What planet are the Houston Astros really playing for? If Seattle’s team is composed of Mariners, why do they have a Moose for a mascot? What trickery do the Angels employ to at once be from Los Angeles and Anaheim? And what have the Oakland A’s got against the rest of the alphabet?? These are the probing (read: intentionally absurd) questions at the heart of the new “Support Your Rangers” campaign for the Texas Rangers, which pokes good-natured fun at the MLB team’s American League West rivals. The spots lampoon political advertising and actually deliver a break from the heavier issues of the day. The campaign - which broke last week across broadcast, online and social media platforms - is the result of a close collaboration among director Andrew Disney, editor Sam Parnell and producer Scott Nichols of Red Productions, and Creative Director Scott Biggers and Creative Content Manager Tim Johnston of the Rangers’ in-house marketing team. 

“At first, we considered going in a serious direction, but after seeing so many ‘in these uncertain times’ spots, we started to gravitate towards comedy,” Disney recalled. “Let’s face it. It’s been a hell-ish year for pretty much everyone. So creating something funny and absurd that satirized the political ad season just felt refreshing.” The key to the collaborative process, Disney added, was honesty. “We wrote up three scripts for each team - all the ideas were pretty bonkers - and our barometer was what made us laugh. If Scott and Tim didn’t think an idea was funny they’d tell us so, and vice versa.”

Each spot takes a unique approach to grabbing the viewer’s attention, and the campaign has already generated positive attention for the organization, with the Astros piece igniting a storm on Reddit.  

“We planned for political spots back in February. The challenge and fun came in landing on very questionable claims against our opponents – and our own broad platforms, both of which clearly took us into the absurd,” said Biggers. “And because political ads aren’t afraid of asterisks and disclaimers, we weren’t either. Our aim, quite simply, was to give our fans something to smile about in this tough year. Our partners at Red certainly delivered on that.”

“The time spent searching for material didn’t feel like work, it was an adventure,” reflected Parnell, whose work with Disney goes back more than a decade (he edited Searching for Sonny, a 2011 feature written and directed by Disney). “One minute I’m Googling ‘nature’ and finding this perfect tree hugger image and the next I happen upon a camel (slyly referenced as a ‘giraffe’ in the VO, which was performed by producer Nichols). Our strategy with each spot was to take a right turn into the bizarre,” Parnell mused, “though of course, some things are funnier at 1am than at noon the next day.”

Andrew Disney
Andrew Disney is a Fort Worth native, NYU-trained writer, filmmaker and commercial director. Along with creating videos for such brands as 7-Eleven, Dallas Cowboys and Herzog & de Meuron, Andrew is an award-winning film director for his feature films SEARCHING FOR SONNY and BALLS OUT.

Sam Parnell
Sam runs all post-production activities at Red Productions – developing streamlined processes and ensuring we’re at the forefront of technology, equipment, and content delivery. His editorial credits span feature films, national TV spots, highlight videos for professional sports teams, music videos and more; he often handles motion graphics as well. Sam has a degree from the Radio/TV/Film Department at TCU, and is a two-time intramural champion for Texas Hold'em poker.