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Q&A with Wieden + Kennedy’s Amber Lavender

Amber Lavender is Director of Business Affairs at Wieden + Kennedy. She’s spent over 30 years managing all facets of commercial production and has logged many hours on locations and sets around the world, with celebrities, athletes and actors. She gamely answered five questions about the big game.

As a Production Executive working directly with Talent, do you think you watch Super Bowl ads differently than those who don’t work in the industry?
Yes definitely. We think about how hard a spot might have been to produce. Or how hard the network clearance was or what the celeb got paid. We always sympathize with other producers on the issues surrounding any production.

What do you think about brands leaking their Super Bowl spots in advance of the game?
I’ve never understood the rationale of that. Part of the fun of watching the game is to be surprised by the spots. So sending them out before the game makes no sense to me.

Are you more inclined to pay attention if a celebrity is featured?
Only if it’s someone who hasn’t done a commercial campaign before.

Do you focus on one screen during the broadcast or do you like to know how people are responding on social media to the game and the ads?
I don’t give two hoots about how people are responding on social media. But then I’m old.

Do you think Super Bowl ads are the place and time to be adventurous and take risks, or is it best to stick with what has worked traditionally?
Brands need to take risks if they’re going to spend that much media money on one spot.