This remake of's classic 'When I Grow Up' ad is a plea to 'make America decent again'

Creatives from both sides of the aisle resurrect the famous Super Bowl spot from Mullen and Bryan Buckley in anti-Trump message

Published On
Oct 14, 2020

Editor's Pick’s “When I Grow Up” Super Bowl ad from 1999 was a splash of ice cold water in the face of disgruntled workers around the country. The iconic spot from Mullen Boston and directed by Bryan Buckley is widely considered one of the Big Game's finest. It featured black-and-white scenes of kids revealing their “dreams” for the future—only they turned out to be the mediocre occupations that many have settled for once they reach adulthood. “When I  grow up I want to file all day long … I want to have a brown nose … I want to be under-appreciated,” they say. 

But now, ahead of the election, a group of creatives who say they're from from both sides of the aisle have united under the banner of “Partnership for a Trump-free America” to spoof the classic commercial in a new anti-POTUS message. Similar monochrome scenes feature children aspiring to embody Trump's biggest flaws, according to his critics: “When I grow up, I want to be a a self-obsessed narcissist...have no a useful idiot...a fascist...have no moral compass.. .idolize dictators...put kids in cages...discredit the elections...I want to divide the country...destroy democracy.”

The endline twists Trump's own tagline: “Make America decent again," it reads.

The creatives behind the project are Jera Mehrdad, Craig Lederman and Kiran Koshy, all based in Los Angeles. The campaign also includes a social component that riffs off the classic "Just Say No to Drugs" campaign.

Along with being concerned citizens, the trio are parents, worried about their own children's futures. "Our kids have all been exposed to the news and traumatized it," Koshy says. "We as a society, seem to be overlooking the effects it's having on them. That's the core of our film idea, and it's why the [] ad felt right."

"This isn't meant to be partisan," Koshy adds. "It's about not giving Trump a second term because he's woefully unqualified. We believe a two-party system is built to find effective compromises quickly and thereby govern effectively. No one party can be right all the time. No one party has a monopoly on patriotism, religion, security, ideas or what's right for the country. But it requires both to be respectul, civil and lawful—principles that seem to be falling to the wayside under Trump."

Meanwhile, the original spot's director Buckley, has also been involved in his own initiatives to get Trump out of office.

Check out the original spot below.



Oct 14, 2020
Client :
Partnership for a Trump-free America
Creative Director :
Jera Mehrdad
Creative Director :
Craig Lederman
Creative Director :
Kiran Koshy
Colorist :
Charles Gerstner
Audio Engineer :
Adam Primack
Mix :
Lime Studios

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