Results tagged ‘ tv ’
You guessed it! We’re so happy to have Packers Quarterback and MVP Aaron Rodgers in the house with us today for our 2012 TV shoot!
What’s he doing in the spots? You’re just going to have to wait to find out!
Greetings from my desk in cold, snowy Milwaukee!
As I noted in an earlier post, I was down in Arizona last week for the filming of our 2011 TV commercials. We wrapped up our shoot on Thursday evening and I left warm and sunny Phoenix, Arizona yesterday, getting home just in time for our Brewers Arctic Tailgate event.
Hearty Brewers fans were camping out when I swung by the ballpark on my way home from the airport last night, waiting anxiously to purchase individual game tickets, which went on sale at 9am this morning.
[The first 2,000 fans received a free t-shirt, Klement's hot dog and a Pepsi. Plus, they also received special one-day only ticket offers that weren't available anywhere else. If you missed out on the event, you can still purchase tickets and guarantee your place in the crowd to the best games this season, by calling our Box Office at (414) 902-4000, or logging on to brewers.com.]
So, yeah! Individual tickets are on sale now, Spring Training games start on Monday… Brewers Baseball will be back in Milwaukee before you know it!
Look for our spots to debut during the first games of the season, beginning with Opening Day in Cincinnati on Thursday, March 31.
And, while I can’t give away what this year’s spots are going to be about, I can tell you that they will have the same type of theme as last year’s spots and we’re bringing some new guys into the mix, including closer John Axford.
On Thursday, John showed up on set to star in one of the spots, but he could have just as easily been directing them if life had taken him down a different path.
That’s because John graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in Film in 2005 and even began attending Canisius College to start working on his Master’s of Science in Sports Administration before he signed with the New York Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 2006 and began his career in professional baseball.
What’s John doing? You will have to wait until our spots air this season to find out!
As we waited for the crew from Icarus Films and the representatives from our agency, 2-Story Creative, to set up between shots, John told me all about his film classes at Notre Dame.
“I did a 16-milimeter black-and-white film my junior year,” he said. “I still have the hard copy with all of the edits and cuts and everything, because the way we cut it was actually the old-school way. We actually cut the film and taped it together. We didn’t do it digitally. That came later. It was only 12 minutes long, maybe a little less. We got 400 feet of film, which is about 11 minutes and you had a partner, so each person had their own roll.”
“It was pretty cool, the old Steenbeck machine, you had to get the rolls on there and line them up and press play and then fast forward it through and stop it on a certain part where you wanted it. You go frame-by-frame and then cut it and bring in the other roll, hold it down flat and tape it. I really I liked it,” he continued.
When I asked what the film was about, John said, “It’s rather depressing. That’s what I found out about myself while doing film classes. I like the depressing, dark movies. Mine was essentially about spousal neglect and suicide.”
And it is true, he does gravitate toward the darker films–most of John’s favorite movies in recent years have been heavier foreign films and films such as Children of Men and the Oscar-nominated Black Swan.
“I really like open-ended movies,” he said. “Black Swan, I absolutely loved. I would like for that to win Best Picture, but I know it won’t. Just because it is artistic and dark, that is what I would want to win I guess.”
When it comes to music, John also gravitates toward the dark, heavier side of the spectrum.
“I listen to almost anything, but mostly hard rock, something a little heavier. I really got into hard rock by listening to Brazilian metal, John said. “Now, I have branched out a lot further. It used to be just metal, but now it is pretty much everything,” John said.
Speaking of music, one of the only Brewers players who is active in social media, John is currently letting his fans select his entrance song for 2011 on his Facebook Page.
“There are 15 songs for fans to vote on,” John said.
“There are eight newer songs because everyone uses older rock–songs by AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, and stuff like that–so I wanted to add some new stuff and try something different. There are also a lot of older songs on there, like Rush and Led Zeppelin. I also included Omen, a metal band– everyone kept telling me I needed to have them because they have a song called ‘The Axeman’.”
