Creative in association withGear Seven

Your Shot: Bud Light's 'Epic Night Out'

Advertising Agency
New York, USA
BBDO New York CDs on the one-take Super Bowl ad starring Arnie & Don Cheadle

Hundreds of actors, celebs, 17 locations, 58 hidden cameras, endless things that could go wrong and all captured in one take. It's fair to say Bud Light's 'Epic Night Out' Super Bowl was a matter of touch and go. LBB's Addison Capper spoke with BBDO New York Creative Directors, Rick Williams and Marcel Yunes, on some meticulous planning and organising the likes of Arnie and Don Cheadle.

LBB> What kind of brief did Bud Light initially approach you with? What were your thoughts when you first read it?

RW&MY> Our thoughts were that Bud Light is the beer for everybody, that’s right there with you, whatever situation you find yourself in.. A common denominator of sorts. So we thought it’d be pretty entertaining to see how far we could push the 'whatever' part.

LBB> Why was 'Ian' chosen to be the film's protagonist? What kind of research was involved in deciding he was suitable - and definitely 'Up For It'?

RW&MY> As far as these guys knew, an anonymous brand wanted to find out more about 25-30 year old males, so we put these guys through a series of focus group Q&As about who they are and what they like. So as they were answering demographic data questions, we used their sessions as personality tests.

We combed through many dozens of guys, and Ian rose to the top as the kind of good-hearted, genuine person who might agree to go to a random party on the fly as well as the perfect embodiment of the Bud Light drinker.


LBB> And what other factors, like security and safety, were involved when casting him?

RW&MY> We just made sure Ian always had a chaperone in every situation that would lead him to the next place. The whole universe was created around him, so everything that we did was super contained. The only x-factors were Ian’s real reactions and maybe Lilly the llama’s.

LBB> The entire film was shot in one take - can you talk to us about the planning and research involved around the film as a whole? It must have been almost excruciatingly meticulous…

RW&MY> This project was 90% planning and the rest was really just being ready to react. It was all on Ian coming through, and after six months of planning, and with about 500 people holding their breath, the two seconds it took for him to say “ok” to the girl in the bar were an eternity.

The details and prep are really where Jeff Tremaine, our director, shines. Every room, every false wall, every camera hide was smartly, meticulously planned out. Jeff is a master of hidden camera coverage and toying with unsuspecting people. So glad he was at the helm.


LBB> The film is full of comedic cameos - why were the likes of Don Cheadle and Arnold Schwarzenegger perfect to represent Bud Light's new 'Up For Whatever' brand positioning?

RW&MY> Cheadle and Schwarzenegger were incredible. They, at least in terms of Ian’s night, are the 'Whatever'. The most unexpected, off-the-wall scenarios we could throw at an unsuspecting guy.

They were great sports and their involvement, along with Reggie Watts’ limo scene, Minka’s pitstop, and the giant OneRepublic reveal made this so fun and surreal. We can't imagine what was going through Ian's mind.


LBB> And what were they like to work with on such a high pressure shoot?

RW&MY> The celebs all knew this spot, unlike most commercials, wasn’t about them. It was about Ian dealing mentally with them randomly popping up in his impossible journey. They did an incredible job keeping him off kilter in their own crazy ways.


LBB> What does that new positioning say about the evolution of Bud Light as a brand?

RW&MY> When you’re up for whatever, the possibilities are endless. And now Bud Light owns that mantra, which is pretty cool.


LBB> Considering the nature of the production, I imagine there were a few hurdles to leap along the way. But what were the biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

RW&MY> The biggest challenge was probably the sheer volume of moving parts in conjunction with a really aggressive timeline. So many variables. Hundreds of actors, celebs, 17 locations, 58 hidden cameras, endless things that could go wrong, and all of it was a house of cards that anchored on us picking the right guy.

All the preparation in the world can’t guarantee a real guy will say “yes". So, it took a lot of luck, but also a ton of physical and psychological planning. So much went into this. It’s pretty mind-blowing.

Fun stuff.



Agency: BBDO

Client: Bud Light


Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars

Chief Creative Officer:  Greg Hahn

Executive Creative Director: Mike Smith

Executive Creative Director: Ralph Watson

ACD/Copywriter: Rick Williams

ACD/Art Director: Marcel Yunes

Director of Integrated Production: Dave Rolfe

Executive Producer:  Dan Blaney

Executive Producer: Diane McCann

Producer: Mona Lisa Farrokhnia

Senior Integrated Business Manager: Debbie Amsden


Managing Director: Jeff Adkins                                                

Group Account Director: Kevin Bogusz

Account Director: Sean Brewster 

Account Executive: Emily Eisenberg

Asst. Account Executive:  Zane Chao


Chief Strategy Officer: Larry Gies

Group Planning Director: Sean Girardin

Planning Director: Shannon Smiley


Production Company: HēLō

Director: Jeff Tremaine

Managing Director: Brendan Kiernan

Executive Producer: Justin Moore-Lewy

Executive Producer: Robert Lewis

Supervising Producer: Chris Rouchard

Line Producer: Paula Cohen


Director of Photography: Bojan Bazelli, ASC


Editorial Company: Mackenzie Cutler

Editor: Ian Mackenzie

Producer: Evan Meeker

Assistant Editor: Nick Divers

Assistant Editor: Mike Rizzo

Assistant Editor: Patrick Blumer

Executive Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld

Finish/Conform: Jimmy Hayhol/Joseph Miller


Final Mix:  Heard City

Mixers: Dan Flosdorf


Music House: Beacon Street Studios


Sound Designer: Brian Emrich


Color Correction: Company3

Colorist: Tom Poole 


Graphics/Titles: Image Factory DC