Super Bowl Starters | Creative Director John Leonti reminisces on big game collaborations

Every year we collaborate with partners and clients to bring a variety of incredible spots to the screens of almost 100 million US viewers and plenty more worldwide for The NFL's Super Bowl. Ahead of the 56th annual event, we are chatting to The Mill talent who’ve got a few Super Bowl seasons under their belt about the importance of the big game on the advertising industry, some of their favourite ads, and tales of years past.
Community February 9, 2022

One of John’s favourite spots from Super Bowl 54, SodaStream ‘Water on Mars’.

What is your favourite Super Bowl ad?  

That’s a tricky one, there have been so many great ones over the years. One of my favourites of recent years is SodaStream ‘Water on Mars’ directed by Bryan Buckley. Another great one is the Rocket Mortgage ‘Comfortable’ spot starring Jason Momoa by David Shane. 

Why is the Super Bowl so important for the advertising industry?   

The Super Bowl gives advertisers the largest concentration of eyeballs on screens at any one time in the calendar. It’s a great opportunity to present their wares to an audience from every walk of life. It’s the occasion where not only is there a competitive game on the field, but there’s also a competition on screen for the number one Super Bowl ad.  

With this in mind, creatives are invited to bring their A-game (pun intended) to connect with their audience and create a memorable spot in a field crowded with the advertising industries best and brightest. This can lead to some remarkable creativity within the confines of advertising. 

What’s the most memorable Super Bowl spot you’ve worked on?

That’s a hard one to pin down. For me the experience of making a spot is as enjoyable and interesting as the end result, meaning you can find yourself in all sorts of bazaar locations and situations. In 2013 we shot a Bud Light spot called ‘Lucky Chair’ that featured Stevie Wonder. We were treated to a mini-impromptu concert between setups and that is something I will never forget.  

What makes The Mill a trusted Super Bowl partner?  

Our clients trust us because we are passionate about what we do. In the end, we want to make something as remarkable as they do. We work with many of our clients from the very inception of an idea and work with them as creative partners and advise on what works best when VFX is involved. With decades of experience and an appetite for “figuring it out” there is nothing we can’t creatively solve. 

Creative Director | John Leonti

See more of John’s portfolio on his Creative Profile. Eager to be a part of our starting lineup next year? Apply to join our global team of original thinkers and makers here.