One of the biggest accolades and challenges for any advertising executive is producing a commercial for the Super Bowl. A well done Super Bowl spot can not only skyrocket a brand into the spotlight for a significant amount of time, it can also be monumental for the career of all the individuals responsible for said spot; So when the Richards Group, an advertising agency in Dallas was once again tapped by Bridgestone to come up with a 2011 Super Bowl spot the CEO thought it would be best to email the hundreds of creative directors, writers, and artists and instruct them to break up into teams as they would compete against each other to earn the right to produce the spot.
Bill Cochran, a creative director was the lead on one of those teams. He knew that if he wanted to take on the competition he needed his team to be impassioned and ready for battle. He quickly wrote up an email for his team attempting to get them fired up while also downplaying the ability of the other teams with some “colorful” choice language (mostly of the four-letter variety). When he felt that he had created an inspiring call to action he hit send. Or so he thought… Poor Bill actually hit “Reply All” to the original email sent out by the CEO. Yes, “Reply All” to the HUNDREDS of other directors and executives whom he had just vulgarly insulted in an email!
Bill was totally unaware of his mistake until one of his colleagues immediately called him up. “Oh, God Bill! Bill, you hit reply all!” said copywriter Wendy Mayes. Bill turned a ghostly white and immediately felt ill. He thought for sure that his career was over. He was already getting reply emails from all the others in the company that he insulted. However, instead of sending him packing, his boss decided to keep him around chalking it up to an honest mistake. Besides Bill did successfully come up with Bridgestone’s 2010 Super Bowl commercial, so why get rid of good talent over a email snafu?
When all was said and done, Bill’s embarrassing moment inspired an idea which he successfully pitched to Bridgestone tire executives. Hence the hilarious “Reply All” commercial was born. It just goes to show how far a forgiving nature and a sense of humor can go!
[Source: ABC News/Yahoo]