Jeep’s ‘Portraits’ ad stood out among the countless well-done commercials that aired during Super Bowl 50 due to its vertical layout. It seems like a missed opportunity to not utilize the entire screen when you have 111.9 million viewers watching your ad, but as AdWeek reports, Jeep had good reasoning to use the 7.7-by-9 aspect ratio.
According to Sean Reynolds, creative director for Iris, the agency that made the ad, Jeep decided to use only 48 percent of the screen so viewers’ would be forced to focus on the eyes of the individuals pictured. Additionally, the automaker also wanted consumers to be able to view the ad in full-screen on their mobile device – an increasingly popular medium for watching videos.
“The close crop was important to really focus the viewer on the eyes and the stories they tell,” Reynolds told AdWeek. “We always had the idea that because it’s a portrait ad, it would look great on a mobile device. So we spent a lot of time talking and testing with YouTube to make sure it played full-screen on a portrait device.”
Reynolds said his agency liked Jeep’s open-mindedness in regards to creating the ‘portraits’ Super Bowl 50 ad, saying that his agency wanted to do something daring that would stand out.
“We had a great client that shared in our desire to be brave and do something a little unexpected with the ad,” he said. “For us it was never about whether we used the whole screen or not, it was about creating the most impactful piece that we could.”