Budweiser ‘Trying To Gain Cultural Cachet’ With Ad Celebrating Jackie Robinson, Directed By Spike Lee

Written by Ann Brown

Oscar-winning director Spike Lee has directed an ad for Budweiser honoring sports legend Jackie Robinson. The ad spot, “Impact,” debuted MLB’s Opening Day on March 20 at ballparks across the country. The film’s  title is inspired by a quote from Robinson in which he said: “a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

“Impact” is part of a Budweiser campaign celebrating Jackie Robinson, who was born 100 years ago. It is an effort by the brewery to “gain cultural cachet,” AdAge reported.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 53: Frederick Hutson
Part 1: Jamarlin talks to justice-tech pioneer Frederick Hutson, who founded Pigeonly to create communications products for inmates and their families that reduce the destructive impact of incarceration.

“Impact” is a 3-minute film narrated by Robinson’s daughter, Sharon Robinson, and highlights Robinson’s breaking baseball’s color barrier in 1947. Present-day activists such as Amanda Nguyen, author of “The Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights,” and LGBTQ advocate Dustin Rossalso appear in the clip.

“The film mixes vintage footage with scenes reenacting Black people gathering at bars and listening to Robinson’s Brooklyn Dodgers games on the radio. They are drinking Budweiser, of course,” Ad Age reported.

Besides the film, there is also print, digital and out-of home advertising. And, Budweiser is selling limited-edition Jackie Robinson “42” aluminum bottles during the MLB season.

Spike Lee holds up brass knuckles reading “hate” and “love” from his iconic film “Do The Right Thing” as he arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The company will donate 42 cents from every bottle sold to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Interestingly, in 2006 Lee directed a Jackie Robinson ad for another brewer, Anheuser-Busch, called “Here’s to Beer.”