Jack White makes beautiful baseball bats—for tortured warrior souls.
The rocker cameos in a new ad for Warstic, the slugger company he co-owns with Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler.
White, a Detroit native, scored the ad with a new track, “Battle Cry,” that dropped last week. Kinsler, the star of the ad, grapples with his demons as White, playing “a shadowy trickster,” lurks in the background, doing his usual Addams Family vibe.
A third character, played by photographer and Native American advocate Anthony “Thosh” Collins, fills the role of Kinsler’s inner hunter, mustering focus and tearing through the woods with a bow and arrow.
Titled “War Cry: The Battle of the Hawk and the Raven,” the ad deftly showcases Warstic’s unusually gorgeous wood and aluminum bats, with a hefty dose of mysticism swirled into the mix. While the ad features familiar sports marketing themes—deep inner struggle and stern pre-game focus rituals—it also introduces elements of White’s brooding aesthetic, and a twist Native American influence apparently rooted at least partly in Warstic founder Ben Jenkins‘ sensibilities and experiences. (A graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, his studies there included “current social issues of the American Indian,” and he shot his thesis film on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.)
On April 22, Record Day, White’s label Third Man Records will release a one-sided 7-inch limited vinyl edition of the song, his first new cut since 2014. A portion of those proceeds will go to the Native Wellness Institute, “which exists to promote the well-being of Native American people through youth and adult programs and trainings that embrace the teachings and traditions of Native ancestors.” Collins is a board member of the group, and Warstic is a regular sponsor of it.
Kinsler also began using the song as walk-on music during Saturday’s game against the Boston Red Sox.
Jenkins, a minor league baseball player turned designer, founded the bat company in 2011. He also runs Dallas-based agency OneFastBuffalo, which created the new campaign. Tim Lynch of Los Angeles-based Farm League and Sterlin Harjo of Tulsa-based FireThief co-directed the ad.
Hear the full track below.
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