If there's one thing we can all agree on it's that we love to see our San Francisco Giants on TV... or via the Internet... or live at the ballpark. Point is, we love to SEE them. Well, the 2012 advertising campaign has kicked into gear -- "Let's Get Back + Together" -- and we're being treated with a new TV spot which you can SEE here.
All great advertising goes beyond mere visuals and affects us on an emotional level. A deep analysis of the images in this new ad reveals that the Giants are saying more than what's on the surface in the slick editing and hip font. They want to get back to the World Series, sure, but what they need is something more profound. Here are the thirty images that reveal this truth:
A solitary, hooded figure stands on a line that separates two sides. This is Death, ever present, running up and down the barrier between life and death, constantly.
And the use of "LETS" as opposed to "LET'S" is curious. A definition of lets is "to admit of being rented or leased". This reinforces the notion that the Giants are trying to tell us something about death. The soul's lease on the body is finite, after all.
And now this figure is running right at us! Death is inescapable. It's always coming. Relentless.
"GET" means we can either get busy living or get busy dying. So now the Giants are proffering a choice. They want to get back to the World Series, they want us to be aware of death, but they also want us to take something into consideration, something we are clearly supposed to "get" or understand.
The Giants have put their foot down. They want us to get BACK. Back to what? They've been talking about death and choices and -- wait, what's that? The left foot has crossed the plane. Left as in, "there's something left." This imagery clearly indicates that the Giants want us to go back, to revisit, pickup what we left behind.
Brian Wilson with the classic "Jesus Christ deep in thought" face, the same one He had wandering the desert for 40 days, fighting off the Devil's temptations. The same face He had in the Garden of Gethsemane as he prepared himself for the fate that awaited him. If there's one last thing I know about Jesus, it's that he was *resurrected*, and that's what this image is all about.
What is resurrection but going back? And here we see that idea reinforced with an image that promises something good on the horizon for doing so.
That hope on the horizon means that going back this time will work. The Giants want us to understand that 2011 was an unsuccessful attempt to emulate 2010, but 2010 was a year that saw Pablo Sandoval slump the entire season. But 2011 Pablo was fantastic.
The Giants want us to linger on the bad parts of the past two seasons. Notice how the explodey part of Romo's elbow is conveniently cropped from the split frame. Notice how Pablo's physique is displaced, lumpy... the Giants are not ignoring the bad that has come before.
Now the image changes and the muscles connected to the explodey part of Romo's elbow are obscured as well. Pablo's physique has settled down. The Giants acknowledge that we cannot predict the future. However...
He's good, y'all. He's good. Don't even worry about the elbow. Look at that beard. That determination. Romo's going to be okay.
And *they* are good, y'all. Both of them. They are serious. Take them seriously. And look at their faces. They look like mugshots. *Remember* their faces. They are important.
Children is Latin for "the future", so these happy kids are literally showing that the future is going to be happy with Brian Wilson in it, as they are all in the same frame. Chain link fences have long been Hollywood visual shorthand for "converting multiple save situations", so this particular frame really speaks for itself.
In fact, the conversion theme carries over to this image, which shows a kid in nothing but Giants apparel. His buddy is not so fortunate. The implication is (remember the chain link fence implies conversion) that the kid will very quickly be *won over* by the Giants. If you're following the through-line, you see that the Giants have been building towards this "win you over" notion, and it will soon become clear why.
The Giants are going back to the future. In the feature film Back to the Future, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) had to teach his father how to win back his mother's heart so that he would be born.
The future is bright. We're going to come out on top, because...
If America can come back, then so can we.
The Giants want us to understand that we can reclaim the joy of 2010, we can get back to feeling good, together.
The framing of this shot does not pander to the male gaze. This shot isn't about anything other than her. Red Hair Dye Girl is doing this for herself. This is what she wants.
The Situation washed his shirt because he wants a fresh start.
Unfortunate Beard Man intends to cut out the past and look towards the future.
Y'know, the future. The one with Tim in it. Unfortunate Beard Man once was hurt by the Giants, but now he's only going to think about the best parts of them. The only parts that matter.
Even Bengie Molina and his buddy want us to know that Timmy is one of the great things about the Giants. So many great qualities, but chief among them, that man.
This is a very obvious dig at the Oakland Athletics, what with the little girl blacking out the letter 'a'. This is telling us to not even bother with anyone or anything else. Stick with the Giants...
... because Panda won't ever be fat again. Anytime a character runs up stairs it means they're automatically in shape forever.
... because the Giants heal broken homes (notice the absence of a wedding band on the father's ring finger and the empty chair on the right side of the frame)...
... because MATT CAIN...
... because what we have with the Giants is unforgettable.
Happiness, Ecstasy, Democracy, Batman, Pain, and Intensity... this is what we have with the Giants. The bad and the good, let's do it again. Let's be...
He's putting weight on the busted ankle, so you know we can handle the pain.
The most important part of the entire commercial, the emotional appeal: will you make a commitment?
And that's what this was all about. The Giants broke our hearts and now they are Say Anythingying us. They don't just want to get back to the playoffs or the World Series, they need our forgiveness so that we can be partners again. But can we trust them? This commercial would have you believe that they're working on changing their ways, that they'll be better this time. It's the same line said billions of times over millions of years, "I've changed, baby. Won't you take me back?"