“Then I have a couple of theme songs…I have the Good, the Bad and the Ugly theme song, which I thought would be fun. There is also a song people will recognize from Kill Bill, but it is actually from a western from the ’60s. I also added some fun ones and some songs that were used last year for me, just to see what people think.”
For the complete list, and/or to vote, click here.
John was a good sport during our shoot and interview, as I donned a prop from our spot that may or may not make the final cut…
The tall, mustached right-hander was extremely easy-going and fun to talk to on the set and, although his movie and film choices may be dark, he was nice as can be and his future only looks bright.
This will be a big season for John, on and off the field. Not only will John star in one of our spots this year, but he and his wife, Nicole, are also expecting a baby boy this June.
“We’re very excited.” John said.
John also has his own bobble head, sponsored by Palermo’s Pizza/ Piggly Wiggly on Sunday, April 24 when the Brewers take on the Houston Astros at 1:10pm.
“I just saw pictures of it and it looks really, really cool,” John said.
This is one bobble you’ll want to make sure you add to your ‘stache! Individual tickets went on sale today, so you can get tickets for John Axford Bobble Head Day now!
I enjoyed talking to John and I just know that the spot he’s in will turn out great, as will the other spots we shot this week. Stay tuned, boys and girls–we’re “closing” in on baseball season!
Greetings from Arizona!
I’m happy to inform you that pitchers, catchers and Cait have all reported to Spring Training!
This week, we’ll be shooting our new TV spots for 2011 down here, but today was an off day for me.
I understand we’re getting some snow back in
Milwaukee, but don’t be too jealous of me–it’s about 50 degrees and
raining here as I write.
I figured that since it isn’t pool or golfing weather, I might as well do some work, so I
headed over to the ballpark to talk with some folks for the blog.
Clouds looking ominous over Maryvale Baseball Park today. It will be 70 and sunny by the time you get here, I promise!
My first stop was to meet with “Mr. Spring Training” himself, Joe Zidanic, our VP-Controller, who moonlights as our director of Spring Training.
Joe Zidanic: VP-Controller & “Mr. Spring Training”
That means that, in addition to his finance
responsibilities in Milwaukee, Joe is pretty much responsible for all of
the business operations in Maryvale: ticket sales,
sponsorship sales (along with Tom Hecht, our VP-Corporate
Marketing), advertising (which he works with our department on), hiring
staff, running the games and serving as the main liaison with the City
When Joe first came to the Brewers in April of
2003, his job was to work in the finance/accounting department as the
So then, how did he get this gig where he flocks to Arizona during two of Wisconsin’s coldest months while getting paid for it?
“In December 2004, I was handed the assignment to
come down here and run Spring Training for the months of February and
March,” Joe said.
“Prior to 2005, which was my first season running
things down here, Spring Training had really been kind of under the
radar so my job was to go in, document everything, develop policies and
procedures and create checklists. I did a good
job and I’m still doing it,” he explained.
I can’t imagine having to balance two separate
jobs, much less essentially relocate for two months of the year, so I
asked Joe how he does it.
“Luckily, I have a great staff in Milwaukee to
handle things and it’s a slower time of the year for us. We’ve already
published our financials, closed the fiscal year-end, closed the
calendar year-end for W-2′s and 1099′s
and have made progress in filing our taxes. It is kind of a nice, slower time for me to break away from the Milwaukee area.”
As far as relocation, Joe will settle into a room
in an extended stay hotel near the Glendale area for the duration of
I had enough trouble packing for just this week and I’m
probably going to end up paying extra for my luggage on the return
flight due to the great shopping down here (don’t worry, Joe, I won’t
try to expense that), so I had to ask: “How on earth do you pack for something like this?”
“Well, that’s a good question,” Joe said. “The
equipment truck leaves in January every year, so I just go to the closet
and get all my short sleeve shirts and shorts and throw them in a bag
and ship them down with everything else,” he said.
