Anyone who’s had a loved one in the military knows that when soldiers are away, there are some dates that might make them particularly homesick. These include holidays, birthdays, and even the Super Bowl, a time when families often spend the day together. This year, several key figures made it possible for a few soldiers at a U.S. Military Base in Zagan, Poland, to enjoy the Super Bowl with their families from afar. This thoughtful, tear-jerking project turned into the 2017 Hyundai Super Bowl ad, a 90-second spot that aired right after the game.
The experience was just as surprising to viewers as it was to the soldiers involved. Sgt. Richard Morrill, SPC Erik Guerrero, and Cpl. Trista Strauch were all chosen to watch the Super Bowl from within an immersive, 360 degree pod. The pod would make it feel as though each person was sitting in a seat in Hyundai’s box at NRG Stadium. This is as much as the soldiers knew. What they didn’t know was that their families would be in the box watching the game with them, broadcasted live to the pod.
The commercial was directed by Peter Berg (Lone Survivor). The team shot the commercial during the first quarter when the soldiers first noticed that their families were there. The rest of the game was spent editing and getting approval from the Department of Defense, the NFL, Fox, and Hyundai, with just enough time to air it for viewers at the end of an exciting game. The looks of surprise, love, and affection that crossed the soldiers’ faces left viewers across the country—even us at Gossett Hyundai South— breathless with appreciation for such a complex, thoughtful spot.