Does the hype around Super Bowl advertising transfer across the pond to the UK?
In adland, for sure! I think we in the UK see the Super Bowl as the US equivalent of our Christmas season of spots – the time when all of the industry’s creative juices (and coffers) are squeezed into delightful 30-second nuggets… with the obligatory fight for who’s best.
Outside of the agency / production scene I think the hype is less prevalent, but the viral spread in its wake it still massive on social media over here. I think my Mum would recognise the Bud Frogs in an instant, but likely couldn’t even tell you that the Super Bowl is an American football match.
Do you have a ritual/tradition for watching the Super Bowl?
It mostly involves being asleep. I would love to be in the States one year for the big show, mainly because dips with different layers sound tremendously exotic to me.
My real tradition starts the morning after where I check out all of the hard work from our US team – which is made all the easier due to our exceptional Slate showcase of all aired spots (yes, that’s a blatant plug). To be honest with you, I kinda miss the days when spots weren’t online a week earlier or teased to the hilt, but there are always some nice surprises in there.
What do you think about the trend of brands “leaking” their Super Bowl ads online ahead of game day?
Well look at me predicting your next question like some sort of mind-reader! I totally get why brands ‘leak’ early – that all important social media real-estate is much easier to share if releases are staggered. However, for me it’s always the surprising delights that break through on the night itself that mark the Super Bowl out as special.
You’ve interviewed many creative people who’ve had a hand in Super Bowl campaigns. Anything you’d like to share that stands out to you?
It was a real kick chatting to Peter Berg a couple of years back. I did a phone interview with him whilst in LA so it all felt very showbiz. Plus he was a lovely fella.
I’ve got a couple of interviews lined up for this year, which could be great. It’s always tough to predict which spots will be heavy hitters, but it’s wonderful being able to chat to creative bods about their work regardless.
What’s one of your favorite Super Bowl commercial of all time and why?
OK, I know I should probably say something iconic like Apple’s ‘1984’, Bud’s ‘Wassup’ or Always ‘Like a Girl’, or ones that genuinely filled me with joy like VW’s ‘The Force’, ‘Terry Tate Office Linebacker’ for Reebok and the ever-ace Old Spice ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’, but the spot that holds a very special place in my heart is Will Ferrell’s perfect Old Milwaukee spot. I love it partly for its comedy – the wander, the music, the shabbiness, the perfectly timed cut-off – and partly for its sheer audacity – it aired in North Platte, Nebraska only and subsequently went viral. Bet you don’t get many people choosing that one as an all-time fave, but it’s a total touchdown in my book (that’s an American football saying, right?).