What was The Mill’s involvement in the making of Jeep ‘Groundhog Day’
When this job was presented to us, we only had a few days before the shoot, followed by five days until delivery. Because of the quick turn-around and how often animal talent can be problematic, The Mill was brought on to be a creative partner in order to not only get the best out of the now famous groundhog (Poppy), but also adding nostalgic touches, do some beauty cleanup, and work on all the standard aspects that come with car commercials all with a very tight turn around.
What challenges did the team face?
The toughest challenge was knocking out both the standard and long form spot just five days after filming in and in time for Super Bowl LIV!
We had to be extremely flexible with the edits and work on extended handles to hopefully preserve as much work as we could. Additionally, the weather was not always cooperative, so adding snow and other weather effects in post production was another hurdle given the timeline. Funny enough, one of the other larger challenges was how passive Poppy was during filming. We ended up having to take a variety of takes/actions and comp them together to add even more life to an already live animal.
What was the best part of this project?
From a set supervision aspect, it was an amazing experience to work along Bill Murray, Brian, and Steven and watch them re-live the film exactly where it was filmed 27 years ago. From a post point of view, it’s been great hearing the positive responses to the spot – #1 on USA Today’s Ad Meter! – and knowing all the effort the team poured into this project truly paid off.
Why do you think the ad was voted Number 1 on USA Today’s Super Bowl AdMeter?
I think this job captured lightning in a bottle by getting so many original key members involved while introducing a product that doesn’t draw away from an engaging story. It had the perfect blend of nostalgia, comedy, and a great marketing concept. It can be very difficult to hit all those notes without feeling forced, but I think this tied everything together beautifully.
Tell us about something from this year’s Super Bowl that inspired you?
Quite honestly the fact that The Mill was involved in 29 Super Bowl ads this year was incredibly inspiring to me. I feel fortunate to be a part of a company that is able to output such a large range and number of spots in such a short period of time. I know first hand that the hard work and dedication from all parties involved in the making of the these spots – agency partners, production companies, artists, runners, producers – make them stand-out above the competition.