New Era Cap Line promoted by Spike Lee

New Era Cap launched its new “Authentic Collection” on-field cap with a television advertising campaign designed, directed and produced by film maker Spike Lee. New Era Cap, the official on-field cap of Major League Baseball (MLB), New Era Cap Company hired Spike DDB, a minority- owned, full-service advertising agency founded by world-renowned film director Spike Lee and DDB Worldwide.

New Era Cap Line Spike Lee ad

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Spike DDB shot two commercials for the product launch. A :15 and :30 second spot, called “The Line,” which features the group of MLB players waiting outside the store for their caps; the other :15 and :30 second spot, dubbed “Game Delay,” focuses the spotlight on Cardinals’ player and World Series MVP, David Eckstein.

Filmed outside the New Era flagship store on 4th Street in New York City, customers are “camped” out as if they’re waiting to buy the hottest new product on the market. Mixed in the group of customers are actual MLB players waiting to get their new caps for the season. The players include Jose Reyes of the New York Mets; Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees; Justin Morneau and Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins; David Eckstein of the St. Louis Cardinals; Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers; and Jon Paplelbon of the Boston Red Sox.

First in line is a life-sized cutout of Justin Morneau of the Twins, the American League MVP. The commercial has Morneau stepping in to remove his cutout and take his place at the front of the line. The other players object, telling him to go to the end. After some off-camera reluctance, Morneau adds the immodest line that Lee adlibbed: “It’s OK. I’m the MVP. I get to go in first.” The rest lift their hands up in the air in a put-on of worshipfulness and a sarcastic “Ohhhhh!”

The final :30 “Line” commercial along with behind-the-scenes footage of the filming of the commercial, can be seen on YouTube.

Click on the image below to play the video.

The relationship between New Era and Spike Lee dates back more than 10 years. Back in 1996 Lee phoned New Era and asked for a New York Mets cap to be made in red rather than the traditional navy colour. That request triggered an avalanche of custom-styled hats that has helped elevate the company to urban fashion icon status. “I wear the hats. That’s No. 1,” Lee said of his interest in the company. “I got a ton of them. I couldn’t even count. They’re all over the house.”

In 1998 Lee directed New Era’s “Proud to Play” branding campaign.

This time Lee approached New Era with a proposal, only to be turned down. Gerry Matos, senior vice president of marketing, said that Lee’s first idea put the emphasis too much on baseball and not enough on New Era, Matos said. “We told him, ‘Look, we think we’re going in a different direction,’ and he asked for a second chance, and he’s Spike Lee, so we gave it to him,” Matos said. “Spike came right back and knocked the ball right out of the park.”

Click on the image below to play the video.

Click on the image below to play the video.

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