"Every time somebody [sees our commercials and] tells me they get chills, that’s awesome. I want them to want to go to a game. I want them to want to see our guys play."
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jerod Couch, the Director of Creative Media for the Texas Rangers, and Jeff Ayala, the Senior Editor and Post Production Supervisor for See Spot Run, the post-production company that is editing the television and web spots for your Texas Rangers this season.
When I asked Jerod what feelings he wanted to evoke from the Rangers fan base with this season’s campaigns, that opening quote is what he gave me. And based on the reaction I received from other fans when that Real Texas Baseball video was released during Spring Training, I’d say that Jerod and his team accomplished exactly that.
Something about that video made me feel like was truly part of this team. I’m sure I’m not the only fan that says “We really need to shore up our rotation”or “I’m so glad we added a couple of bats”. “We”. I’m infamous for the “we”; and I always add parenthetically “yes, I’m part of the team” when I say it. This ad makes me feel exactly that way; with chills and a desire to go to a game to boot.
Did you miss that one? Then maybe you saw this teaser that seemed to get a pretty big and positive response from my fellow fans on Twitter and Instagram:
Real. Texas. Baseball.
I think that ad got a huge response for good reason. Those two ads compelled me to want to talk to Jerod and Jeff about the Rangers ad spots for the current season and what we can expect as fans. What were Jerod and his team thinking when they developed “Real Texas Baseball”? What should we know about the team? The front office? What feelings are they trying to evoke in us? I asked Jerod all of those questions and Jeff joined us to add some insight on putting them together; it was definitely an afternoon well spent.
What should we know about the new guys, Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo?
Jerod: “…I don’t think the fans really have an attachment to those guys yet, so it’s our job to kind of introduce them…and open up their personalities. I think once you get to know these guys, you’ll really like them. These guys are…Choo, Choo is ALL about baseball. All about ball.. He loves…well, he hates losing. He lives, eats, breathes baseball.”
Jeff: “His interview is basically…all he does with his free time is spend time with his family. Family and baseball. That’s it.”
Jerod: “Yeah, family and baseball. And Fielder is a laid back guy. But, the few times I’ve talked to him about baseball, he cares a lot about baseball. Baseball is a big part of his life. We definitely have to introduce these guys and show their personalities. Once the fans get to know them, they’ll see…just like Michael was a fun guy to root for, these guys are the same way.”
Jeff: “That’s something in our process, and I remind myself sometimes of our responsibility. They’ll have an 8-second sentence. So what can we do to take that 8-second sentence and turn it into 3 seconds and still have their message come across? So that’s a big responsibility, not only representing them as a man and as a player, but the team and the organization, and kind of on a bigger scale, baseball.”
If you’re wondering what interviews Jerod and Jeff are speaking of, here is the Ron Washington interview:
Gotta love that Wash smile, don’t you?
Jerod: “I think it’s real important for us, from a marketing perspective, to reemphasize what Real Texas Baseball is. It’s about playing the game the right way, and I really think Wash, Ron Washington, embodies what Real Texas Baseball is: playing the game the right way, playing hard, but also having fun. I mean, if you don’t have fun, what’s the point of playing sports? People get caught up being serious, and it is serious business, it’s big business and it’s very important, but at the same time, sports are fun.
Jeff: At the end of the day, it’s a game.
Along with Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo; Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Robbie Ross, Jon Daniels, and other players will also be featured throughout the season. The team will air shorter testimonial spots on TV, but the longer versions will be featured on TexasRangers.com/Real and are meant to be a chance for the fans to learn more about the players’ personalities and what’s important to them.
On interviewing JD, Jerod had this to say:
” We interviewed Jon Daniels, and that’s to…I mean, the front office, and all facets of the organization, from on the field, to the front office, to marketing, to the fan base, they’re as relentless as they come. I mean, the front office is as relentless as the team on the field; always trying to get better, always trying to stay ahead of the game. You read any national writer and they’ll say the Rangers, for the most part, are always ahead of the game, they’re always one step in front of the competition. And on another point, I think Real Texas baseball, I mean, I think the fans lose sight of the fact that only two teams in baseball won 90 games, 4 years in a row. And that’s the Rangers and the Rays.”
These testimonial spots, like Ron Washington’s and Jon Daniels’ interviews, are part of the three-pronged approach Jerod and his team are taking this season. Their approach also includes: a graphics package that will comprise different variations on Real Texas Baseball, with themes such as Real Texas Power, Real Texas Heat, Real Texas Passion, and more. Each of those themes will be represented with the players and highlights that are most relevant at the point they’re released in the season.
And finally in the third element, we as fans will get an opportunity to see some pretty entertaining commercials in the Rangers personality spots. I can’t give it all away, but all I will say is: Adrian Beltre was made for a fedora (according to Jerod, he has the most swagger of anyone on the team), Chuck Morgan does not do well with vending machines, oh…and keep Emily Jones away from the office printer.
You have plenty to look forward to, that’s for sure.
Here are some fun and BOLD predictions from Jerod and Jeff, just to open up some debate:
Jerod and Jeff make some bold predictions.
Anything else to add, Jerod?
"I don’t think this [team] is going anywhere, I think we’re gonna be here for a while because the front office does it right, the team on the field does it right, the fan base…the fan base, they’ve shown up 3 million plus strong, two years in a row. That’s big. The fan base is as relentless as the front office and the team on the field. I think that’s good. Expectations are good."
Huge thanks to Jerod Couch and The Texas Rangers and Jeff Ayala and See Spot Run for their insight.
And with that…I wish you a happy new year, Rangers fans!