In The Shadow of Giants: The Makers Behind The Super Bowl Ads Matter

A spotlight on the production teams that mirrored as beacons of inclusivity in this year’s Big Game

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Super Bowl ads, often regarded as mini-blockbusters, are a central part of the event’s allure. Amid the glitz of celebrity endorsements and the strategic genius of top-tier agency teams, there’s an often-overlooked cadre of professionals who are the backbone of these advertising marvels: the makers.

The creation of these spots is a symphony of artistic and technical expertise, where producers, directors, cinematographers, editors, sound mixers and a plethora of other specialists bring their A-game. Recognizing these individuals and companies is more than a courtesy; it’s an acknowledgment of the essence of collaborative creativity and the high-caliber effort required to birth these visually stunning narratives.

Some spots from this year (though not many) were not just well-crafted in storytelling and audience connectivity, but also a beacon of inclusivity both in front of and behind the camera, from directors to cinematographers, and from glam squads to sound design.

Let’s delve into some standout instances.

Poppi ‘The Future of Soda Is Now’

Directed by Buenos Aires-born Agostina Galvez, the sparkling probiotic soda brand demonstrated a seamless blend of fun and flair, supported by a female-driven production team from Virtue. This spot reimagined the soda-drinking experience with a vivacious energy.

Google’s ‘Javier in Frame’

A narration of a heartwarming tale of memory and joy was elevated by the emotionally resonant audio and sound design from the women-led team at Heard City.

NFL ‘Born To Play’

The league captivated us with its rich African cultural narrative, brought to life under the direction of Nigerian filmmaker Andrew Dosonmu and the versatile lens of DP Malik Hassan Sayeed.

Popeye’s ‘The Wait Is Over’

The collaboration with McKinney, Cylndr, and director Calmatic, one of two Black directors in the Big Game this year, showcased a comedic genius, enriched by diverse casting and ingenious set design.

More noteworthy productions from Sunday night include Fanduel’s tribute to Carl Weathers with cinematography by Autumn Durald, and Doritos’ “DinaMita” directed by the Brazilian duo Alaska; both ads showcased diverse talent in front and behind the camera.

For many involved in the production of these ads, proper recognition can significantly impact their career opportunities. Being associated with a successful Super Bowl ad can open doors to new projects and collaborations, thus fostering individual career growth.

Through a deep search across LBB’s Creative Library and Instagram, I was able to find the department heads and production companies for at least 90% of the spots ran. It should be easier in 2024, yet intentionality continues to be required.

In the glitz and glamour of Super Bowl commercials, it’s easy to overlook the teams working tirelessly behind the scenes. Their recognition is not just a pat on the back but a fundamental component in cultivating talent, driving the industry forward and upholding ethical standards. As we relish these creative pieces, let’s make a conscious effort to acknowledge and credit the minds and hands that turn visionary ideas into tangible, impactful experiences that create dialogue for days and weeks to follow.

And in the spirit of giving credit where it’s due, I’d be remiss not to mention Sandra Douglass Morgan, President of the Las Vegas Raiders, the third woman and third African-American in NFL history to become a president of an NFL team, whose leadership played a pivotal role in orchestrating the magnificent spectacle we witnessed.