Super Bowl Starters | VFX Supervisor Ajit Menon reflects on past game day ads that went the full nine yards

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 11, 2022

What is your favorite Super Bowl ad?

My favorite Super Bowl ad is definitely the most recent one I worked on, which is Pepsi’s ‘The Call’. Directed by F Gary Gray and filmed by Paul Cameron, this trailer film showcases the 2022 Superbowl Half Time Show talent in various situations. We see Eminem rap-battling against his Slim Shady avatar, Snoop Dogg enjoying a ride out with his convoy of lowriders, Mary J Blige in a photoshoot, Kendrick Lamar furiously penning lyrics to a new song, and Dr. Dre’s scene is set against a beach with a larger than life piano playing along to his song until they all coalesce at SoFi Stadium. The job was so massive in scale that it was split between NY and LA with BLR getting involved to help ease the burden on both sites. Needless to say, this job would have been impossible without the fantastic work by all the artists involved and the production crew who managed all the logistics fantastically.

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

Superbowl has traditionally been a time of year that advertisers know has a massive audience – and this allows companies like us at The Mill to be able to be involved in a lot of exciting work and often times with larger budgets. Some of our most enduring commercials have been crafted during this period and it’s something all of us artists love to be involved in.

What is your favorite Super Bowl ad that you’ve worked on from previous years?

There have been many, but 2021’s Bud Light Lemons spot is very high on that list. Directed by Mike Warzin, it’s a fun spot where lemons (used lightly as a metaphor for Covid) rain down from the sky and threaten to disrupt people’s lives across the country.

What makes The Mill a trusted Super Bowl partner?

The Mill has a proven track record for high-end visual effects in TV commercials for the past 20 years or so and has consistently set the bar for the quantity and quality of work. There’s also a lot of pride in the company to be involved in this – for their high profile as well as their creative aspects.

What are your Super Bowl traditions for watching the big game?

Pre-Covid, it was always fun to meet up with colleagues in a bar, pop a beer and watch the game (and commercials) together. Previously, quite a few of these ads would be exclusive to the show – so it would be a fun way to watch the commercials you and others worked on. Maybe even some friendly rivalry as to whose work was better.

Ajit Menon, VFX Supervisor

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