Please see the full article in Adweek.
Getting a Super Bowl brief is one of those opportunities you dream about as a creative. Nailing it can change the trajectory of your career. Then, about five minutes after getting briefed, reality sets in. Your palms start to sweat. Your brain draws a blank. And the faster you realize what’s riding on it, the faster you realize screwing up isn’t an option.
The second Super Bowl brief I got was for Kia in the fall of 2011 as a freelancer. David Angelo handed us the brief and said, “It needs to have a car driving, great music and must be entertaining.” He challenged us not to overthink it and find the simple truth to bring those elements to life. There’s no perfect formula for memorable storytelling, but the simplicity of his brief stuck with me as the place you always hope to start.
So, before we all start playing Monday morning quarterback on last night’s spots, let’s take a quick step back and give a nod to the work it took to even get there. Every agency team started in different places, went up against different obstacles and ultimately brought it to the finish line.
There was a lot of talk going into Sunday as the year of the Crypto Super Bowl. What stood out for me—above crypto, celebrities, electric vehicles or nostalgia—was that humor made a comeback. And after everything that’s happened over the last couple of years, it seemed to be welcomed by all. Here’s what I loved and two things I thought missed the mark.
Arguably one of the funniest spots this Super Bowl. Larry David made the perfect argument for why you should look at the way forward with an open mind.
This started with a great product truth and unpacked a pretty bold TV spot, getting better and better with each vignette. From the love scene to the casket, this one left me smiling.
What’s not to love here. With a product like this, they let the story tell itself. Well done.
The casting choice played out perfectly onscreen, and kudos to Amazon for leaning into what people fear about their product. I thought it was smart and tastefully comedic.
Even for those who don’t remember the floating DVD screen saver, it didn’t matter. This pulled enough people off their couches to crash the site. Simple, effective and right on point for a technology nobody understands.
What more can you say, Gwyneth Paltrow eating her own candle pretty much stole the Super Bowl. Kudos to the team and client for the bravery.
GM’s “New Generation,” NFL’s “Bring Down the House,” Lay’s’ “Stay Golden,” Toyota’s “Brothers,” Rocket Mortgage’s “Dream House” and GM’s “Dr. EV-il” rounded out my list of almost-loved. Next, when I wished I was in the bathroom:
We’ve gone to the well on this device a few too many times, and Dolly Parton wasn’t enough to reinvent the approach.
I was eagerly awaiting the reboot of a Super Bowl icon but ended up feeling like we were dropped in the middle of a story without explanation. If you missed the teaser you were probably scratching your head. I feel a new campaign is coming, I just wished this spot was as good as its predecessors.
Overall, we saw a lot of goodness in this year’s Super Bowl. Keeping it smart, simple and entertaining seemed to prevail—which we all know is a lot easier said than done. For that, I say thank you to the lucky ones who got their brief and helped bring some fun back to the Super Bowl. We needed it.