Turkish Airlines Sent 3 Americans on Their First Global Journeys for Its Super Bowl Ad

'Step on Earth' aims to inspire 40% who haven't traveled abroad

Mariha Falconer of Pendleton, Ore., was one of three Americans the airline sent on an all-expenses-paid, weeks-long global odyssey. Turkish Airlines
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If Americans are the world’s only citizens to have visited the moon, surely they can also make time to visit other countries right here on Earth.

That’s the theme of Turkish Airlines’ 2020 Super Bowl spot, “Step on Earth.” Airing in the Big Game as a 30-second spot, the ad’s expanded version weighs in at 100 seconds.

The ad says more than 130 million Americans—40% of the population—have never left the United States. Billing itself as “the airline that flies to the most countries on the planet,” Turkish Airlines felt it should do something to get more U.S. residents traveling outside their borders.

The spot features three real Americans who were selected by Turkish Airlines to go on nearly monthlong global journeys after lifetimes of only staying within their home country. The ad was created through a partnership between agency offices David Madrid and David Miami.

“It’s not often you come across the opportunity to change someone’s life,” said Pancho Cassis, chief creative officer of the Ogilvy-owned David agency network. “In this case, Turkish Airlines has given us the chance to change the life of three wonderful Americans, who, for different reasons, never traveled abroad. They didn’t even have a passport. I am sure that their stories will inspire many.”

The Americans featured in the ad are Mariha Falconer of Pendleton, Ore.; Karlos Kemp of Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Russ Holmes of San Diego, Calif.

Turkish Airlines specifically chose three ad stars as a callback to the three NASA astronauts aboard 1969’s Apollo 11, the first mission to land a human on the moon. Those astronauts were Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin.

Production company Primo Content worked on the ad, which was directed by Nico Pérez Viega. Thanks to David Madrid’s involvement, the spot is the first Super Bowl ad created by a Spanish agency.

This marks Turkish Airlines fourth consecutive appearance in the Super Bowl.

Agency: David Miami and Madrid
Global CCO & Partner: Pancho Cassis
Global COO: Sylvia Panico
ECD: André Toledo, Saulo Rocha
CD: Alvaro Palma
Sr. Art Director: Pedro Sattin
Copywriter: Alvaro Palma
Strategy Director: Jon Carlaw
Associate Planning Director: Matias Candia
Sr. Planner: Stephanie Salvador
Planner: Anastasia Lara
Jr. Planner: Vanessa Amaral
Group Account Director: Mariana D’Aprile
Management Supervisor: George Quiroz
Head of Global Production: Veronica Beach
Producer: Marina Rodrigues
Associate Producer: Brenda Osorno
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Barbara Karalis
Client: Turkish Airlines
Advertising Manager: Rafet Fatih Özgür
Advertising Supervisor: Fatih Akyıl
Advertising Coordinator: Betül Yağcıoğlu
Production Supervisor: Barış Akyıl
Production Coordinator: Gökhan Öcal
Production Coordinator: Soner Öztürk
Global Media & Celebrity Endorsement Supervisor: Yeliz Celayir
Production Coordinator: Çağrı Kayaokay
Production Coordinator: Kayahan Ulaş

Production Company: PRIMO
Director: Nico Perez Veiga
DoP: Khalid Mohtaseb
Executive Producer: Inés Segura
Producer: Assaf Eldar Stadler
Creative Assistant Director / BTS Director: Julieta Cabrera
Production Coordinator: Julia Estruga
1 st AD: Luis Casacuberta
Production Designer: Magdalena Arrieta
Post Producer: Tamara Diaz Larumbe
Editor: Carlos Font Clos

Editor Teaser/BTS: Lucas Nolla
Post-Production Company: Metropolitana
Colorist: Marc Morato
CGI: El Ranchito
Music: Human
Composer: Ed Dunne
Creative Lead: Mike Jurasits, Sloan Alexander
Executive Producer: James Dean Wells
Audio Mix: The Lobby
PR Agency: Powell Communications

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@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."