My favorite Super Bowl ad: MullenLowe's Margaret Keene

Ahead of Super Bowl 51, The Drum has asked some of the industry’s most influential people to reflect on their favorite Super Bowl ad of all time and discuss why it stands out to them.

Margaret Keene, executive creative director at MullenLowe LA

We’ve also asked them to give their thoughts on whether they think social media has helped or hurt the effectiveness of the coveted Super Bowl spot. Over the past few years, many brands have chosen to leverage the power of social media by teasing or releasing their Super Bowl spots online days before the game in hopes of garnering additional buzz and maximizing reach – but a good number of brands still prefer to take the traditional route of surprising viewers on game day.

Up until the Super Bowl, we’ll be featuring responses from agency founders, creatives and CEOs. Today we feature Margaret Keene, executive creative director at MullenLowe LA. Below, find out why Apple's iconic "1984" ad is her favorite Super Bowl spot of all time.

What is your favorite Super Bowl ad of all time?

No question, the Apple 1984 spot introducing the Macintosh computer.

Why did you love it? What made it stand out?

Freedom, creativity, a woman with a sledgehammer, are you kidding?! It was a holy-shit, formative moment for me. Later, I’d understand, along with everyone else, how revolutionary the spot was in so many ways. But for me, as a kid in 1984 with my own totally ridiculous new-wave bob, running cross-country in my red dolphin shorts, that woman really spoke to me. I became a lifelong Apple evangelist the moment I saw that.

P.S. Tim Cook, please run it this year. It’s more meaningful now than ever.

In your opinion, was it ultimately a success for the brand?

Yes. It drove radical sales and the now famous backstory is insane. Horrible testing results. Steve Jobs going head to head with the board of Apple. The commercial was so disruptive, it just barely got on the air.

What do you hope to see from this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads?

Some really cool, inspiring stories or gut-busting humor. My feed is so heavy these days, I yearn for something hilarious to watch twenty times and share. Also, we release spots so early now, they’ve got to have the strength to be seen over and over again – and appreciated when they actually air during the big game.

Social media has changed the way brands approach their Super Bowl advertising strategies. Do you think social media has helped or hurt the effectiveness of Super Bowl spots?

Helped us. Saved us. Real-time love and hate can be brutal, but the democratization of it all is better than eight people in a focus group deciding the fate of your brand. Again, everybody search “Apple 1984 focus groups” – it’s a lesson in bravery worth learning every year.

To read the other interviews in our series, click here.

To find out which brands are advertising in the Super Bowl this year, visit The Drum's dedicated page here.

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