First-time Super Bowl advertiser Wilson Sporting Goods, the Chicago-based retailer, showed up in 1995 with a movie-like production of the sort audiences had come to want from big game advertising. The take on the David and Goliath story was shot for a reported $1 million in Jordan, with extras hired from the Jordanian army, by both the New York and Chicago offices of Ogilvy & Mather. And it ran 60 seconds during a year when half that much was going for an average of $1.1 million.
"It's a bit of a roulette wheel," Wilson CEO John Riccitiello told The New York Times’ Stuart Elliott before the game. "But for us, it's really a simple, straightforward proposition. The right people will be watching. They play golf, they play tennis, they participate in sports."
Some viewers called the attribution of David’s victory to the right brand of rock a bit of blasphemy, but the spectacle worked for others. The ad was the start of a broader campaign with an estimated budget of $25 million. It didn’t run on TV again, only in movie theaters.
BRAND: Wilson Sporting Goods
AGENCY: Ogilvy & Mather