While there’s no Texas team in Sunday’s Super Bowl, there are plenty of other connections between the big game and the Lone Star State.
That’s especially true when it comes to the ads that will air during the game’s television broadcast. One was partially filmed in Elgin, another promotes a beloved Texas grocery chain and two others were created by Austin-based ad agencies.
Social media went bonkers last month when the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales were spotted in the Elgin area. While the company wouldn’t say much at the time, we now know the horses were indeed in town to film a commercial.
In a departure from past years, the ad featuring the Clydesdales will air after – not during – the Super Bowl. The Budweiser ad that will run during the game will focus on how the company lends a helping hand when disasters such as Hurricane Harvey hit.
Residents in Elgin and surrounding areas are excited to see their community in the national spotlight, Elgin Chamber of Commerce president Gena Carter said.
“The commercial that was filmed in Elgin is an uplifting, inspiring ad that celebrates people, places, values and America,” she said. “We were thrilled that Elgin was chosen to film parts of this new Budweiser commercial. Seeing the beautiful Clydesdales in our downtown on Main Street, at the fire station and in our downtown park was especially exciting.”
The Super Bowl is “advertising’s biggest stage,” said Jay Russell, chief creative officer for Austin ad agency GSD&M, which again this year created a quirky commercial for Avocados From Mexico.
The ad, featuring a cameo by comedian Chris Elliott, shows what happens when – gasp! – there are plenty of avocados, but tortilla chips are nowhere to be found.
“Having 30 seconds to make 100 million people laugh is the best job in the world,” Russell said. “So every year we just want to have fun with it. Which works for Avocados From Mexico since we’re talking about … avocados.”
Another Austin ad agency, McGarrah Jessee, created the first-ever Super Bowl ad for Shiner beers.
“Texas is one of the most rapidly growing states in the nation, and many new Texans are discovering Shiner for the first time,” said Brett Eaton, group account director at McGarrah Jessee. “Our current campaign, ‘This is Shiner Country,’ tells some of the stories that made Shiner such a Texas institution in the first place. For Shiner’s first Super Bowl spot, we took the campaign to the next level with a Texas-sized welcome.”
While the Budweiser and Avocados From Mexico ads were released online ahead of Sunday’s matchup, Shiner has opted for a level of secrecy with its ad.
“We can tell you that it focuses on the fact that Texas is experiencing a huge population boom, and that Shiner Bock is offering ‘an ice-cold welcome’ to all of the newcomers on behalf of the people of Texas,” Eaton said. “We created the spot for Shiner to reinforce its stake as the iconic Texas craft beer loved by longtime residents while welcoming all of its new friends – with a country music twist.”
Shiner and McGarrah Jessee have worked together for more than a decade, Eaton said, and Sunday’s ad marks a milestone for both companies.
“The Super Bowl is a place of big expectations, for the football players and the advertisers alike,” he said. “When brands invest millions of dollars to appear on the big stage, it’s a big deal for them and a big deal for their agencies. When that brand is your partner and friend of over 15 years, it’s an even bigger deal. McGarrah Jessee is thrilled to have been asked to create this spot for Shiner. We’re proud of the work and proud of Shiner.”
While San Antonio-based H-E-B, the dominant grocer in Central Texas, isn’t airing its ad nationally – they only have stores in Texas and Mexico, after all – it will be seen regionally in Austin and a number of other cities.
This year’s 60-second spot, set to air between the third and fourth quarters, features Cowboy Troy, a Texas-based country rapper.
The commercial helps kick off the grocery chain’s annual Primo Picks Quest for Texas’ Best contest.
Winners of the competition will have a chance to have their creations sold in H-E-B’s nearly 400 stores, plus a $25,000 cash prize and a Toyota Tundra truck.
“At H-E-B, we’re committed to searching every inch of the Lone Star State to find the finest, most unique items that showcase the flavors of Texas,” said Cory Basso, H-E-B’s group vice president of marketing and advertising. “We’re on a mission, and Cowboy Troy’s hip hop-country tunes provide a great backdrop for our Quest for Texas’ Best.”
To enter the contest, or learn more, visit heb.com/quest.
Super Bowl LII
5:30 p.m. Sunday
NBC, KXAN Channel 36