They're here - the new batch of Mariners commercials. It looks like True to the Blue is the official slogan for 2014 yet again, as opposed to the Stars Align stuff that has been somewhat prevalent on the radio. Take a look, and vote for your favorite.
The concept is pretty thin here, but Felix gives his usual affable performance. Even though first fifteen seconds are pretty much a waste (although the Burger King-ish crown is a nice touch), the direction gives Felix enough time to shine in the final three seconds, and you can't help but crack a smile once he busts out that sword. The Elvis thing is a total stretch, but Felix's dance saves it. A highly gif-able moment that I expect to be rampant in game threads this year.
Slo Mo and Music:
Why isn't this called Slo Mo Cano? Either way, it's his time to shine, and even though this one isn't very funny, it's full of Cano-porn and Lloyd McClendon and Brad Miller join in. When August rolls around, these commercials will have been viewed hundreds of times by everyone, so it's all about the little things -- Brad Miller has this little lip quiver that he makes in earnest amazement at Cano walking by that slays. Wonderfully understated, the kind of thing that I'll still be chuckling over in the dead of...summer. There was a great opportunity for something funny at the end, but they chose to show Cano shaving. Missed chance. At least the team didn't choose music that was too obnoxious, since we'll be hearing it a hundred times.
Iwakuma brings a nice bit of personality in this one, but it's a little underdeveloped for me. The break-dancing is over the top, but Furbush gets some quality air and Zunino is solid in his earnest "he's really like this" performance. It's pretty forgettable and they could have chosen some more creative talents, especially one other than singing. It's a bit of a throwaway.
Old School Kyle:
Seager gets his own commercial, and it's a great one. I love the narration, the poke at modern hipsters who use typewriters (intended or not, it's brilliant) and Kyle saying "hashtag" out loud as he pokes it in is a treat. This feels like a Mariners commercial of years past, creative, well-produced, and entertaining all the way through. You've got to love the locker slam on the way out too -- a nod to how much the game has changed for players of Seager's age. They didn't waste their time after the slogan splash either, with a nice wrap from Seager taking another ball off the back. Wonderful performance from Seager on a well-executed concept.
This is unlikely anything else the Mariners did this year, and I can't really figure out if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Using the majority of your allotted 30 seconds to introduce the creator of the box score is kind of odd, and so is pairing it with some modern music. The whole concept would have made a lot more sense if there was a transition from old-timey saloon music to something vaguely hip-hop as Felix started to dominate and the King's Court was highlighted. It's fairly harmless, but it doesn't show any of the player's personalities, which is really the best thing the Mariners have done in their commercials through the years. I'm pretty indifferent on this one -- I'm just not sure it works.
What do you think of the new batch of commercials? I don't think it's a particularly strong batch, but none of them are bad. Old School Kyle is the best of the bunch for me, with Brad Miller's sense of awe in Slo Mo and Music coming in as the best moment that will last.
Bonus -- here's two minutes of "bloopers," though it's more of a behind the scenes look.