Araki relied on a staff of creatives with experience in sports and deep baseball knowledge to come up with the “Short Boys” concept. They include brothers Beau and Bryan Abbott, who are behind the “Baseball Card Vandals” project. The Abbotts suggested giving Johnson a call to provide contrast to the stubby “Short Boy” cans. They also gave baseball fans an Easter Egg in the form of a pigeon flying by as Johnson appears; “The Big Unit” famously, if accidentally, fatally struck a pigeon with a fastball in 2001.
“The guys on my team are avid baseball fans, and one thing the team found was the amount of conversation around the pitch clock,” Araki said. “We thought there was some tension because there’s a lot of tradition around baseball, and all of a sudden you’re changing a rule … we thought this was something interesting to talk about.”
The pitch clock, which enforces a 15-second limit between pitches, or 20 seconds with runners on base—has reportedly shaved a radical 27 minutes off the average game time, as compared to last year.
The initiative, meant to increase the pace of play, has had other impacts in beer: Five MLB clubs (Milwaukee Brewers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers) this season extended alcohol sales past the customary seventh inning cutoff at their home games (the Brewers subsequently reverted).
The 8.4-ounce beers featured in Bally’s ad really exist. They are available at the five breweries where they were made: Dog & Pony Show Brewing (Detroit), City Barrel Brewing (Kansas City), Company Brewing (Milwaukee), Cigar City Brewing (Tampa), and Tripping Animals Brewing (Miami). Bally has MLB streaming rights to teams in each of those cities.
The ad will be shown in those same five markets. The media plan includes buys with connected TV, Meta, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat; display banners; streaming audio on Spotify; and out-of-home including digital screens in bars, according to R&R.