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HighDive’s Patrick Burke Shares His Super Bowl Faves

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Pat Burke
HighDive GCD Patrick Burke

The Super Bowl was a big night for HighDive Group Creative Director Patrick Burke, whose team created the popular Tracy Morgan spots for Rocket Mortgage that won Best Super Bowl commercial in the all-important USAToday Ad Meter. So what did Patrick think of the rest of the Super Bowl advertising lineup? Let’s find out!

First things first, here is one of the Rocket Mortgage commercials HighDive and Cutters teamed up on for Rocket Mortgage…

SCREEN: What was your favorite spot of the night?

PATRICK: I can’t vote for my own spots (Highdive’s two spots for Rocket Mortgage, starring Tracy Morgan), so I’d have to say it’s a tie between M&M’s “Come Together” and Amazon’s “Alexa’s Body.” Great concepts, writing, casting, direction, and editing. Both made me laugh, and were simple and memorable. I hope M&Ms does well. I hope the Super Bowl audience appreciates how good that writing is. In an era of TikTok and The Bachelor it would renew my faith in America’s taste level.

SCREEN: What was your least favorite spot of the night or a spot you felt could have been more successful?

PATRICK: Critiquing someone else’s ads always seems silly to me, especially if you didn’t work on that brief yourself. Anyone who does this for a living knows how difficult it can be to come up with a concept, sell it through the layers and lawyers and testing, and get it on the air intact. That said, the Bud Light Legends commercial has sparked some heated conversation among my friends, as many of us worked on (or even created) those campaigns and characters back in our days at DDB. Brings back fond memories, but I’m just not sure how I feel about them digging them back up. There have been too many Batman reboots, and Jordan never should have played for the Wizards. But it’s all subjective, and… I guess those bits are still funny.

SCREEN: What would you like to see more or less of in terms of advertising in next year’s Super Bowl?

PATRICK: I’d like to see more baby goats wearing sweaters. I think there were literally no baby goats wearing sweaters on this years’ Super Bowl. Have you ever seen baby goats in sweaters? If you haven’t, stop reading now and Google it. They’re adorable.

SCREEN: Any final words here, Patrick?

PATRICK: There’s been some healthy debate about what brands should have done regarding the Super Bowl this year. Should brands have participated at all? If they did, what should the tone and message of the ads have been? I think it’s a good debate, and I’ve seen valid points on all sides. Maybe I’m cynical, but what I always tell my kids about brand behavior is this: If you know what a brand is doing, it’s because they want you to know. If you read about something good that a brand did, it’s because they paid for that PR. And no matter what the message of their Super Bowl spot, if they put their logo at the end then they’re still marketing. And that’s okay. It’s literally their job. This isn’t mathematics; there’s no one, correct equation for marketing, and I’m certainly not going to tell someone else how to do this. We partner with our clients to do what we believe will best achieve their goals. Advertising is the visible, tangible face of capitalism. To pretend it’s not is silly. I think Saturday Night Live nailed it with their Cheez-It bit in this weekend’s cold open, or with their classic “Hard Cut: Cheetos” sketch with Alec Baldwin from a few years back.

NEXT: Executive Producer Qadree Holmes shares his Super Bowl picks and pans.

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