Last week the Detroit Pistons rolled out their new brand campaign for the upcoming season. Vincent featured the Pistons' tweet with a video in his latest roundup, it was linked at other prominent areas of the internet, and it aired locally before the Michigan State-Oregon college football game last Saturday night.
Here it is again if you haven't seen it, yet. If you have already seen it, you might want to watch it again:
Tell me you're a big Detroit Pistons and/or Detroit fan and you didn't get goosebumps.
I spoke with the Detroit Pistons' Creative Director Jason George about the different promos that you can find on the Pistons' website. George said that all the storyboarding and scripting were done internally and their team was behind everything. They hired producers and directors who came in and helped with the shooting and editing, but this was their vision.
"We wanted to draw parallels between the community and the Pistons," George told me. "We wanted to capture the spirit and attitude of the Detroit community and the Pistons, more so than just a physical location."
And that's what the promo makes clear -- We know that Detroit isn't just a place -- with shots of its history, culture and people, and terms of endearment like attitude, hustle and drive, which can now be seen plastered all over the city and state.
Who better to get this message across than Dave Bing? Bing, Detroit Pistons Hall of Famer and former Mayor of Detroit, narrates all of the spots, which is far more symbolic than, say, Clint Eastwood or Peter Dinklage. George said they wanted fans to pick up on it being Bing's voice rather than advertising it as such.
Bing told The Detroit Free Press that he truly believes the Pistons want to reconnect with the city of Detroit, and that it doesn't make sense for the team to not want to given all that is going on to revitalize the city.
Naturally I wonder how far the Pistons will go to reconnect with the city. These are pretty heavy ads, but will games in downtown Detroit be next? The speculation is that some will eventually and until proven otherwise there will always be some rampant speculation that the team will uproot and move back downtown where they haven't played since their Cobo days 37 years ago.
I couldn't help but think of the potential foreshadowing of the Pistons returning to Detroit when watching the videos, even if it's only for some games in the near future. George kind of laughed when I asked him about that, as if he knew I was going to, and he said there was no intention there to suggest that; the video is simply to connect the spirit and attitude of Detroit, its community and the Pistons.
And even if the Pistons play in Auburn Hills for life, it doesn't mean there can't be a constant connection with Detroit. After all, they are the Detroit Pistons. The physical location of games is not necessarily as important as it is how the games are played -- with attitude, hustle, grind and drive. I'm not physically in Michigan right now and never lived within Detroit city limits, but even if Eminem never likes it -- claimin' Detroit when y'all live 20 miles away -- the Pistons and I can still feel connected to it in spirit, and involved with it if not in it, with how we carry ourselves day to day.