Responses by Jeff Bossin, VP group creative director, INNOCEAN USA
Background: We were tasked to announce the new 2020 Sonata as a stylish and tech-forward sedan. The past couple years people have favored SUVs over sedans, so you have your work cut out for you. That’s where focusing on one exciting feature came in. We had to make our sedan stand out.
Reasoning: A lot of times, especially for Super Bowl spots, it’s common practice to entertain for 80 percent of the commercial, and then slip in the product at the very end. We decided to embrace the Remote Smart Parking Assist feature in the minute-long spot and make that the entertaining part.
Challenges: Probably casting the celebrity talent. It’s always a minefield of cost, availability and, ultimately, their interest in doing the project. And though our production clock never stopped ticking, the celebrity world moves at its own pace. And in this instance, we all felt that all the talent had to be from Boston.
Favorite details: As mentioned earlier, casting folks from Boston was essential for authenticity. We really hit the jackpot with Chris Evans, Rachel Dratch, John Krasinski and David “Big Papi” Ortiz. If any one of them had been a well-known personality from, say, New York, we would have heard about it from Bostonians all over Twitter! And rightly so.
Time constraints: Funnily enough, we had script approval earlier than we have had in past years, which made this year seem almost leisurely. And we had a locked cut earlier too. Which of course makes you think, “Did we lock cut too soon?” It’s insanity however you look at it!
Specific demands: Whenever you have big celebrities involved, it adds to the complexity. They often have thoughts about the script development, who the director is, who the other actors are, when we shoot and where we shoot. Ultimately, of course, their involvement makes everything bigger, better, funnier and shinier. So you listen, adapt and collaborate.