Academy Alumnus Creates Famous Super Bowl Commercials for Honda

The Super Bowl. It’s the biggest show in the world. And with over 110 million people watching, it’s no wonder marketers drop millions of dollars for a 30-second ad spot. In fact, Super Bowl commercials are as talked about after the game as the actual game itself.

Academy of Art grad Jason Sperling is the creator and architect of some of these very commercials. An alumnus of the Academy’s School of Advertising, and now SVP, Chief Creative Development at RPA, Sperling is best known for creating the Get a Mac campaign for Apple.

So what’s it like working on multiple Super Bowl commercials, trying to come up with something unique and special that will resonate with millions of viewers?

“There are so many brands competing for attention during Super Bowl. It’s a tough place to try and stand out,” Sperling said.

Creating Commercials for Honda

Over the past few years, two of Sperling’s most recognizable commercials are the Honda CR-V’s “Yearbooks” and “Matthew’s Day Off” ads.

The 2017 Honda ad, “Yearbooks,” shows the journeys to success taken by nine A-list celebrities. The ad features younger versions of Viola Davis, Stan Lee, Jimmy Kimmel, Steve Carell, Amy Adams, Robert Redford, Tina Fey, Missy Elliot, and Magic Johnson giving inspiring advice about persevering to achieve their dreams.

In 2012, Honda’s “Matthew’s Day Off” ad played off of the fandom of the 1986 pop-culture film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Matthew Broderick mimicked the escapades and antics of his titular character by taking a day off. It was chosen by Entertainment Weekly as one of the Top 10 Super Bowl commercials of all time.

Says Sperling, ”I’m always very nervous that we could fail on a massive scale. But there’s something thrilling about it, too. You have the ability to come up with a big moment versus just another commercial. That’s why you can’t do something too quiet or familiar. Only really brave, exciting ideas stand out.”

Advertising is for Creatives

Jason Sperling is just one of many graduates from the Academy’s School of Advertising who are producing great work in marketing and advertising.

Think you have what it takes to join this elite group? Visit the School of Advertising for more information.