Hyundai is teasing a very Boston-centric Super Bowl ad
And the conceit has nothing to do with the Patriots.
The New England Patriots won’t be in the Super Bowl this year, but Bostonians may still have something to look forward to.
Hyundai is teasing what promises to be an Extremely Boston commercial during the first quarter of the Feb. 2 game, featuring a number of locally born-and-bred stars. In a press release Monday, the South Korean automaker said the 60-second Super Bowl ad will feature Sudbury native Chris Evans, Newton native John Krasinski, Lexington native Rachel Dratch, and — who else? —Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz.
The company also released a teaser Monday, featuring Dratch and Ortiz, in which the former “Saturday Night Live” star and Boston Teen tries (emphasis on tries) to teach the local accent to the Dominican-born former baseball player.
“Just repeat after me: theyah’s a wicked rippah by the hahbah,” Dratch says, explaining to Ortiz that the otherwise indecipherable phrase just means that there’s a “big party.”
After a first try that comes out as “wicker rippah lalalala,” Ortiz does improve on his second attempt at the accent, which Dratch concludes is “as good as it’s going to get.”
Hyundai officials are hinting that there’s more teasers to come, before the ad debuts in full during an hourlong Super Bowl ad special on CBS at 9 p.m. on Jan. 27. But so far, the two other actors from Massachusetts included in the cast, Evans and Krasinski, have yet to appear in any videos.
The commercial — which kicks off Hyundai’s national ad campaign for the 2020 Sonata, the company’s mid-sized sedan — is also directed by a Massachusetts native; Bryan Buckley, a filmmaker who has directed more than 60 Super Bowl ads, grew up in Swampscott. Hyundai’s ad agency, INNOCEAN, says the ad was also shot in Boston and includes “a few local ‘Easter eggs’ for anyone paying close attention.”
The new details still beg the question: Why is a foreign carmaker spending millions on a nationally televised commercial with a special Boston focus?
A Hyundai spokesperson told Boston.com that it has nothing to do with the Patriots — or any expectations that the team would be playing in its fourth straight Super Bowl (they won’t).
“It would have been serendipitous for the Patriots to be in the Super Bowl again this year, but the spot is not reliant on any specific team being in the big game,” the spokesperson said.
If anything is currently clear, it’s there’ll be more fun with the Boston accent. Barney Goldberg, the executive creative director for INNOCEAN USA, says the “iconic” accent is a particular focus of the comedic ad.
Hyundai officials wouldn’t say more. However, the fact that the word Sonata doesn’t include the letter “r” feels like it may come into play.
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