'Rabbit Holes' From Tubi Wins Super Clio as Big Game's Best Ad
It's the year of the rabbit in more ways than one.
Eschewing celebrities, classic tracks and other Big Game staples in favor of an exhilarating and surreal flight of fancy, Fox streamer Tubi won the Super Clio from the Clio Awards, given annually by a jury of industry experts for the Super Bowl's best ad.
"Rabbit Holes," an offbeat :60, saw human-sized bunny bunnies carry unsuspecting folks deep into their burrows ... where a wondrous world of Tubi content awaits.
Agency Mischief @ No Fixed Address and MJZ director Tom Kuntz—both adept at crafting off-kilter fare—developed the commercial. It plays more like a challenger brand's short film than the reintroduction of a video service by a media powerhouse. That's why it resonates. "Rabbit Holes" builds mystery through a playful/creepy storyline and pays off with a salient, simple message: Explore Tubi, there's amazing stuff to find.
"Those rabbits are burned in my mind and I'll never forget this ad," says Super Clio juror Katherine O’Brien, GCD at VaynerMedia.
O'Brien praised "the pacing and the energy of their spot," noting that the initial, intended confusion about what's going on adds to the fun. "Also, it was very nicely tied to the brand and its offering. I won't forget what that ad was for."
In creative terms, the approach is nothing like last year's Super Clio champ from crypto brand Coinbase, which consisted almost entirely of a QR code bouncing around the screen. Both that work and "Rabbit Holes," however, share something in common: the element of surprise. Each subverted viewers' expectations and offered compelling novelty on the biggest advertising night of the year.
Last night, Tubi delivered a dose of satisfying WTF in a sea of gratuitous game-day glitz. While nodding to pop culture—the service streams films and show, after all—the work doesn't wallow in tired tropes or assault our ears with big hits from 1993. It dares to be different, and that strategy paid off.
"We wanted to take people by surprise by showing how Tubi's content takes people by surprise," Kevin Mulroy, ECD and partner at Mischief, tells Muse. "There's a lot of joy in finding an immensely deep rabbit hole of shows and movies that quench our niche thirsts. We were inspired by how weirdly enchanting this journey can be."
The Super Clio launched in 2015 in collaboration with WPP global CMO Rob Reilly, who has served as the competition's non-voting commissioner since its inception. Reilly visited NBC's Today this morning to announce the winner.
Here's the full list of 2023 Super Clio jurors:
● Amy Ferguson, CCO, TBWA/Chiat/Day New York
● Brian Monaco, president, Global CMO, Sony Music Publishing
● Caleb Jensen, ECD, Wieden+Kennedy
● Danny Robinson, CCO, The Martin Agency
● David Lubars, Chairman/CCO, BBDO
● Glenn Cole, founder/chairman, 72andSunny
● JJ Lim, CD, R/GA
● Josh Fell, Partner, CCO, Anomaly LA
● Judy John, global CCO, Edelman
● Katherine O’Brien, GCD, VaynerMedia
● Kathleen Hall, Chief Brand Officer, Microsoft
● Liz Taylor, global CCO, Ogilvy
● Michael McIntyre, CEO, MOCEAN
● Selman Careaga, president, Coca-Cola
● Shana Barry, head of celebrity, Entertainment and influencers, Anheuser-Busch
● Sharon Otterman, CMO, Caesar’s Digital
● Sherman Winfield, ECD, VMLY&R
● Susan Credle, global CCO, FCB
● Vida Cornelious, VP, creative, The New York Times