Celebs Scale the Paramount+ Mountain in Epic Super Bowl Ads

Droga5 rebrands ViacomCBS streaming service

Could they make the logo any bigger?

ViacomCBS will roll huge on multiple fronts during the Super Bowl to launch its Paramount+ steaming service. The game-day drive includes a sprawling brand storyline, with an all-star cast climbing a ginormous logo most viewers should instantly recognize.

As the narrative unfolds, two dozen celebrities scale Paramount's iconic mountain peak in a series of droll ads from Droga5 and O Positive director David Shane. The tale unfolds over six spots in all, some of which began airing a few weeks back during AFC Championship coverage. On Sunday, three commercials will run in the first half of CBS's big-game telecast, while the finale pops up at halftime.

Sir Patrick Stewart narrates the trek, which features familiar faces from VicaomCBS movies and shows, hyping the March 4 rebrand of CBS All Access as Paramount+.

Flesh-and-blood humans Stewart, Stephen Colbert, James Corden, Gayle King and Jeff Probst appear, among others, along with animated faves Dora the Explorer (well-versed in high-altitude expeditions), Beavis and Butt-Head (much less so), and SpongeBob SquarePants (out of his depth here—by more than five miles).

Self-referential in-jokes abound as the team sets out from base camp, with one unexpected member of the party nursing a hangover:

Paramount+ Expedition | Roll Call

The crew faces an uphill battle—and so might Paramount+ in a crowded field with Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix and Disney+ and among its streaming competitors.
 
"We wanted to be really simple and even somewhat obvious with our branding," Droga5 art director Gonzalo Navarro tells Muse. "We came up with the line 'A mountain of entertainment' and the idea for an expedition up a 30,000-foot logo came pretty quickly after that."

"All of these properties have diehard fans," adds agency copywriter Sean Buckhorn. "So, we tried to be authentic to the characters and give every fan a little something."

Case in point: Dora's talking map should come in handy on the adventure (or not):

Paramount+ Expedition | Call to Adventure

Next, at a perilous ice bridge, Beavis and Butt-Head crack wise—heh, heh:

Paramount+ Expedition | Ice Bridge

Here's a cliffhanger, literally—and Trevor Noah's a scream:

Paramount+ Expedition | Cliffhanger

Near the summit, Ethan Peck's Mr. Spock sports pointy earmuffs, and PGA golfer Bryson DeChambeau swings into action when frostbite threatens a Crank Yanker puppet voiced by Jimmy Kimmel:

Paramount+ Expedition | Frostbite

A beaming Stewart caps it off. Tuxedo-clad and vaguely godlike, he reveals the metaphorical nature of the journey (d'uh!) while engaging in some smooth dance moves:

Paramount+ Expedition | Sweet Victory

Director Shane—who previously pleased with efforts for Bud Light, NAMI and Volkswagen—helmed an ambitious production that spanned 14 days across six different cities.

"Because of Covid concerns, none of the carbon-based celebrities and actors could be together on the set at the same time," Shane tells Muse. "But there were upwards of 15 characters in a given scene, and never fewer than a handful, so we had to shoot with motion control techno cranes and recreate camera moves over and over and over again."

"I also found myself idiotically running from one spot to the next to give the actors an eye line and someone to read against in real time," he recalls. "The job was truly one long demented quadratic equation. But it was such a smart, funny idea that we all put our heads down and went for it."

Yeah, when DeChambeau uses his driver to slice off that Cranky marionette's frozen arm, it's tough not to … laugh? (It's just a puppet—they can stitch the thing back on!)

But wait, the craggy, snow-kissed celebration of ViacomCBS entertainment, sports and news properties doesn't end there. On game day, the team plans to weave images of Paramount Mountain into shots of Tampa's Raymond James Stadium for bumpers voiced by Jim Nantz and Tony Romo. (And remember, people: Don't call Tony's Corona Hotline!)

CREDITS

Paramount+ :: Journey to the Peak
Client ViacomCBS/Paramount Plus
Campaign Journey to the Peak

Agency Droga5 New York
Co-Chief Creative Officer Tim Gordon
Co-Chief Creative Officer Felix Richter
Executive Creative Director Scott Bell
Group Creative Director Dan Kelly
Sr. Copywriter Sean Buckhorn
Sr. Copywriter Amy Werblin
Sr. Art Director Gonzalo Navarro
Sr. Art Director Erika Kohnen
Executive Producer, Film Jeremy Fox
Assoc. Producer, Film Hugh Copeland
Business Affairs Director Dan Simonetti
Celebrity Talent Relations Lead & Whitney Vose
Sr. Business Affairs Manager
Talent Manager Sunny Valencia
Strategy Director Gabriela Avila
Group Communications Strategy Director Samantha Deevy
Communications Strategy Director Kathryn Ruocco
Communications Strategist James Ramseur
Group Data Strategy Director Lily Ng
Executive Group Account Director Giovanni Villamar
Account Director Cara Roberts
Account Manager Cole Habersham
Account Manager Danny Rodriguez
Project Manager Danielle Gibbons

