MIke Myers and Dana Carvey party on for local restaurants in Uber Eats’ ‘Wayne’s World’ Super Bowl ad
Over the past year, Uber Eats has brought memorable pairs to the forefront of its marketing with its “Tonight I’ll Be Eating” campaign, starring the unlikely duos of Mark Hamill and Sir Patrick Stewart as well as Jonathan Van Ness and Simone Biles. And now, as teased this past weekend, the brand is reuniting “Saturday Night Live” vets Mike Myers and Dana Carvey to reprise their roles from the famous “Wayne’s World” skit and films.
In an ad set to run in the third quarter, Myers and Carvey reunite as buddies Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar, still broadcasting their local access show from the basement of Wayne’s parent’s house. They’re as sophomoric as ever, making fun of the Super Bowl’s well-trodden tropes—subliminal messages, hair-flying sexy shots, mini me babies and even a shameless celebrity cameo—Cardi B magically appears on their couch, then helps them take their schtick into 2021 in a series of TikTok-inspired dances.
All the antics are geared toward promoting Uber Eats’ message to ”Eat local.” Instead of simply pushing its own platform, the brand is turning the spotlight on its local restaurant partners, whose businesses have suffered during the pandemic. The spot debuts alongside Uber Eats’ restaurant relief program, which will be providing $20 million of support to its partners over the next six months.
The connection to Wayne and Garth? “As a local access show, we want everyone to support local restaurants,” Wayne says in the ad.
The Super Bowl, especially now as consumers remain holed up at home during the pandemic, is indeed prime time for food brands and delivery platforms. “There are a lot of people ordering takeout—50 million of them, and one out of five people watch the game for the ads,” says Uber Global Executive Creative Director Danielle Hawley. “That stage comes with a lot of power and a ton of responsibility. It’s no secret restaurants are having a hard time now, and we wanted to really champion small businesses.”
To create the campaign, Uber Eats worked again with agency The Special Group in the U.S. and Australia, which was behind the “Tonight I’ll Be Eating” campaign.
While the brand and agency have seen success with the straight-up laughs of that push, the Super Bowl presented the opportunity to do something bigger. “It occurred to us that it’s a chance to not just do something entertaining, but also important,” says Special Group U.S. Partner and Chief Creative Officer William Gelner. “We’ve all seen a lot of work that does good, but this one also makes people laugh. Right now the world could probably use a bit of both.”
The local restaurant support continues beyond the Bowl. Uber Eats will be releasing a two-and-a-half hour extended cut of the Big Game spot online. Riffing off the end scene of the original “Wayne’s World” film, it tacks on an extremely long credit roll featuring the names of more than 100,000 Uber Eats local partners. Wayne and Garth continue their basement merrymaking throughout, with Easter Eggs like a surprise visit from Alice Cooper. There will also be more spots featuring Myers and Carvey in the vein of the "Tonight I'll Be Eating" ads.
Behind the ad
Step one of the process was getting Myers and Carvey to say “yes,” and it turns out the campaign’s support of small businesses played a key role, Gelner says. “They really connected with this notion of doing something good.”
“When Uber Eats came to us with this idea, we were excited,” said Myers in a statement. “Local restaurants need our support more than ever right now, and to be able to lend our voices and local access show to that message just felt right.”
“Wayne and Garth are the happiest characters we’ve ever played, and it just seemed like the world really needs them right now,” added Carvey.
To shoot the campaign, Uber Eats once again worked with production company Smuggler and director Guy Shelmerdine, who were also behind the original ads. As expected, the team was forced to deal with pandemic-imposed risks and restrictions. A week before they were scheduled to shoot, production moved to Las Vegas from Los Angeles, which had become the epicenter of COVID in the U.S.
In Vegas, Shelmerdine and his team recreated the Campbell family basement after extensive research. Production designer Tom Hartman carefully studied the various “Wayne’s World” sets, painstakingly sourcing props like a blanket crocheted by the set decorator’s grandmother and a cooler, restored to look like the original and driven all the way down from Oregon. For costumes, stylist Matt Goldman also made several "Wayne’s World" hats, though ultimately there was no need. “Mike Myers ended up bringing the original hat from the movie along with his original jeans,” Shelmerdine says. “All we had to do was run out to a store and buy a black T-shirt.”
During the shoot, as Myers and Carvey got into character, “it was very much like a master class in comedy,” Gelner says. “One of the cool things we learned was that with Wayne and Garth, sometimes the joke isn’t the joke. Sometimes it’s being able to bask in the aftermath of the joke—give Wayne and Garth time to enjoy their own joke and give us the audience time to enjoy it.”
“The craft was in the nuance of getting the dialogue and timing to work just right,” Shelmerdine adds. “I like to find the comedy in the unexpected places and there were some amazing moments and reactions that Wayne and Garth performed that ended up working really well in the edit. Those kind of golden moments you can never really plan on.”
One highlight he says, was with Cardi B. “We hold on Wayne as he just smiles and nods after Cardi B says, ‘Eat Local.’ For me, it captures the nucleus of Wayne as a character, and that carefree attitude is the essence of what we were trying to emulate in this campaign as an antidote to the tough times much of the country is going through.”
The extended cut of the ad allowed for plenty of serendipitous gems as well, like the improvised moments when Myers and Carvey were performing in front of a blue screen, Shelmerdine says. “I spontaneously gave them ideas of what the backgrounds could be, and at one moment they were swimming in hot lava, and the next, they were flying fighter jets.”