Jeep’s ‘Portraits’ Wins Super Clio for Best Ad of the Big Game

Iris captures soul of an iconic machine

Marilyn Monroe. Steve McQueen. B.B. King. Jeff Goldblum. The Terminator.

With a cast like that, it's no wonder "Portraits," Jeep's stirring commercial for Super Bowl 50, is a winner.

Today, the minute-long spot for the Fiat Chrysler nameplate created by Iris Worldwide in New York, took home the second-annual Super Clio prize honoring the best ad to run during the Big Game.

"Portraits" features the faces, both famous and obscure, of folks with various connections to the brand. For example, McQueen had a love for off-road vehicles, including a tricked-out model dubbed the "Universal Jeep." And, in 1954, Monroe rode in Jeeps when she visited U.S. troops stationed in Korea. One of the average folks shown in the ad, George Speaker, drove a Jeep during dangerous missions during World War II.

Celebrating the vehicle's 75th anniversary, the ad closes with the on-screen lines, "We don't make Jeep. You do."

"I liked the restraint it showed for the Super Bowl, to not use the typical tricks," said Rob Reilly, Super Clio commissioner and global creative chairman at McCann Worldgroup. "Jeep could have easily shown driving footage or something similar, but they chose to show very little product and tell a great story."

Reilly led a committee of top creative executives who chose the game's top spot. Mark Tutssel, global CCO at Leo Burnett Worldwide and one of the jurors, said the ad "credits people with intelligence and asks you to decode it." And he praised the closing line as "a lovely thought to quietly celebrate a national treasure in a beautiful, poetic way."

Summing up the approach, Iris global creative director Sean Reynolds said, "The Jeep team referred to themselves as the 'custodians of Jeep,' which we felt was such an awesome sentiment, so we set about telling this unique story through the eyes of Jeep and its people."

"Portraits" beat out two other finalists. One was the Snickers spot below from BBDO, with Willem DaFoe recreating Marilyn Monroe's famous skirt-blowing scene from The Seven Year Itch:

The other finalist was the NFL's "Super Bowl Babies Choir" by Grey which focused on kids born nine months after the game in winning cities:

BBDO won last year's inaugural Super Clio for Snickers' riotous Brady Bunch sendup starring Danny Trejo and Steve Buscemi:

Adweek and the Clio Awards are both owned by affiliates of Mediabistro Holdings LLC.

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.