PEORIA, Ariz. — Here they are, this year’s collection of the Mariners’ commercials. They came out Wednesday morning and, to quote soon-to-be-video-star Charlie Furbush, they are “pretty epic.”
Furbush and bullpen partner Tom Wilhelmsen become instant icons as hair-band fans rocking out to Hawt Corner’s musical tribute to third baseman Kyle Seager’s defensive skills.
“That’s just both of us excited to see our favorite band,” Wilhelmsen said. “There was no acting. It was all just the love of life.”
It is all that and more.
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The commercials were filmed in February at the Peoria Sports Complex and are a collaboration between the Mariners and Seattle-based ad agency Copacini + Fujikado..
There are four spots:
***WHERE DID IT GO?:
First baseman Logan Morrison explains to disbelieving newcomer Nelson Cruz that, while you can’t see them, those Fernando Rodney’s pantomime victory celebration arrows are real.
That spot ends with an inflatable playhouse collapsing as a man wearing an A’s cap collapses to his knees while screaming, “Rodney!”
Catcher Mike Zunino lines up a cell-phone group selfie with several starting pitchers that initially excludes Felix Hernandez because of his intensity.
The King cajoles his way into the shot…with predictable results.
Robinson Cano lashes one line drive after another to any location specified by hitting coach Howard Johnson and others. (That one is pretty close that what actually happens in batting practice.)
Manager Lloyd McClendon walks by at one point and instructs Cano to drive the ball at a guy about to place a flier on McClendon’s car in the parking lot. Cano delivers.
And then there’s Furbush and Wilhelmsen emerging as stars of the entire campaign by turning their supporting roles into…well, Furbush is right: something pretty epic.
The spot centers on a series of clips highlighting the defensive skills that turned Seager into a Gold Glove recipient. The clips are accompanied by an 1980s-styled hair band called Hawt Corner (MetalHead in real life).
The scene cuts to Wilhelmsen and Furbush on the bench with big hair and rocking out in full head-banger mode.
“They picked the right guys for the right spots,” Wilhelmsen said, “and I think it’s safe to say they nailed Charlie and I for those two spots.”
Furbush and Wilhelmsen push one another to ever greater heights with a series of chest bumps, air-guitar solos and the like.
“We were there for so long,” Furbush said. “I don’t know if he went first or I went first. It was more like we’re just going to go with this and see what happens at the end of it all.”
The contrast to Seager’s straight-arrow approach is…(OK, what’s another word for epic?)
“They made it easy for me,” Seager said. “They bring so much energy and so much personality to it that I just have to be there. I can be low-key and awkward in front of the camera, and it works.”
Does it ever.
The song is infectious and sure to be a summer-long staple at Safeco Field. And Wilhelmsen and Furbush generated so much footage for the film crew that the Mariners put together a music video in addition to the commercial.
“We had a blast,” Wilhelmsen said. “We didn’t want to go. We wanted more. We wanted to keep going. We wanted to hear another song.
“I’m really grateful to the Mariners. They’ve given me the opportunity to be a big-league pitcher and now a rock star. Two dreams that every kids wants to be.”
"He's the Hawt Corner" Official Music VideoBloopers[HTML6]