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Lucky Generals has been involved in high profile campaigns for Amazon over the past five Super Bowls; when you first knew you'd be working on a Super Bowl spot, was there any increased pressure?

The pressure is increased but so is the opportunity. This is what we get out of bed for in the morning. It’s exciting. We all want to be swinging it in the big leagues (that’s what they say in America right?). 

When people are three Bud Lights deep, all they really want is a laugh and a host of celebs poking fun at themselves.

Your first Alexa Super Bowl spot, Alexa Loses Her Voice, is a great combination of celebrity and humour; do you think that's the perfect recipe for Super Bowl success?

At Lucky Generals, our thought process is that when people are three Bud Lights deep and on their second bowl of nachos on Super Bowl Sunday, all they really want is a laugh and a host of celebs poking fun at themselves. Alexa Loses her Voice did that really well, and it’s a formula we’ve followed since. 

Amazon – Mind Reader (Extended Version)

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How hard is it, each year you approach the campaign, to think of ideas to challenge or even exceed the previous year's film?

It’s difficult but, as an agency, we’ve established a successful formula for these spots that seems to have legs. The previous ads just asked ‘what if’ questions about Alexa. What if she lost her voice? What if she was in literally everything? What if she had the world’s sexiest human body? So, it’s just about finding that next ‘what if’ question that feels robust and funny, and easy to write too. 

The previous ads just asked 'what if' questions about Alexa. What if she lost her voice? What if she was in literally everything?

Amazon – Amazon: Alexa Loses Her Voice

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The celebrities in each spot are often sending themselves up; how hard is it to sell those ideas into an often very image-conscious industry?

Weirdly, not very. The success of Lucky General’s previous spots means that the celebs generally trust us to handle it the right way. Whilst they know we’ll be sending them up, they trust we’ll do it with a lightness of touch and that they should come out smelling of roses. Our director on all these spots (Wayne McClammy) is also an absolute pro at keeping the talent happy and engaged. 

[Scarlett and Colin] had never done anything together before [and] they were willing to collaborate and take the piss out of themselves.

Why were Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost the choice for this year's spot?

We decided pretty early on that we wanted the ad to feature a couple. There are loads of things that go on inside your mind that you wouldn’t want your partner knowing, and so we knew the mind-reading gag would play well in that environment. 

So, then it was deciding on which couple it would be. We very quickly landed on Scarlett and Colin. They seemed the perfect fit: They’d never done anything together before, which made them feel fresh. Plus, they were willing to collaborate and take the piss out of themselves. 

Amazon – Amazon Alexa's Body

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2022’s Super Bowl commercials were full of celebrity appearances; is there a danger of being lost among the crowd if the majority of campaigns are fronted by celebrities?

There is a danger you get lost, for sure. But we were confident in our idea. The public see through it when a celebrity is just tacked onto an idea versus when the product is at the heart of it. And we felt as though Alexa was just as central to our commercial as Scarlett and Colin. 

The public see through it when a celebrity is just tacked onto an idea.

Coinbase went in completely the other direction with a lo-fi, screensaver-esque 30-second spot with zero frills; how successful do you think that approach can be?

It must have done ok if we’re all talking about it. It was pretty brave, even if it is the most expensive DVD menu screen of all time.

Coinbase – Qr Code

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Does the Super Bowl still hold the same power for brands as it historically has done?

You’d have to ask someone who knows more than me, but here’s some anecdotal evidence, for what it’s worth. One of my writing partners on this, Joe Mallett, was watching the Super Bowl in a bar called Big Dean’s, in Santa Monica (if you know, you know). He said people kept shushing him for talking during the commercial break. Surely that tells you everything you need to know… 

FTX – Don't Miss Out

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Apart from Mind Reader, which Super Bowl spot(s) did you most like this year?

The Larry David KFX ad made me laugh. Very silly and very fun.  

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