During every Super Bowl broadcast deployed members of the military are shown watching the big game overseas. This year, Hyundai teamed with director Peter Berg (Patriots Day, Friday Night Lights) to give our service men and women a connection to the game unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before.
In the moments following the thrilling finish of Super Bowl LI, Hyundai ran a commercial that focused on a viewing party at the U.S. Military Base in Zagan, Poland.
During the game, three military members were plucked from the gathering and taken one at a time to a special room where a 360 degree screen connected them live to their families who were watching the game from NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Needless to say, the tears were flowing when Hyundai revealed the surprise.
Speaking with USA Today on the Friday before the game, Berg explained the difficult and time-sensitive process in pulling off the 90-second spot.
“We’ll shoot it during the first quarter,” Berg said. “We’ll have pretty much the second quarter and halftime to get it put together, then we’ll show it to the Department of Defense. They have to sign off on it.”
“The NFL has to sign off on it. And Fox has to sign off on it. And of course Hyundai, our client, has to sign off on it. That gives us pretty much the third quarter to make changes and the fourth quarter to lock it in.”
Berg, whose father was a Marine, understands the emotional connection military members have to the Super Bowl.
“When something like the Super Bowl comes up, it kind of reinforces that homesickness” Berg said. “People wish they were home. People associate the Super Bowl with family and being with family.”
To pull off the feat, a teddy bear (dressed in military attire) equipped with a 360-degree camera was placed in a suite with the family and a live stream connected the two worlds, giving the soldiers unprecedented access to their families and the game.
“We thought this was the best and most advanced way to feel like being there without being there,” said Dean Evans, Hyundai’s chief marketing officer.
“It’s not virtual reality,” Springer said. “It’s not something that’s ever been used before or seen before.”
Technical achievements aside, the ability to capture the humanity of the moment is what made this particular commercial special.
“No one can get enough of the military surprising their loved ones,” said Eric Springer, CCO of the ad agency Innocean USA. “We see that all the time. What we’ve never seen, (or at least) what we couldn’t find, was any soldier who was surprised by their loved ones.”
Hyundai, Berg and everyone involved did just that, and the memories shared by the soldiers and their families are ones that will last a lifetime.
For more on this remarkable commercial as well as interviews with supporters and Super Bowl champions, Joe Montana and Mike Singletary, visit hyundaiusa.com.
Be sure to check out Good Celebrity’s coverage of Super Bowl LI including charity profiles on stars Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Matt Ryan, and Julio Jones, a military tribute from the Atlanta Falcons, and a surprise visit from former Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees.