Hard Rock International will make its first foray into the Super Bowl with a commercial directed by Michael Bay.
The hotel chain will air a 60-second spot in the ad break before the halftime show. It did not disclose details on the creative, on which it worked with VaynerMedia. This is the agency's first work for Hard Rock.
The decision for Hard Rock to make its first Super Bowl buy coincides with the game being played at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. It also follows the opening of the guitar-shaped Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in nearby Hollywood, Florida, in October. The spot was filmed at the location.
The commercial, says Hard Rock CEO Jim Allen, is a mini-story on which the company can expand following the game. The company has also worked to make sure its technology can accommodate post-game web traffic from those wanting more detail about what's featured in the commercial, he says.
While this is Bay’s first time directing a Super Bowl ad, he has been involved in the Big Game in other ways. As part of Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” stunt in 2013, the person who created the best-rated ad won the opportunity to work alongside Bay on “Transformers 4.” Bay has directed blockbuster films like “Armageddon” and “Pearl Harbor.”
Although hospitality ads are not common in the Super Bowl, Allen says Hard Rock is an all-encompassing entertainment brand.
Perhaps one of the most infamous Super Bowl commercials in the category was Holiday Inn’s 1997 ad, “Bob Johnson.” The commercial used a transgender person's physical changes since high school as a metaphor for the chain's $1 billion in system-wide upgrades.
A 1985 commercial from Hyatt Hotels played upon a space theme and utilized multiple hallmarks of modern Super Bowl ads, including special effects, a celebrity cameo and a surprising concept or setting.