Joe’s Spring Training job doesn’t start just when
steps off the plane in Phoenix. He’s got to prepare in advance for those
games, just like we do for our regular season.
There are tickets to sell, promotions to plan, sponsorships to sell and more.
“As far as ticket promotions go, I work with our
ticket office here and back in Milwaukee to try and generate excitement
and ticket sales,” Joe said.
“Last year, we averaged about 4,500 to 5,000 fans
per game. We’re expecting that to be around the same this year, but it
really varies. Attendance will be slower in the beginning and then there
are some peak games in the middle where we’ll
almost reach capacity. It really depends on the week and things like
when Spring Break happens for the colleges in the Phoenix area and
around the United States. Generally, the most popular times are the
second and third weeks in March.”
Joe tells me that the most popular games are also,
not surprisingly, those against the Cubs (March 2 this year) and also,
the Diamondbacks (March 12) because of their local fan base.
“We did a survey out here a couple of years ago and
we’ll get about 50% of the fans coming from Wisconsin. The rest of the
fans will either be fans of the visiting team or local Phoenicians who
are down here,” Joe tells me.
That makes me proud–Brewers fans have always been good travelers!
So, what can you expect if you’re traveling down here this year?
Well, lots of fun and excitement, of course!
Just like our games in Milwaukee, there are giveaways and in-game promotions to entice fans.
“For giveaways, we work with Tom Hecht and his
group in Corporate Marketing. If there are leftover bobble heads from
the prior season, we will use those in the following season’s Spring
Training camp so that we don’t let anything go to
waste and we’re also picking up room in the warehouse back at Miller
Park,” Joe said.
So, if you missed out on your Robin Yount
(March 5), Cecil Cooper (March 8), Hank Aaron (March 21) or Italian
Sausage (March 26) Bobbles at Miller Park, there’s a second chance for you to get them
at Maryvale Baseball Park!
During the games, Joe’s crew will also run popular promotions such as: the
Junior Announcer, which is similar to what we have at Miller Park,
where a child will announce batters during an inning of the game; Jimmy
Buffet’s Margaritaville‘s “Name that
Jimmy Buffet Song”, which is always a fan favorite; the City of Phoenix
golf promotion where a lucky fan who buys a game program that has a
Bernie Brewer autograph on the City’s golf ad will receive a coupon for
free golf at a local City of Phoenix golf course;
and a Hooters promotion where a lucky row is chosen to receive coupons for free wings at the local Hooters restaurant.
Another popular promotion down here is the Miller Lite Thirsty Thursdays, which means that on Thursdays, you can get a game ticket, a beer and visor for just $20. There are three
Thirsty Thursdays this year–March 3 vs. the A’s, March 10 vs. the Rockies and March 17 vs. the White Sox.
In addition to the Miller Lite Thirsty Thursday promotion on
St. Patrick’s Day, the players will be also be wearing a special green
hat, which will eventually be auctioned off to fans.
And just like in Milwaukee, there is even a special
tribute game. On March 22 vs. the San Diego Padres, there will be
a Cerveceros Day in Maryvale, paying tribute to Hispanics in baseball. The Brewers will wear
special Cerveceros jerseys, which is the Spanish translation of ‘Brewers.’ (Note: Our regular-season Cerveceros Day is slated for June 11 vs. the Cardinals at Miller Park.)
“Cerveceros Day is popular down here,” Joe said. “We will use our electronic billboard campaign to promote it. Maryvale is a largely Hispanic area, so we try and reach out to the community and have special things
there. We have had a Mariachi band in years past and we’ll try and do that again this year.”
All in all, there are 17 home games played at Maryvale
and if you make a trip of it, you can catch the Brewers on the road,
too, at one of the other nine Spring Training facilities in the Cactus League, which are all
within an hour of each other.
As you can see, there are lots of things to look forward to if you’re planning on making it down here.
As for Joe, with two jobs in the organization, he
certainly has a lot on his plate, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have a
little fun while he’s down in Arizona. When I was talking with him this
morning, I couldn’t help but notice this photo,
hanging in his office.
