During Super Bowl 51, Hyundai aired a commercial that was unlike any other. The automaker’s 90 second ad featured U.S. troops currently deployed in Poland being virtually reunited with their families during the game. The footage was recorded just four hours before the commercial aired.
The commercial starred Corporal Trista Strauch, Specialist Erik Guerrero, and Sergeant Richard Morrill. Hyundai was able to virtually transport the three soldiers into the stadium in Houston alongside their families by using custom built 360 degree immersive pods that live streamed a full view of their families’ surroundings.
The director of the ad, Peter Berg, first thought the idea was impossible. Berg told ABC’s Good Morning America that while he thought the idea was great, it was “Hollywood dreaming at its finest” and would be quite the task to accomplish. Keeping focused on the “crazy” idea, Berg said his team was able to make to make the idea a reality.
“Soldiers go sit down in the pod, they pick up some virtual reality glasses they start watching the game,” Berg explained.
“They think that’s the experience, they’re watching the game,” he added. “They take the glasses off, the whole pod lights up 360-degrees … they look to their left and their kids are there, look to the right and their mom’s there.”
Berg said that it was important for them to stay focused on the real mission: giving the soldiers the emotional experience of being with their families.
“If you’re not careful, you get so caught up in the technical aspects you forget that this is supposed to be a emotional experience,” he said. “This is about a soldier … far from their family. They haven’t seen their family in almost a year.”
“The NFL was really cooperative and the Department of Defense was cooperative, and you know Hyundai’s just extraordinarily gracious and generous,” Berg added.
Check out the 90 second Hyundai Super Bowl ad below: