Master Lock's Super Bowl classic, "Marksman 2," appeared in every big game from 1975 through 1983, making event advertising out of repetition. The original 60-second "Marksman," shot by Campbell Mithun in 1973, generated unprecedented free publicity as people tried to disprove it by shooting padlocks themselves, as Michele Derus wrote in her 1994 authoritative history of Master Lock Super Bowl ads for the Milwaukee Sentinel. The press played a big part, former Master Lock ad director told Derus:
Whenever the commercial appeared, within days, we'd get a phone call generally from a newspaper reporter somewhere, calling to find out what we used. We'd wait and watch, and sure enough, within a week or two, some story would appear on how he'd measure off the 40 yards, load and shoot that sucker, and by golly, it held together. It was fantastic publicity. ... I often wondered how many hundreds of locks were sold because of people shooting at them.
Master Lock and Campbell Mithun parted ways in 1974, but the creative continued to run in 30-second form, adapted by Cramer-Krasselt and enhanced with the slogan "Tough Under Fire."
The epic Super Bowl run of "Marksman 2" was finally ended after Super Bowl XVII by "The Doubters," in which Cramer-Krasselt used skeptics to its advantage.
BRAND: Master Lock