Behind the Controversial Budweiser, Audi, and 84 Lumber Super Bowl Ads

  • Published in Film

During the Super Bowl this last month, three ads stood out in touching upon polemic subject matters. For better or worse, they received a lot of love and hate alike. Politics aside, here’s more about who made each one. It’s interesting to see who worked on more than one of these, such as Anonymous Content and Company 3. Each spot cost over $5 million dollars per 30 seconds to air, although a lot of people tuned in for the Patriots beating the Falcons in overtime, meaning mere cents per viewer.

Budweiser “Born The Hard Way”

28 million official online views in February with 48k likes, 16k dislikes, and 12k comments.

According to some press, this was shot in New Orleans over three days.

Director: Christopher Sargent
Director of Photography: Jody Lee Lipes
Agency: Anomaly (New York, USA)
Production Company: Anonymous Content
Visual Effects: ARTJAIL
Creative Director and VFX Supervisor: Steve Mottershead
Head of Production: John Skeffington
Senior Producer: Mike Tockman
Flame Artists: John Geehreng, Margolit Steiner, Chris Memoli
Nuke Artists: Sohee Sohn, Eric Conception, Herculano Fernandes, Dayung Jo
Flame Assistant: Ben Vacarro
Digital Matte Painter: Quimet Delgado
CGI – VFX Sup: Gavin Guerra
CGI – CG Lead: Santosh Gunaseelan
CGI – FX TD: Shawn Lipowski
CGI – TD: Felipe Amaya
Rotoscoping: Trace VFX
Edit Company: Saints
Producer: Stephanie Hickman
Editor: Ross Birchall
Assistant Editor: Nancy Gidman-Latorraca
Color Grade: Tom Poole

84 Lumber “The Entire Journey”

10 million official online views in February with 88k likes, 30k dislikes, and 24k comments.

This short film, shot in Mexico, also had a microsite at journey84.com, which viewers of the shorter TV ad were led to for seeing the “entire journey.” (More on the U.S./Mexico “wall” elements that led the broadcast version getting cut short can be found on ADWEEK.)

Director: Cole Webley
Advertising Agency: Brunner, Pittsburgh, USA
Creative Director: Dave Vissat
Chief Creative Officer: Rob Schapiro
Associate Creative Directors: Derek Julin, Kevin Corfield
Chief Client Officer: Jeff Maggs
Account Director: Lauren Tedesco
Senior Account Manager: Dana Lucas
Associate Broadcast Director: Kathy Baldauf
Agency Production: FIXER Partners
Executive Agency Producers: John Noble, Brad Powell
Production Company: Sanctuary
Director of Photography: Justin Brown
Creative Director: Matt Wilson
Line Producer: Christopher Cho
Executive Producer: Preston Lee
Heads of Production: Adam Litt, Leopoldo Luisetti
Production Designer: Christopher Lagunes
Editorial: Final Cut
Editor: Jeff Buchanan
Exec Producer: Sarah Roebuck
Producer: Penny Ensley
Head of Production: Jen Sienkwicz
Assistant Editor: Geoff Hastings
Cutting Assistant: Andre Castiglioni
Visual Effects: Method Studios
Executive Producer: Stuart Robinson
CG Supervisor: Boaz Livny
VFX Supervisor: Eliza Pelham Randall
Flame Artists: Stephen Morris, Jared Pollack
Senior VFX Producer: Bennett Lieber
Color Grading: Company 3
Colorist: Tom Poole
Music: Future Perfect
Composer: Victor Magro
Producer: Max Gosling
Audio Post: Heard City
Sound Mixer: Phil Loeb

Audi “Daughter”


12 million official online views in February with 60k likes, 74k dislikes, and 21k comments.

Director: Aoife Mcardle
Director of Photography: Pat Scola
Advertising Agency: Venables Bell and Partners (San Francisco, USA)
Founder / Chairman: Paul Venables
Executive Creative Director: Will Mcginness
Creative Director: Justin Moore
Associate Creative Director: Allison Hayes
Copywriters: Mike Mcguire, Kathy Hepinstall
Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
Senior Producer: Matt Flaker
Head of Brand Management: David Corns
Group Brand Director: Chris Bergen
Brand Supervisor: Justin Wang
Brand Manager: Abu Ngauja
Group Strategy Director: Tonia Lowe
Director of Business Affairs: Quynh-Ahn Phan
Project Manager: Leah Murphy
Production Company: Somesuch and Anonymous Content
Executive Producers: Nicky Barnes, Sally Campbell
Ep / Production: Sueellen Clair
Head of Production: Kerry Haynie
Producer: Grace Bodie
Editing Company: Work Editorial
Editor: Stewart Reeves
Assistants Editor: Josh Sasson, Erik Vogt-nilsen
Executive Producer: Marlo Baird
Producer: Lynne Mannino
Music Company: Human
Music Composer: John Christopher Barnes
Creative Director: Craig Deleon
Executive Producer: Jonathan Sanford
Sound Design / Final Mix: Lime Studios
Sound Designer: Matt Miller
Mix: Matt Miller
Assistant Mixer: Peter Lapinski
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan
Associate Producer: Kayla Phungglan
VFX Studio: Electric Theatre Collective
Creative Director and VFX Supervisor: Adam Watson
2D Artists: Adam Watson, Tommy Smith, Dave Damant, Jessenia Nauta
CG Lead: Corinne Deorsay
CG Artists: Corinne Deorsay, Nate Lapinski, Remi Dessinges, Steve Beck
EP: Kate Hitchings
VFX Producer: Catherine Y
Color Grading: Company 3
Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld
Senior Producer: Katie Andrews

What did you think of these? Does piggy-backing on a hot topic help or hurt?


Aaron Proctor
Founder, FWD:labs
Director of Photography site

Got something to add?