Lee Clow, Apple, ‘1984’ Win Again (Sorta) in Our Next Super Bowl Q+A

By Kiran Aditham 

Well, we wanted more, we got it, and our latest quickfire–and we mean quick–Super Bowl Q+A comes to us from Chris Graves, who’s spent 10 years at Team One, where he currently serves as chief creative officer, and ten years prior to that at TBWA\Chiat\Day. Answer away, sir, and we appreciate you not being overly biased considering your resume.

Is the ever-increasing Super Bowl ad cost really worth what’s now a $4 million spot? Is there an advantage or disadvantage to releasing ads to social media ahead of time?

Because of the huge investment, marketers are looking for ways to leverage their assets beyond the actual spot. This can extend the life of the commercial and generate a lot of early conversation and interest. Of course, on the flip side, if you release a bad ad ahead of time, you’ll only make it worse. An early release has actually become a great litmus test for an ad.


If it’s a great ad, a pre-reveal will generate positive exposure via social and digital media and people will naturally start sharing it and promoting it. And if it’s truly a great ad people will actually look forward to seeing it multiple times. It puts the pressure on the marketer to make something worth previewing. Even if you pre-release your ad and get millions of early views, given the Super Bowl’s estimated 100 million viewers, the vast majority of people will still see it for the first time Sunday night. When done well, previews shouldn’t steal the thunder or ruin the surprise, but rather create momentum and start conversations. In today’s Super Bowl mix, an ad without a social media component is missing an opportunity.

What is your favorite Super Bowl ad of all time?

The smart ad guy answer is Apple/1984, but one of my other personal favorites is the E*Trade dancing monkey , simply for its sheer irreverence. It just did not belong, in a good way.

What is your least favorite Super Bowl ad of all time?

Any of the Bud Bowl ads. Just pick one.