Creativity 50 2011: Michael Kadin and Eric Springer

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Michael Kadin
Michael Kadin

Between the Super Bowl and 58 million views online, it's safe to assume everyone's seen the adorable boy in the Darth Vader costume trying to channel the Force on his dog, a doll, a stationary bike, a sandwich, and a Volkswagen Passat. Surveys consistently showed it was the best-loved and most-recalled spot of the game.

The men behind it, Deutsch L.A., group creative directors Michael Kadin and Eric Springer (the latter recently left the agency), said the two cultural touchstones -- VW and Star Wars -- made the concept come together. "Great advertising both reflects and creates pop culture," Mr. Kadin said. "For this spot I think we did both."

Messrs. Kadin and Springer thought it might be impossible to secure the rights to John Williams' iconic music from director George Lucas. "There was some initial fear and doubt," Mr. Springer said. Then there was the question of whether to release it online first. Would the ad still resonate if people already knew the punchline? "It was a little scary, but being a little scary makes me say, 'Jesus, we have something,'" Mr. Springer said. "If everyone is in violent agreement it's too rational. A great idea needs to be a little irrational."

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