On his way to the Yankee Stadium Derek Jeter decides to leave his chauffeur behind and walk amongst his fans before a game.
iSpot Review — November 7, 2014
This ad has been writing itself slowly for nearly the last two decades, as Derek Jeter made his indelible mark on the city of New York. Gatorade simply made wise use of a great creative team and genuinely enthused and grateful Yankee faithful. One can imagine the agency pitch: "It is a celebratory final lap for a great city hero. Derek Jeter will go about the boroughs and soak in love from the masses."
Professional sports allow for a special connection between individual stars and their respective cities. When a league star makes career-long bonds with fans and foes alike, the best thing to do is make sure there is a camera there to capture it. That is the feel Gatorade has recreated in this evocative commercial send-off for the Yankee great. It's not an intrusive brand pitch. It's an inclusive character study.
It is fun to think about this spot and Nike's "Together, Featuring LeBron James." The latter was also about deep city connections, but it was about the final forgiving darkness before first light; and visually the black and white production had a heaviness to it.
With Derek Jeter, Gatorade instead gives us a great final light fading into darkness. The Gatorade ad is also black and white, but many of the shots have a late-light sheen to them that highlight throngs of fans and seem to bejewel the star Yankee player.
It is a subtle difference between how the two ads are executed, and, creatively, it showcases great craftsmen, when you can see and feel the result.