Client ViacomCBS/Paramount Plus
EVP, Head of Operations & CMO Domenic DiMeglio
SVP, Marketing Tammy Henault
SVP, Creative Marketing Sarah LaBrache
SVP, Brand Creative Terry Minogue
SVP, Design Matt Hernandez
Executive Producer Romi Laine
Sr. Creative Director Jedd Scher
Director, Marketing Operations Andrea Torres
Talent Producer Robin Reinhardt
VP, Legal Renat Engel
Director, Human Resources Jill Goerdt

Production Company O Positive
Director David Shane
DOP Paul Cameron / Jeff Kim
Executive Producer Ralph Laucella / Marc Grill
Line Producer Brady Vant Hull
Line Producer Jason Reda
Production Designer Maia Javan
First Assistant Director Greg McCollum
Head of Production Devon Clark

Editorial Work Editorial
Editor Rich Orrick
Editor Jono Griffith
Executive Producer Erica Thompson
Head of Production Alejandra Alarcon
Senior Producer Alison Howlett
Assistant Editors Chris O'Brien, Fatos Marishta, Rain Keene, Adam Buckmaster

Post Production VFX The Mill
Executive Producer: Heath Raymond
Creative Director/VFX Supervisor: Nathan Kane
Production Supervisor: Colin Blaney
Associate Producers: Christina Chung, Mia Saunders, Katharine Mulderry

2D Leads: Keith Sullivan
Andre Vidal
Blake Druery
Antoine Douadi
Siro Valente
Joe Tang

CG Leads: Seon Crawford
Christian Peck
Finlay Crowther

Colourist: Mikey Rossiter
Design: Vivian Kim

2D Team: Caio Sorrentino
Artur Elson
David Reynolds
Fred Kim
Jiin You
Joseph Yoon
Luke Midgley
Nasser Mandavi
Sebastian Romero
Taner Besen
Ting Jung-Hsu
Ben East
Anuj Bhandari
Dilipan J
Hanuma Hanumath Prasad Kondepi
Mayank Shekhar Tiwari
Mohit Garg
Pradeep Kumar Rawat
Satya Narina

CG Previs: Arsen Arzumanyan

CG FX: Todd Akita
Ciaran Moloney
Vraja Para
Mahmoud Elragheb
Emre Sumer

CG Matte Painting: Charles Lee
Cedric Menard
Sue Jang
Crystal Samuel
Jiyoung Lee

CG Modeling: Harlan Qiu
Casey Reuter
Alek Vacura
Greg Mawicke
Anil Sarki
Guru Prasad
Kartik Arora
Kiran Prabhu
Sashi Kumar Dakoju
Siva Subramanian
Somesh Tiwari
Sudhir Verma

CG Animation: Samiran Ghosh
Sandeep Kumar Goje
Sukanta Chakraborty

CG Lighting: Jackie Liao
Lauren Shields
Pablo Estrella You
Grace Hwang
Yongho Kim

CG Tracking: Aatish Ranjan
Arpit Gangrade
Ashwani Patel
Verru Ramesh
Dongili Varaprasad

Post Production for Product Spots Second Child
Editors Nina Sacharow Taylor, Victor Hermosillo, Steve Nelson
Assistant Editors: Emily Brennan, Andrew Davenport
Senior Post Producer: Sara Mills

Animation for Beavis & Butthead, Dora the Explorer, & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Titmouse Inc.
Executive Producer Ben Kalina
Executive Producer Chris Prynoski
Executive Producer Shannon Prynoski
Animation Director Matt Taylor
Associate Producers Brendan O'Connor, Lauren Siller
Animators Riley Boydston, Smo
Assistant Animator Kyle Brooks
Compositor Amanda LaMarco

Music Human
EP James Dean Wells
Creative lead(s) Morgan Visconti, Sloan Alexander
Composers:
Roll Call: Adam Ruedes del Rio & John Christopher Barnes
Call To Adventure: Thomas Keery
Cliffhanger: John Christopher Barnes
Ice Bridge: Thomas Keery
Frostbite: Seth Fruiterman
Sweet Victory: Andrew Bloch

Sound: Heard City
Audio Mixers: Phil Loeb, Evan Mangiamele, Stefano Campello
Assistant Engineers: Catherine Sangiovanni, Ronnie Stapleton, Tom Morris, Seth Brogdon, Bennett Kerr
Managing Director/Partner: Gloria Pitagorsky
Executive Producers: Sasha Awn, Jackie James
Producer: Andi Lewis
Assistant Producer: Nick Duvarney

Profile picture for user David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

Museletter

SUBSCRIBE

The best in creativity delivered to your inbox every morning.

ADVERTISING