Super Bowl commercial creators reveal the ads they wish they'd made, the ones they love that everyone else hates—and more
Amid the hype and anticipation of this year's ultra-mega-terrific-sports-spectacular-bonanza—and the subsequent 30-to-60-second calls to buy things—Ad Age caught up with some of the ad wizards that craft these messages, the commercials, to find out how they come to life.
We asked the creators of past and present Super Bowl ads to send us some stories about their experiences making the ads on the big stage, which spots they love, and which ones they love that everyone else douses in shade.
Additionally, they tell us some little known facts about their previous work, ads they wish they had made—and of course, the challenges of pandemic production.
Kelly Bayett, creative director and co-founder, Barking Owl
Joe Maglio, CEO, McKinney
Juan Peña, executive creative director and partner, GUT Miami
Fernando Pellizzaro, group creative director, David Miami
David Shane, director, O Positive
The ad I love that everyone else also loves is "This is not a Tide ad." Maybe in the wrong hands it could've seemed like a series of one-note jokes, right? But it doesn't—it has a really smart shape to it and builds really beautifully. And it never wears out its welcome.
—David Shane, O Positive
The ad I really wish I had made was Volkswagen's "The Force." It was so magical and so special, and you watched it and it was like you were a part of this kid's world.
Like, you wanted to be his parent, and you were so happy when he had that magic moment in the end.
—Kelly Bayett, Barking Owl
The Super Bowl spot that I love that I think everyone else ended up hating, was Mtn Dew's "Puppymonkeybaby"—really memorable in the moment, really memorable for weeks after the Super Bowl, but ultimately I think, for a lot of people, just very annoying. I just love the oddball humor, and the brilliance is that you couldn't forget that phrase—it just was not leaving your head.
—Joe Maglio, McKinney
One thing that people might not know about the "Weiner Stampede" ad that we worked on for Heinz was the fact that we tried almost 300 different songs from different genres to find the perfect one. Anything from love ballads, to heavy metal, to Spanish boleros to—you name it—pop, 90s pop, Backstreet Boys. It was a really fun exercise.
—Juan Peña, GUT Miami
I think the most important part is being relevent—and doing something that is worth it for the brand to communicate. Something that considers the current situation we are living in and not ignoring it all.
—Fernando Pellizzaro, David Miami