Super Bowl will feature Austin based-ad agency commercials

AUSTIN (KXAN) – What would a world without chips to go with your guacamole be like? To the creators at Austin based ad agency GSD&M, life as we know it would fall apart.

This year the ad group has created their fourth consecutive Super Bowl ad for Avocados from Mexico, a group that represents growers and producers. The spot takes you along a journey with a group of idealistic people who have come together to create the perfect society when they realize they left something very important behind — the chips for the guacamole. So, naturally, everything starts to fall apart. The concept was created in July and shot last month in Toronto, Canada.

“It takes a lot of time to come up with an idea for the Super Bowl because so many eyes are on it and everyone wants to make sure it’s the best possible spot it can be,” says Barrett Michael, Associate Creative Director for GSD&M.

One hundred million viewers are expected to watch Sunday’s big game, which is the largest television audience. According to the Wall Street Journal, companies will pay $5 million for a 30 second spot, which is five times more than it was back in 1995.

“The Super Bowl is really unique because it’s pretty much the only time in the year that everybody watching something is looking forward to the commercials,” says Leigh Browne, Associate Creative Director of GSD&M.

Austin ad agency McGarrah Jessee is keeping the specifics of their commercial under wraps until the game on Sunday. This is their first time creating a Super Bowl ad for Shiner since they started working together in 2003.

“We can tell you that it focuses on the fact that Texas is experiencing a huge population boom, and that Shiner Bock is offering ‘an ice-cold welcome’ to all of the newcomers on behalf of the people of Texas,” says Brett Eaton, Group Account Director with McGarrah Jessee.  “We created the spot for Shiner to reinforce its stake as the iconic Texas craft beer loved by longtime residents while welcoming all of its new friends — with a country music twist.”

The spot was shot last month at the White Horse in east Austin, racking up a $1.2 million bill for production costs.

“With that attention comes expectations,” Eaton says.  “People want to see the brands they love do something big, which often means something timely. Our first step toward creating a Super Bowl spot for Shiner was taking a step back to look at the larger context in which the spot will air. To do well during the big game, you have to look at the bigger picture.”

But, ad agencies also look to do well online before and after the game — creating different versions of their spot that are often shared on social media. For GSD&M, they created a one minute version for online after the original cut was closer to two minutes.

“With a Super Bowl spot, you always capture more scenes than you need, more gags,” Michael says, “And then it becomes such a huge challenge to pair it down to a minute, or in our case 30 seconds.”

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