In “Performance Basketball” and “Performance Football,” the tire-maker Bridgestone and its agency The Richards Group sought a simple way to talk about advancements in tire technology without relying on a) cars taking off at high rates of speed, b) cars gripping wet/snowy/icy roads, c) cars screeching to a halt. The resulting concept -- incredible athletes doing almost impossible things thanks to this tech -- is clever.
Bridgestone, the official tire of the NFL, was a believer in Super Bowl advertising in the 2000’s, and a product that nearly everyone needs makes sense for commercial time in a broadcast bigger than any other. It ran two spots each in 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008, filling the slots for tire marketing filled in much earlier Super Bowls by Goodyear and Michelin, and sponsored the halftime show from 2008 through 2012.
That 2012 halftime show, though, was marred by some controversy when rapper M.I.A. raised her middle finger and uttered a profanity that NBC was unable to block despite a time delay. "What happened is the responsibility of M.I.A., and what happened during the show was, in our view, offensive and very unfortunate," Dan MacDonald, VP-community and corporate relations for Bridgestone Americas, told Ad Age in an interview afterward. The brand changed the terms of its NFL deal later that year to shift away from halftime, which Pepsi resumed its old sponsorship for in 2013 ("Anticipation").
Bridgestone's 2012 "Performance" spots were directed by Erich Joiner, whose other Super Bowl work includes Buick's "Wedding" in Super Bowl 50 and Bud Light's "Meeting" and "Skier" in 2009. Production company: Tool. Executive producers: Dustin Callif, Oliver Fuselier, Brian Latt.
Creative director/copywriter: Mike Bales. Creative director/art director: Shane Altman. Producer: J.R. Dixon.
Voiceover: John Rubinow. VFX: The Mission. Music: Beacon Street Studios. Sound: Lime.
Editorial: Rock, Paper, Scissors. Editor: Damion Clayton.
AGENCY: The Richards Group
QUARTER AIRED: Q1