How MLB’s “Baseball is Something Else” Campaign got Started

In episode 2 of Brands & Campaigns, host Camden Bernatz talked to Josh Bogdan, the creative director behind the “Baseball is Something Else” campaign for Major League Baseball (MLB). In episode 3, EKR Art Director Corey Ostler joined Camden to analyze the campaign and Josh’s insights.

What is the “Baseball is Something Else” Campaign?

The “Baseball is Something Else” campaign launched in March 2023. The campaign utilized print and digital media, television, billboards, and more. The campaign aimed to draw in younger fans while preserving the nostalgic essence that long-time fans love. The campaign told stories that highlighted players, ballpark experiences, and the history of the game. The visual elements of the campaign were nostalgic and evocative, showcasing the sights, sounds, and small details of the baseball experience that make it unique and beloved. The final result encapsulated baseball’s deep traditions, rich history, and its unique blend of the expected and unexpected

Generating and Selecting Great Ideas

Every successful campaign starts with a great idea. In the case of this campaign, Josh mentioned that the line “Baseball is Something Else” was not the original idea that his team started with. However, he explained that their original idea was still at the heart of the final campaign. Focusing in on a core idea that reflects the essence of your campaign will unlock a flood of relevant ideas and innovative concepts.

Reacting to Josh’s interview, Camden and Corey shared their thoughts on the ideation process that leads to a successful campaign. Corey explained that it’s critically important for the creative director to facilitate the production of good ideas as well as recognize the best ones. A good leader will recognize ideas that have potential and encourage their team to hone in on that idea. Camden added that this is easier to do when the creative team has a fully fleshed out strategy before beginning work on a campaign.

Presenting Ideas to a Client

When Camden asked Josh what he would have done differently, Josh said he would present a more focused set of ideas to the client. Josh cited how excited his team was to work on the project, so they presented the client with a rapid succession of various ideas. Josh said next time, he would sort out the good ideas from the best ideas and bring the best ones to the client.

Corey said when presenting ideas to a client, less is more. Many people struggle to make a decision when given too many options. Bringing fewer ideas to the client allows you to guide the client towards the best option and the best possible outcome.

Importance of Brand Strategy

Brand strategy is the backbone of a successful campaign. Camden noted the importance of leaning into brand strategy and allowing it to guide creative execution. Understanding a brand’s identity, essence and what makes it unique will help a campaign to be more effective and more resonant with the audience. Corey added that having a thorough, well-informed strategy provides something to measure ideas against. Developing a creative campaign is an art, not a science, so measuring your ideas against your brand strategy helps you determine which ideas will be successful and resonate with your target audience.

There’s a lot that can be learned from this successful and innovative campaign. It was a pleasure to have Josh Bogdan on Brands and Campaigns to share his experiences and insights on “Baseball is Something Else”. Brands & Campaigns is powered by EKR — a strategy-first agency. Stay tuned for more narratives and insights, as we continue exploring the unique stories that make the marketing landscape truly exceptional.

Listen to episodes about the “Baseball is Something Else” Campaign here.

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