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

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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.


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“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.

Budweiser
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.”


About Ann Brown

Ann Brown has been a freelance writer for more than two decades. Her work has appeared in CocoaFab, Black Enterprise, Essence, MadameNoire.com, New York Trend, Upscale, Moguldom, AFKInsider, The Network Journal, Playboy, Africa Strictly Business, For Harriet, Pathfinders, Black Meetings & Tourism, Frequent Flier, Girl, Honey, Source Sports, The Source, Black Radio Exclusive, and Launch. She studied journalism at New York University and has her B.A. Born in New York, Ann lived in Praia, Cabo Verde, for nearly a decade. She created “An American In Cabo Verde,” a Facebook community.