So no, I can’t show you the “Always Epic” MLB ad featuring Brian Wilson, even though I thought it was funny. Here’s an NBA ad instead.