Late nights, and the secret workhorse behind 95% of Super Bowl commercials

Even though the Super Bowl is a football game, it isn’t just about football. For millions of Americans and viewers worldwide, it’s about the action off the field…the commercials.

From funny to shocking, heartwarming to awe-inspiring, viewers love Super Bowl commercials almost as much as they love the big game.

How does a brand with a $4.5 million+ message to communicate go from an inspiring idea, over a script and a story board to the final commercial we all wait to see? Well it takes a lot of work by many people, and the widely used cloud-based media collaboration tool called Wiredrive. Here’s a simplified version of how it happens.

1. The project is born

It all starts with the brand and the product they want to promote on the national stage. The brand holds a creative kickoff with their agency of record and a new project room is created in Wiredrive. It’s exactly in this project room, where creatives, the brand’s marketing department and all the vendors can collaborate, regardless of their physical location.

2. Creative direction is established in a Wiredrive project room

Wiredrive’s project room is now intensively used – the marketing department collaborates with their agency to discuss ideas for the national campaign and then the creatives get super busy. Concepts, mood boards, rough scripts, potential copy and storyboards are drafted in bringing the idea to life.

All of these assets are uploaded into a Wiredrive project room and are securely shared between decision makers for review, approval and commenting. This process will typically go through a few rounds before all agree upon a final creative direction to move forward with. The entire workflow is visible to all who are working on it. All assets are tracked with comments and notes and a “final” project folder is created with the approved execution.

VW’s Star Wars themed Super Bowl commercial (2011).

3. The search for talent begins with Wiredrive Library

Once the creative direction is approved, it’s time to find the talent who will direct, produce, and star in the commercial. This could be a long, tiresome process, but Wiredrive’s Library makes this as simple as “search, add, send.”

The creative agency will meet with talent representatives to help identify directors, editors, visual effects and post-production companies that would be good for the job. Wiredrive Library is heavily used in this process by all of the participants.

While the agency and other creatives use Wiredrive project rooms for collaboration, Wiredrive Library is used for storing all of the final pieces and creating reels and presentations. One of the reasons why Wiredrive Library is such a great tool for storing media files and creating reels is its customizable metadata, our advanced tagging option. If the agency is looking for directors who have worked with “children” and “dogs,” advanced search using metadata within the library will pull up television spots completed by directors who meet these requirements so that a customized presentation can be created and sent in mere minutes.

In addition to the catalogued library of assets, detailed Wiredrive reports are used to track viewing activity on presentations and reels they’ve sent, resulting in a follow-up call to the client and/or agency.

4. Pre-production assets securely managed and shared

Once the job is awarded, the winning production company sets up their work in a Wiredrive project room, where they will create and upload the pre-production book (the “holy grail” of the production shoot). The pre-pro book (as it is called) includes casting and location photos, rights releases, form distribution, budgets and any other important asset related to production. These assets are securely distributed with need-to-see-access and the ability for all of the team members to add additional comments.

Filming begins once location and casting are secured through the casting company and location scouts. Additional folders are added to the Wiredrive project room to reflect their work with all approvals and rejections.

Throughout this process, video dailies are uploaded to Wiredrive, and securely distributed to the client, agency, and other involved parties. The director then uses Wiredrive to review the results of the days’ shoot, as well as gather review and approval comments from decision makers.

 

Mountain Dew’s Commercial for Superbowl 50 (2016)

5. Post-production review and approvals gathered

With the production cast and principal filming complete, it’s time for post-production. Post begins with the footage being edited into rough versions of the final television spot. The post-production company manages the editorial process in a Wiredrive project room, where edits are distributed on a daily basis to the various collaborators for feedback and approval.

Music and visual effects companies receive the various edits for their own work, which are also distributed via a Wiredrive project room for approvals.

Finally, the commercial is complete and the final asset is delivered to the agency that will then share it with the brand and eventually the broadcast networks.

After the Super Bowl commercial airs, collaborators will use Wiredrive Library to showcase and pitch the work that they completed to attract new clients.

A lot of effort and knowledge is needed to create a Super Bowl ad. Huge teams need to collaborate, share and safely keep their assets – worldwide. Everything needs to run smoothly as time is money and every second of an ad translates into millions of dollars. There is no room for mistakes, no room for unsecured solutions and no room for pushbacks – a perfect cloud sharing system lets creatives stay focused on their job and not on technical issues of the supporting tools. That’s just one of many reasons why Wiredrive is #1 choice for 95% of Super Bowl ad creators.

Wiredrive Library is a place to archive and share your finished work. You can upload media, tag it with custom metadata and keywords, and create branded reels and presentations to promote your company.

Wiredrive Projects is where you organize your media and collaborate with clients and colleagues. With Projects, all of your important assets are uploaded to one central hub, giving your team the freedom and flexibility to access, review, approve, and share media from any device.

By Taylor Tyng