McDonald's and Leo Burnett Chicago take their wildly popular Super Bowl spot from 1993, "The Showdown," and go bigger. This time Michael Jordan and Larry Bird travel far wider in their epic game of H.O.R.S.E., and have an eager Charles Barkley inviting himself to play.
USA Today spent two months behind the scenes of the ad's creation, reporting that production totaled more than $2.5 million.
The company calls these ads "reputation" spots, and that's just what's on the line. For Super Bowl XXVIII, its 60-second ad required four days of filming, 75 hours of special effects work, 140 hours of editing, 10 hours of sound mixing and the talents of about 80 people, including the best-known and most-expensive commercial director in the business. Ten days of technical work was crammed into a four-day session so intense that a special-effects artist started to faint over his computer.
"One Year Later" was directed by Joe Pytka, who directed Alamo Rent a Car's "4 Million Miles" in the same game, the original "Showdown" spot in 1993 and countless other Super Bowl ads.
"Don't take things too seriously," Pytka told Newsday for a profile that ran after the game. "The best thing on the Super Bowl is to be very lighthearted, and not pretentious, and even though big money is spent, spend it in a way that helps tell the story or make the joke work."
The result took fifth place in USA Today's annual Super Bowl ad meter, which gauges entertainment value among a panel of viewers, that year a group of 60 assembled in Jacksonville, Fla.
Leo Burnett creative director: Cheryl Berman. Copywriter: Jim Ferguson. Art director: Bob Shallcross. Senior producer: Chris Rossiter.
AGENCY: Leo Burnett
QUARTER AIRED: Q2