Budweiser is trying to gain cultural cachet by hooking up with Spike Lee for a campaign celebrating Jackie Robinson, who was born 100 years ago.
Lee directed a 3-minute film narrated by Robinson's daughter, Sharon Robinson, that highlights how Robinson broke baseball's color barrier in 1947. The film mixes vintage footage with scenes reenacting black people gathering at bars and listening to Robinson's Brooklyn Dodgers games on the radio. They are drinking Budweiser, of course. The film also includes present-day activists such as Amanda Nguyen, author of "The Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights, and Dustin Ross, an LGBTQ advocate.
The film will run as a 60-second TV spot that will air during Major League Baseball's Opening Day on Thursday and in ballparks across the country. Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned Budweiser is an official MLB sponsor. The film is part of a broader campaign that will include print, digital and out-of home advertising. Budweiser will also sell limited-edition Jackie Robinson "42" aluminum bottles during the MLB season. The brew will donate 42 cents from every bottle sold to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
The campaign was handled by Dentsu Aegis Network with Isobar leading creative and Vizeum handling media strategy and implementation. Spike DDB is also credited on the Robinson film, with production out of Taking Over and 40 Acres.
The title of the film is "Impact," which is inspired by Robinson's quote that "a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." Lee in a press release stated that the campaign pays homage to "a great American who literally changed the game with the impact he made."
This is not the first time Lee has done a Jackie Robinson ad for Anheuser-Busch. The director narrated and appeared in a 2006 spot in which he toasts the baseball player. It was part of the brewer's image campaign called "Here's to Beer."