It's a high fly ball to left field, and Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw goes back, back, waaaay back...
He vaults outside the stadium, hops into his car, races through downtown L.A., then crosses the desert. Does he ultimately make the catch in Innocean's new commercial for Hankook Tire?
Of course he does. Hankook knows how to handle long drives, after all.
Hey, didn't Hall of Fame outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. tread similar ground for Nike in the 1990? Indeed, he did.
"I wouldn't say we drew inspiration from the Nike spot, but we did want to take a similar premise to a whole new level," Innocean creative director Chris Deninno tells Muse. "By having a pitching great such as Kershaw chase down a home run ball that he gave up—the bane of every pitcher's existence—was a great way to demonstrate his and Hankook's 'Never Halfway' spirit. And of course, we had Clayton show off the performance of Hankook Tires in the process."
A second spot, "Perfect Pitch," puts us inside Kershaw's head, and on the road in high-performance cars:
Kershaw, a flame-throwing lefty who's a sure bet for the Hall, threw a no-hitter in 2014, missing a rare perfect game (a win with no baserunners over nine innings) when one Colorado Rockie reached first on an error.
Both Hankook ads "were filmed over the course of four days in the Southern California area, with a couple of those days dedicated to our driving scenes and the moment at the end with the kids," Deninno says.
"Obviously, the most memorable aspect was filming our scenes with Kershaw inside the hallowed grounds of Dodger Stadium," he recalls. "Our whole cast and crew were consummate professionals, but there was this childlike awe you could see on everyone's faces as we'd step out onto the field to take it all in."
Client: Hankook Tires USA
Agency: Innocean Worldwide
Executive Creative Director: Barney Goldberg
VP, Group Creative Directors: Michael Everard, Rich Pass
Creative Director: Jeff Spillane
Associate creative Director: Chris Deninno
VP, Head of Content Production: Nicolette Spencer
Senior Producer: Jamie Shuster
Project Manager: Cate McManus
Associate Director of Business Affairs: LisaNichols
Brand Director: Kay Park
Production Company: Sweetshop
Director: John S Park
Managing Director & Executive Producer: Greg Schultz
Head of Production: Carolyn Pedrossian
VFX: Solid VFX
VFX Producer: Hazel Jung
VFX Supervisor: John Myers
Post Production: Whitehouse Post.
Editor: Josh Bodnar
Producer: Lucia Villalta