Edelman is home to more than 600 creatives and strategists. Many of them have made Super Bowl spots. In honor of the upcoming ‘big game’, we asked five creative talents to relive their favorite moments behind the camera:
23 vs 39
Creative: Jon Flannery, CCO, Edelman Chicago
Super Bowl Year: 2003
THE STORY: The year was 2003. Michael Jordan was coming out of retirement to play again for the Washington Wizards – a major moment in sports history. As the face of Gatorade, Jordan appeared in the brand’s first ever Super Bowl spot in not one, not two, but three different roles. Famed commercial director Joe Pytka used cutting-edge digital technology to have 2003-era Jordan, Bulls-era Jordan, and Tarheels-era Jordan appear on camera at the same time.
THE MEMORY: “Pytka was refusing to include a line I wanted to get in the spot when Jordan overheard the debate, and asked Pytka if he could give it a try. He did, and the entire crew on set cracked up laughing. Pytka turned toward me and gave me the Space Jam Martian death ray stare before finally saying, ‘you got lucky with that one’....
Also, looking at the spot now, it’s hard to believe the CGI was once considered state-of-the-art. Kind of looks like a rotary dial phone now.”
Client: Consumer Protection Ontario
Creative: Andrew Simon, CCO, Edelman Canada
Super Bowl Year: 2015
THE STORY: In 2015, Bell Media had exclusive rights to the Canadian feed of the Super Bowl and held a contest for best Canadian ad. The winner would get free placement during the telecast and tickets to the game. Andrew Simon entered the above government ad for Consumer Protection Ontario, and was named the grand prize winner.
THE MEMORY: “Choreographing a disco dancing puppet is one experience I will always treasure. And while asking the puppeteer to seamlessly flip Sheldon on his head and execute a few leg kicks seemed a bit excessive at the time, I’m really glad I insisted for it made for the perfect ending.”
WOW, THIS ACTUALLY WORKED
Creative: Jocelyn McCanles, Group Creative Director, Edelman
Super Bowl Year: 2021
THE STORY: Spending on Super Bowl advertising goes up every year. More celebrities, more effects, more bravado. As Jocelyn tells it, Reddit’s 5-second ad from last year “takes the piss out of Super Bowl spots”. Her team ran in the complete opposite direction from everyone else, subverting all the norms of a Super Bowl ad, and really all advertising best practices in general.
THE MEMORY: “It was 5 seconds long and it was basically a print ad that you had to pause your TV to read. And we did it because it felt right for Reddit, which is a place that has this fun, contrarian, DIY spirit.”
LIKE A GIRL
Creative: Judy John, Global Chief Creative Officer
Super Bowl Year: 2015
THE STORY: Always’ ‘Like a Girl’ commercial is one of the iconic campaigns of our time. When the short film first launched in 2014, it was lauded for its ability to break through gender stereotypes and empower women of all ages. It made its Super Bowl debut in 2015, cutting through the plethora of male-oriented advertising that littered the telecast.
THE MEMORY: “I was fortunate enough to be sitting at the game at the Super Bowl when our spot went on the Jumbotron screen. There was a hush over the 80,000+ crowd as they turned to watch our spot. It held their attention for the entire 60 seconds. When the spot ended, the crowd cheered. It was an incredible experience to see Always #LikeAGirl breakthrough and have that impact on a live audience.”
THE PURE EXPERIENCE
Client: Michelob ULTRA
Creative: Mariana Ruiz, EVP, Executive Creative Director
Super Bowl Year: 2019
THE STORY: Michelob ULTRA’s ad for its Pure Gold label starring Zoe Kravitz brought ASMR, (autonomous sensory meridian response), to its biggest stage and biggest audience ever during Super Bowl LIII. At the time ASMR videos were on the rise and developing a cult-like following for their unique ability to calm and soothe jangled nerves. For an event that’s usually action packed, the brand decided to slow things down.
THE MEMORY: “Nothing beats traveling to Hawaii for a week and working with Zoe Kravitz, but it was way cooler to get mainstream attention for ASMR, a niche type of internet therapy at the time. The spot helped a lot of people discover something new that worked for them.”