Super Bowl ads often draw as much attention as the big game itself and while the effort to be overly creative sometimes falls flat — a big risk when paying up to $7 million for 30 seconds of air time — Super Bowl LVII produced a great game and a few great ads.
A number of A-list celebrities were employed this year, from Ben Affleck to Bradley Cooper, to produce some memorable commercials, but a nostalgic T-Mobil ad featuring John Travolta and “Scrubs” co-stars Zach Braff and Donald Faison was the winner for many.
In what was billed as a tribute to his late “Grease” co-star Olivia Newton-John, Travolta channeled his Danny Zuko character from the hit movie to recreate the classic tune, “Summer Nights,” with Braff and Faison joining him in perfect harmony.
Titled “New Year. New Neighbor,” the ad pays homage to the 1978 movie, with the trio altering the song’s lyrics to sell T-Mobile’s service while recreating some of the iconic dance moves from the film.
This one is the winner for me! It was a great year for Super Bowl ads! https://t.co/u0Hu9QMlve
— TallTanOne (@TallTanOne) February 13, 2023
Travolta said of the commercial in an Instagram post, “Neighbors that sing together, stay together. I couldn’t ask for anyone better than @Donald_aison and @zachbraff. Thanks @tmobile!”
“Chemistry cannot be created. It is or it isn’t,” he told Variety. “I love the dynamic between the three of us. It’s a special energy. I know it sounds odd, It’s like a special art to do musical comedy and advertising, that has a vibe, a frequency that is different than other types of performance. When I see all three of us together, I feel like we should do something else with this, you know?”
Travolta told the entertainment news outlet that the commercial was “in keeping with the spirit of the movie, as well as being humorous about it. All this is tongue in cheek, which is what I love about it, why I said, ‘Yes.’ It was the first time we’ve ever been asked to use a ‘Grease’ song and spoof it, to be honest. I’m curious why it hasn’t happened before.”
The commercial comes six months after Newton-John, 73, died from breast cancer. As for whether it was disrespectful, some on social media saw it as a “nice homage.”
I’m not understanding how this is disrespectful to ONJ. It’s a great song and a nice homage.
— LaurieLovesTheWorld (@Lauriekoski) February 13, 2023
Overall, it was clearly a hit based on the reactions seen online… here’s a quick sampling of responses from Twitter:
Ok. LOVE the John Travolta T-Mobile commercial! I have been so disappointed by Super Bowl commercials for years. That one is REALLY GOOD! Fun! I just found it here, didn’t watch the game or the commercials.
— Merritt Kelly (@MerrittKelly1) February 13, 2023
Best use of talent in a commercial.
— elaine (@miscelaineee) February 13, 2023
I really thought this was so clever and I loved it. Would have been amazing if Olivia were here and able to do it. Just would have been so epic
— Janelle Kloth (@JanelleKloth) February 13, 2023
Brilliant! My fave advert,the only one that really
caught my attention.
— dragynfyre (@dragynfyre) February 13, 2023
And,..my FAVORITE ad of the whole thing! Worth “watching” this year to get to see this. I thought the “rock star” ad was going to be my favorite, but NOPE,..nothing can beat those summer nights for me 🙂
— April (@Purpledrink20) February 13, 2023
Thanks for this commercial. Fun! pic.twitter.com/VRWsVoOiAa
— Tisha Bennett Sanders, EdD (@TishBSanders) February 13, 2023
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