Firestone’s “Ballad of a Baseball Coach” is ALMOST perfect.

Firestone’s commercials are often pretty good. And although this newest one isn’t bad, it does contain a few minor oversights that should have been avoided.

The upside:

Catchy, rhyming copy. Copywriters have known for many, many years that poetic copy and catchy tunes really sell products. Especially if the copy involves storytelling. It all depends on the product, of course, but I think it works well in this commercial.

Plays on emotions. Dads who coach their kids and take them to games want to be remembered as a dad who cares. And this commercial’s song says This is dedicated to a guy we all know. Taught you how to hit and how to throw.” So this spot will relate well to its audience. The song also tells us that this great dad “keeps the team moving on his Firestones.” Which connects the product to doing something really worthwhile.

The downside:

Copy went slightly too far. At one point, the song lyrics say The players, umpires, folks in the stands, see the Firestone performance and think it’s grand.” The copy was great when it inspired its audience to do something wonderful and worthwhile with the product. But it went a bit too far when it claimed that other people see the guy’s tires and the performance that he gets out of them. Dads know that although people see them interacting with their kids and coaching them, people don’t notice them for their tires.

A weird visual that didn’t belong. The commercial is supposed to be about a dad that takes his kids to games on his Firestone tires. So the visuals should include nothing but the dad, his truck, the kids, the tires, and the game. What on earth is a group of elderly croquet players doing in this commercial? And why are they singing along with the tune? This distracts the audience from the message.

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