It was only 1985, one year after Apple initiated what is now considered the modern era of Super Bowl event advertising, but already Hyatt Hotels was in the game with a spot that used multiple hallmarks of the still-developing form: special effects, a surprising concept or setting, 60 seconds of run time, the celebrity cameo and NFL and/or Super Bowl references. (See another list of Super Bowl ad tactics in FedEx's "Top Ten" of 2005).
"Hyatt Hotels scored with an elaborate, highly detailed hotel-in-outer space during the first quarter," Ad Age's Fred Danzig wrote of this Super Bowl XIX commercial.
Created by J. Walter Thompson, Hyatt's agency since 1978, the ad evokes "Star Trek" in tone, "2001: A Space Odyssey" in its design for the hotel. Watch for the cameo at the end by Bart Starr, the former Green Bay Packers quarterback and coach who played on the winning side in Super Bowls I and II.
"Hotel in Space" is one of the very few hospitality ads to run in a Super Bowl, whose costly airtime is more often a venue for auto, drink and snack marketers. Other exceptions include Holiday Inn in 1986 ("A Promise"), 1997 ("Bob Johnson") and 1998 ("Jury Room").
It was also among the most-liked by men in that year's Super Bowl, according to a survey by JWT, along with spots by Budweiser, Miller ("Rodney Dangerfield"), Ford and IBM, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. And it was ahead of the curve in terms of space-set Super Bowl ads, followed by Foot Locker's "Futuristic" in 1987, FedEx's "Moon Office" in 2007, Bridgestone's "Hot Item" in 2009, Kia's "Space Babies" in 2013 and Avocados From Mexico's "Avocados in Space" in 2016.
On the ground before Super Bowl XIX at Stanford Stadium in Stanford, Calif., the Hyatt Regency at Embarcadero Center was the official headquarters -- itself "another world," as reported by The New York Times:
There are the faintly bizarre doings in the lobby or in the banquet rooms or ballrooms, where a field-goal-kicking contest is being staged this week for high school students. Or where a marching band, with tubas and trombones, paraded. People descending the escalator virtually tumbled over one another, staring.
In the handsome bar in the impressive lobby, one buys a 49er Freezer (ice cream and Amaretto) for $4.50, or a Miami Milkshake (vanilla ice cream and Triple Sec) for the same price.BRAND: Hyatt Hotels
AGENCY: J. Walter Thompson
QUARTER AIRED: Q1