Turns out that yesterday, Joe, who is also a huge sportsman, went on a javelina hunt where, as you can see, he was successful!
That’s great that Joe had some time to himself his
weekend, because things are really ramping up now and he’ll hit the
ground running next week, starting with the first game on Monday,
Do any of you have any plans to come down to
Arizona? Post your stories of this year’s trip or from years past in the
comment field below. We’d love to hear from you!
If you don’t have plans yet, make some! Click here to get your tickets now!
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to go down to Arizona with my boss, Senior Director of Marketing, Kathy Schwab and our Vice President of Consumer Marketing, Todd Taylor.
We weren’t there to scout out the team and I certainly didn’t have time to work on my tan. No, we were there on much more important business: to film our 2010 TV Spots, which will debut tomorrow.
The ads were developed in conjunction with our creative agency, 2-Story Creative of Milwaukee. Bill Yunker of Icarus Films directed the spots.
After much preparation, we spent two full days filming and came away with enough footage for five -what I think are humorous and hope you do, too- spots to start out the season.
Our TV spots in recent years have varied from featuring our players at Miller Park talking about the fan experience to spots that are predominantly highlight driven. Since I’ve been in the Consumer Marketing Department, the only two scripted spots that I’ve been involved with were a spot for the Hot Dog Bobble in 2006 (which had a cameo by former Brewers player Derrick Turnbow) and our current Holiday 4-Packs TV spots, which feature the Klement’s World Famous Racing Sausages.
This year, each of the spots features one or more of our players in non-baseball, more everyday life, type of situations.
Thus, being on set for the filming of these five spots was an eye-opening experience for this young marketer. Of course, I knew that there is a lot of work that happens behind the scenes to get everything to look just right, but I didn’t really know until I jumped in with both feet.
They were long days, but I enjoyed every minute and was happy to pitch in wherever and whenever I could. In fact, I think I may have a career as a gofer girl in Hollywood if this marketing thing doesn’t pan out.
Help Ellen Homb, President of 2-Story Creative, decorate the set? No problem! Scrounge up some last-minute props? Sign me up! Get the extras to fill out their paperwork? Sure thing!
“I’m always amazed at the magic behind the scenes,” said Todd Taylor. “A lot has to happen in a short amount of time. It takes a tremendous amount of teamwork and integration to pull it off.”
Because of the tight schedules in Spring Training with games, workouts, practices, etc., our time with the players was limited and we had to make the most of our opportunity.
Fortunately for us, all of the guys were great. I honestly don’t think we could have hired better actors to play their roles in the spots. And, call me crazy, but I think they all may have actually had fun in the process.
When we returned from Arizona, the hard work was just beginning. All of the footage we’d captured had to be edited down to our final product, five 15-second spots. Audio had to be mixed, special effects needed to be added if necessary, colors needed correcting…. There is a lot more that goes into it than just meets the eye – and that’s just for 15-second spots. I can’t imagine making a 2-hour movie!
When we got to see the finished product, it was clear that all of the time and effort was worth it.
“I think it was a top-notch experience across the board, working with Ellen, Bill and their whole team and I’m very pleased with the outcome,” Todd said.
I don’t want to give away too much about the spots, since you’ll see them for yourself tomorrow, so here are some still photos to wet your whistle.
Aside: Funny story… I had my Flip Video camera and my still camera on set so I could capture scenes from the shoot to share with you here on the blog. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not a veteran when it comes to all of this TV stuff and well, apparently my flash photography interfered with some of our takes. Here’s me, getting yelled at, for you, by our Director, Bill.
(I tried not to take it personally…the best creatives can get a little intense. )
Each of our 15-second spots will be paired with a back-end tag that will be switched out to promote upcoming games, giveaways, ticket offers and more. These spots will run primarily during our televised games on FS Wisconsin and WMLW.
I hope you like them and welcome your feedback here at John and Cait… Plus 9.