Chicago is the third largest media market in the U.S. “Chi-town” has also been the setting for many popular television shows, including: According to Jim, The Bob Newhart Show, Chicago Hope, ER, and Married with Children.
In addition, many motion pictures have been filmed in the “Windy City,” most notably: The Blues Brothers (1980), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), Home Alone (1990), The Fugitive (1993), and The Dark Knight (2008).
So, even if you’ve never been to Mike Ditka’s Restaurant in the “Second City,” you recognize Bill Swerski's Superfans who obsessively discussed “Da Bearss” and “Da Bullss” during the recurring sketch on NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL) in 1991-1992.
Even if you’ve never eaten a Chicago-style hot dog that’s been “dragged through the garden,” you know that the best place to order Chicago-style “deep-dish” pizza is in the city that Carl Sandburg called “City of the big shoulders.”
And even if you’ve never read Studs Terkel’s Division Street: America, you understand the rivalry between the North Side and South Side of Chicago that existed long before Al Capone and Bugs Moran split their dueling beer routes along Madison Street back in the 1920s.
That’s why three recent YouTube videos that target Baseball Fans in the “Heart of America” have more universal appeal.
The first is “‘Cubs Win’ MLB 12 The Show Full Length Commercial.” Uploaded to the PlayStation channel on Mar. 6, 2012, the video ad for MLB The Show, the highest rated sports game for the past four years, has almost 2.8 million views. The video’s description says, “So real, it’s unreal.”
[Video removed from YouTube]
The Chicago Cubs have not won the World Series in 103 years, a longer championship drought than that of any other major North American professional sports team. They are often referred to as “The Lovable Losers” because of this distinction.
The Cubs are also known as “The North Siders” because Wrigley Field, their home park since 1916, is located in Chicago’s north side Lake View community at 1060 West Addison Street. The team has rivalries with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago White Sox.
Do you really need to know the backstory of the Curse of the Billy Goat or the details of the Steve Bartman incident to enjoy watching “‘Cubs Win’ MLB 12 The Show”? I don’t think so.
I’m a Boston Red Sox fan who saw Bill Buckner’s fielding error during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series against the New York Mets. And I watched the Curse of the Bambino reversed when the Red Sox came back from a 0-3 best-of-seven deficit to beat the New York Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series and then went on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals to win the 2004 World Series.
And I liked and shared “Cubs Win” after watching it for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Cubs’ fans, I feel your pain.
And I also could relate to “Chicago vs. Chicago: Round 1.” Uploaded to the New Era Cap Company channel on April 4, 2012, this video already has more than 140,000 views. The description says, “The Windy City Showdown begins. Nick Offerman and Craig Robinson go head to head in this long-standing MLB rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox. Which side are you on?”
The reason – if reason has anything to do with it – that I could relate to “Chicago vs. Chicago” so readily was explained 7 months ago in my post, “New Era Video Ads Succeed by Taking Yankees-Red Sox Rivalry Seriously.” But Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants fans also know what I’m talking about.
This brings us to the third video, “Nike Chicago: Northside vs. Southside.” Uploaded to the Nike Windy City channel on April 4, 2012, this video has over 10,000 views. The description says, “Spring is over. Time to pick a side: #Northside or #Southside.”
Now, Major League Baseball (MLB) rivalries aren’t limited to the “Crosstown Classic” between the Cubs and White Sox, which is also called “The Windy City Showdown” and “Red Line Series.” Ever heard of the Subway Series between the New York Mets and New York Yankees? How about the Bay Bridge Series between the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants?
So, the three videos above tap into powerful emotions that are shared by baseball fans far beyond “The Big Onion.”
According to Nielsen @Plan Q3’11, 58 percent of all Baseball Fans are on YouTube. That’s 2.2 million out of 3.7 million males who play baseball or have purchased tickets to a baseball game. In fact, YouTube reaches more Baseball Fans than Yahoo! Sports, ESPN, MLB.com, and SB Nation.