A commercial for the 2019 Super Bowl sees Spike Jonze directing Idris Elba in a hilarious 4-minute sketch. The annual Super Bowl has long been the most watched sporting event in the United States and, in recent years, has seen a growth in popularity on a more worldwide scale. With such a sizable audience watching at home, it’s only natural that businesses and movie studios see the Super Bowl as the most lucrative spot to air their ads and this has led to an increasing number of “event” commercials being shown during the Super Bowl that can attract big name directors and actors.
These big names include the likes of Idris Elba and Spike Jonze. Elba has a number of notable acting credits to his name but is best known for playing maverick detective John Luther in Luther, Heimdall in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Stringer in The Wire. Jonze, meanwhile, is a prominent music video director who has worked with the likes of Weezer, Beastie Boys, and Lady Gaga. On the big screen, Jonze made his debut with the acclaimed Being John Malkovich and was also behind the camera on the Where The Wild Things Are adaptation.
A new Super Bowl ad for Squarespace now brings these two names together in a brilliantly funny short film that finds Elba playing an exaggerated version of himself. The actor is attempting to create a website with the aid of his brutally honest assistant, played by Lolly Adefope. As Elba lets his ego get the better of him, and his assistant continues to push on with her own ideas, it becomes clear that the actor really should’ve found a simpler way to create his new page.
Knowingly playing on the fact that he’s not famous for comedic performances, Elba hits the straight man notes brilliantly in the short and his attempt to orally recreate dance music is particularly outstanding – though Elba is arguably outshone by his lesser-known co-star Adefope. The actress and comedian is a regular both on British television and the stand-up circuit and the exposure she’ll surely get from the far larger Super Bowl audience is bound to do her career the world of good.
It’s sometimes easy to be cynical about the Super Bowl’s growing emphasis on the half-time performances and commercials rather than the game itself, however it’s also hard to argue when the buzz surrounding the event leads to quality, star-studded ads such as this effort.
Super Bowl LIII takes place on February 3, 2019.