Creativity Chat: Jake Scott, Director of Bud's New Clydesdale Super Bowl Ad
Our special series of Creativity interviews with directors of the Super Bowl's top ads continues with RSA Films' Jake Scott, the director of Budweiser's "Brotherhood" and Kia's "Space Babies." Make sure to check out our two earlier Q&A's with Noam Murro (Taco Bell's "Viva Young") and Tom Kuntz (VW's "Get Happy"). Stay tuned for the final piece in the series on Monday, a chat with actor and Iron Man franchise director Jon Favreau, who shot Samsung's Super Bowl spot.
Director Jake Scott of RSA Films has been behind the lens for some of advertising's most celebrated commercials (Nike's "Move" and "Magnet"; HBO's "Voyeur"). For this year's Super Bowl, he shot two big spots. One was Kia's "Space Babies" out of David & Goliath in Los Angeles and the other, was tear-jerker of the big game, Budweiser's "Brotherhood." Created out of Anomaly, it tells the story of a horse trainer united with a long lost friend -- a Clydesdale. In the wrong hands, the tale easily could have easily succumbed to schmaltz, but Mr. Scott's restrained approach makes it one of the most captivating spots airing on game day.!-- Embed Title: Budweiser: Brotherhood -- Super Bowl XLVII -->
Creativity: But you did grow up knowing that something your dad made was part of, if not the reason for, why the Super Bowl become this advertising extravaganza. Apple's "1984" ad is what made the Super Bowl this huge commercial showcase.
Mr. Scott: I worked on that actually. I helped with the casting of it. I was a runner at the time at the [RSA] office in London and they sent me down to an area in east London and shot all the skinheads they used as the worker force. My dad finished shooting and he was going out to dinner with [Chiat/Day] producer Richard O'Neill and the agency at this lovely restaurant in London, and I was hired to babysit the negative in Richard O'Neill's hotel room. I think I drank half the mini bar on his couch. Pretty useless. But that spot was amazing.
Creativity: The weight the 1984 ad has in advertising history, does that get in your head when you're directing something for the Super Bowl?
Mr. Scott: Not really. You just get on with it. At the end of the day it is another job. You've got to do it well. I was fortunate to have a couple of nice ideas to work with this year. It doesn't always come out well, and sometimes you can't even say why -- it could be the choices you made, client interference, clients being conservative, agencies not being able to make up their minds. There are many factors involved. I think there's some magic and luck and alchemy involved, but I'm very pleased with Budweiser.
We're shooting in Uruguay right now with some of the crew who worked on that spot, and we've been watching the hour by hour YouTube reports. I was worried Budweiser would be viewed as too sentimental. Being English I'm quite cynical and I think in England it would play quite differently: "Oh bloody hell, give me a break." But I'm really pleased with the reaction. I'm pleased for Budweiser, and the agency. People who are nice to work with you want to see do well.