The Canned Food Information Council - Brilliance

January 20, 1985 | :30

The trade association for companies involved in canning made an unlikely ad buy in 1985's Super Bowl, to the delight of viewers.

"Canned Food Information Council passed us a captivating commercial that seemed to come out of the rock video genre, with its computerized graphics and highly stylized players," Ad Age's Fred Danzig wrote a few days after the game.

That was the plan, according to Ketchum Advertising Art Director Bob Nisson. "We wanted to do something that was so image-oriented and so striking that you kind of dispelled all the rumors about cans that you know," Nisson said in a behind-the-scenes film, "The Making of Brilliance."

Fernando Gumucio, chairman of the council's marketing committee, said later that betting a major portion of his entire annual budget on one spot had paid off, the Lawrence Journal-World reported:

"It was a crapshoot, it was risky, but we are all very pleased with the results," he said during a telephone interview on Tuesday.

"I said from the beginning we didn't have to spend $60 million a year on publicity. There were other ways to skin a cat. We decided that if we run a commercial in the Super bowl, we reach 41 million households which is the highest number of people we can reach in one time any place," he said.

Director/designer: Randy Roberts. Production company: Robert Abel & Associates. Creative director: Millie Olson. Art director: Bob Nisson. Technical director: Tim McGovern. Music: Elias Associates. Composer: Jonathan Elias.

Another marketing collective, the American Dairy Association, would make a similar (and similarly successful) Super Bowl gamble the following year with "Cheese, Glorious Cheese."

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  • BrandThe Canned Food Information Council
  • Year1985
  • AgencyKetchum Advertising
  • Superbowl #XIX
  • Quarter aired