The Humiliating True Story Behind Bridgestone’s ‘Reply All’ Super Bowl Ad

A Richard Group creative's shame

Remember that 2011 Super Bowl ad for Bridgestone Tires with the guy running all over town to keep people from reading an errant "reply-all" email? Turns out it was inspired by a nightmare that actually happened to the spot's creative director—while he was concepting an ad for the big game. Friday night's episode of 20/20, called "Workplace Confidential," featured the story of Richards Group creative Bill Cochran (above), who accidentally sent many of his colleagues a note meant for his art-director partner. In the email, he made fun of fellow creatives who were competing against his team to come up with the 2011 Super Bowl spot. "On something as juicy as a Super Bowl spot, it, it gets a little more cutthroat around here," Cochran told ABC News. Here's what went down, according to 20/20: "After sending the email Cochran went about his day until he got a phone call minutes later from a copywriter named Wendy Mayes. 'Oh, God, Bill!' a horrified Mayes told Cochran. 'You sent that to all! You replied to all!' " In the end, all was forgiven (at least by agency founder Stan Richards), and it ended up inspiring Cochran to develop one of the funniest spots of the game. See the full 20/20 episode here. Hat tip to my friend Claudia for sharing this, via The Richards Group's Facebook page.