Behind-the-scenes look at Hampton Roads’ Super Bowl commercials
When people think of personal injury lawyer TV spots, they usually have a specific scene in mind.
The commercials try to make a big splash, with attorneys shouting in the audience’s faces, said Todd Aftel, associate creative director at Davis Ad Agency in Virginia Beach.
“It’s typically very aggressive,” Aftel said.
The year, in the face of an ongoing pandemic and other divisive issues, Hampton Roads Super Bowl commercials are pivoting to authenticity, say ad agencies and businesses with spots airing during the big game.
“Times are still delicate right now in the world, and we’re trying to be sensitive to a lot of people throughout the industries we advertise for,” Aftel said.
For Davis client Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, that meant shifting the focus away from the attorney and toward their clients — people whose lives have been profoundly affected by an injury, then helped by the law firm.
In one spot, client Rita Reaves describes a traumatic accident in which her car flipped over and she suffered major injuries. Getting a little bit choked up, Reaves says Cooper Hurley “had our best interests from the beginning to the end.”
The ad campaign was a challenge for Davis, Aftel said, because 30 seconds is such a small amount of time to convey a client’s traumatic experiences and the help they received.
“These people are the stars,” he said.
A Super Bowl ad became a way for Chartway Federal Credit Union to unveil a major rebranding effort to the community and reach a large portion of Hampton Roads residents, said Elizabeth Short, vice president of marketing.
Even in the age of streaming, the Super Bowl broadcast still commands attention in the region — the game usually reaches about 400,000 people ages 18 and above in Hampton Roads, according to numbers provided to Chartway by WAVY-TV. That’s about three out of every 10 adults in the region, according to U.S. Census data.
Beyond the number of eyeballs, Chartway Director of Communications Heidi Worker said Super Bowl ads reach families watching the game together. Its commercial features friends spending time together and family life moments. A local ad during the big game is also worth it from a financial standpoint, she said.
“It’s a small portion of our overall budget,” she said.
The company started working on the commercial in October with O’Brien et al. Advertising in Virginia Beach. After approving the script, the company found local talent and locations to shoot the commercial over two days in December, Short said.
“We wanted this to feel like it’s Hampton Roads,” she said.
Davis also tried a different approach this year for longtime client Priority Automotive, Aftel said. Because of complications from the pandemic, new car supplies are limited, so the agency decided to craft an ad reminding viewers of the dealership’s two-plus decades in the community.
“It’s, again, establishing that level of trust,” he said.