- When I Grow Up

January 31, 1999 | :30

Widely considered to be an instant classic, this Super Bowl XXXIII ad out of Mullen for job-listings site presents a series of stark black-and-white shots of kids speaking directly into the camera: "When I grow up, I want to file all day." "I want to be a yes man." Et cetera.

There's probably no better way to sell viewers on a hard look at their current jobs and encourage a turn to Tagline: "There's a better job out there."

Director Bryan Buckley decided against casting professional child actors, instead traveling around the country to find a diverse cast of everyday kids to say the lines, which gives their mock testimonials a gritty sort of authenticity.

Mullen worked with production company Hungry Man; Scott Henriksen served as director of photography; Andre Betz as editor; Dylan Lee as copywriter.

"Before the Super Bowl,'s traffic was running at about 1.5 unique visitors per month," Ad Age reported in 2000. "For the remainder of 1999, it averaged 2.5 million visitors per month." Ad Age ended up naming it the ad of the year. In 2002, a poll of 25,000 USA Today readers placed the ad among the 10 most popular television commercials of the last 25 years. went on to be a steady Super Bowl advertiser throughout much of the aughts, starting with Mullen's follow-up to "When I Grow Up" in 2000, "The Road Less Traveled." Of course, it was hardly alone: was there much of the time as well, including in 1999 with "Security Guard" and in 2000 with "Negotiation."

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  • Year1999
  • AgencyMullen
  • Superbowl #XXXIII
  • Quarter airedQ2, Q4