If you’re not a baseball fan, and more specifically, a New York Yankees’ fan, you probably won’t get it.
But when YES Network created its spring campaign, “Buzz in the Bronx,” it went all in on inside jokes to capture and delight fans.
“If you get these jokes, then you are a part of our tribe,” said John Ziegler, vice president, creative and marketing, YES Network. ”We know that during the Yankees’ season, the team dominates the conversation in this city. We know that there is buzz when they are playing, no matter how they are playing. We want to have our talent and our narrative align with what people are talking about.”
Set inside a fictional Bronx-based barbershop, The Yankees Clipper, Yankees talent gather with YES Network’s squad of ace commentators to commune with head barber and Academy Award-nominated actor Chazz Palminteri, himself a longtime Yankees fan who heads up to the 300-level seats before every game to say hi to fans and autograph baseballs.
“When he gets up to those seats he gets completely mugged in a great way,” said Ziegler. “People are taking off their hats and having him sign them. He’s a big Bronx guy.”
Barbershops have long been considered places where people get groomed, true, but also where they go to hang out with their neighborhood pals. The Yankees have a long-standing tradition, started by famed owner George Steinbrenner in 1973, of being clean cut. The campaign riffs repeatedly on that notion.
“I really let myself go this off-season,” says the perpetually perfectly coiffed Bob Lorenz in the above spot. “Work your magic.”
Besides Lorenz, the campaign includes YES’ Yankees on-air talent: Michael Kay, David Cone, Paul O’Neill, Ken Singleton, John Flaherty, Meredith Marakovits, Jack Curry, Chris Shearn, Nancy Newman and Ryan Ruocco.
The spots also feature appearances by current Yankees such as CC Sabathia, Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Luke Voit, Tommy Kahnle, Gary Sanchez, Masahiro Tanaka, Aaron Boone and others.
“Buzz in the Bronx” is currently airing on YES Network’s own air as well as across its social and digital channels.
This summer, YES plans to open pop-up barbershops at various Yankees games in the Tri-State area where fans can come to take pictures and and chat with YES’ commentators.
YES Network did all of the spots (above and below) in house.