Hollywood director Peter Berg never served in the U.S. Military, but his father was a Marine. With a background like that the chance to produce a SuperBowl ad that featured service members currently overseas reunited with loved ones, was something he wasn’t going to miss. The challenge, though, was to produce an ad while the game was going on and feature Hyundai’s 360-degree immersive pods.
The car maker and technology company threw a SuperBowl party for American service members currently stationed in Poland, chose three lucky winners, and put them in three pods where they were transported virtually to Hyundai’s luxury box at the game to watch with their families.
“We’ll shoot it during the first quarter,” he explained Friday. “We’ll have pretty much the second quarter and halftime to get it put together, then we’ll show it to the Department of Defense. They have to sign off on it. The NFL has to sign off on it. And Fox has to sign off on it. And of course Hyundai, our client, has to sign off on it. That gives us pretty much the third quarter to make changes and the fourth quarter to lock it in.”…”I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a bit impressive and actually somewhat intimidating when I think about what we’re trying to pull off,” Berg said. “It’s extraordinarily complex. I think it is the most complex thing I’ve ever been involved in.”
Due to the length of time the approvals would take from the Department of Defense, the sponsor, and everyone else, the slot purchased for airing this ad was the one immediately following the game, known as the “post-gun.” With the New England Patriots coming from behind to tie the score at the end of regulation and the game going into overtime, that meant the audience for this particular ad was huge.
“No one can get enough of the military surprising their loved ones” when they come home from overseas, said Eric Springer, chief creative officer of the ad agency Innocean USA. “We see that all the time. What we’ve never seen, (or at least) what we couldn’t find, was any soldier who was surprised by their loved ones.”
It’s the twist that has tears jerking all across America.