Lubars: John Nuveen & Company Super Bowl Ad is 'a Really Positive, Hopeful Picture of the Future'Aired January 31, 2000 - 1:24 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: If the game wasn't exciting enough for you, then how about those Super Bowl commercials. One of the ads causing quite a stir featured paralyzed actor Christopher Reeve walking again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, John Nuveen & Company Advertisement)
ANNOUNCER: In the future, so many amazing things will happen in the world. What amazing things can you make happen?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATERS: Well, it's important to remind viewers that Reeve's movements are the product of television industry magic. Joining us from Minneapolis, Minnesota, my home town, David Lubars, president and creative director with Fallon McElligott, the company that made the commercial.
And Mr. Lubars, the fact that I have to remind viewers that it was important to realize that Christopher Reeves actually was not working indicates to me at least that many people were listening to the words, they found the pictures so startling, last night. What kind of reaction are you getting the day after?
DAVID LUBARS, PRES., CREATIVE DIRECTOR, FALLON MCELLIGOTT: We're getting mostly positive reactions. I think people feel it was a really positive, hopeful picture of the future.
WATERS: I took my little poll before I came up here to the anchor set today, and some people thought as you have explained, others were more cynical, saying -- one response was that was -- that was in bad taste. Did you consider that might be a reaction?
LUBARS: We thought it would be, but, you know, to me it's the most anti-cynical ad that they -- that we played on the Super Bowl, last night. It was a hopeful view of the future. As Christopher Reeve said in his interviews, there's a blueprint for a future and then you see a finished model home it gives you a better idea of what it's going to look like. And he uses this as a finished model home for him and all the other people who are in his situation. I don't see the cynicism.
WATERS: All right. Now, I guess most folks would want to know how you did this, so why don't you tell us how you did this.
LUBARS: Well, obviously a lot of computer technology. It wasn't just using Christopher Reeve, either. We print new buildings on the New York skyline to show that it was the future. Using Christopher Reeve, we had a body double, and they -- they sort of drew some grid marks on the body double's face so that when we photograph Christopher Reeve later we can exactly match it up. That was the high-tech stuff. Then there was low-tech stuff, too. For example, we put weights on the body double so that it would be more of a realistic walk.
WATERS: And when you went to Christopher Reeve with this proposition, his reaction?
LUBARS: Well, he was very moved. I think he saw it as, a, he was very impressed that a company like Nuveen, an investment company that accumulates wealth for people, would say, accumulating wealth is fine is but giving back is also important and making, you know, the world better.
WATERS: You mentioned Nuveen for the first time. I was -- I thought in my own mind when I saw the ad and how startling it was, I said to myself, I don't know who's being advertised there.
LUBARS: Well, it is a very powerful image, but, you know, they've played this commercial and they've interviewed the chairman of Nuveen on national TV in the most prime time spots and here we are today talking about it. So, I think the commercial is doing its job in that it's creating a buzz about Christopher Reeve, about what he represents, but also about Nuveen.
WATERS: Are you the guy that came up with this idea?
LUBARS: Oh, no, there's a whole team of extraordinary, strategic and creative people who worked on this. No one person could come up with this.
WATERS: And they came to you with the idea and you said, let's do it.
LUBARS: Well, no, we all worked on it together, and again, we hit on the strategy of giving back and that was a very rich strategy. That was Tim Schwertfeger, the chairman's of Nuveen's, vision, and a lot of ideas flowed, and this, we all judged, was the most powerful.
WATERS: And is this one in a series? Do you have other ideas along these lines?
LUBARS: This is the -- this is premise of what Nuveen will be discussing, the idea that wealth can make you wealthier in other ways and help you live with honor in other ways besides just, you know, buying swimming pools and country homes.
WATERS: Well, David Lubars, our congratulations. It was one heck of a commercial and a memorable one at that. We thank you for taking time to joins us today.
LUBARS: Thanks so much, Lou.
WATERS: Good luck, David Lubars.
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