The "Joust" spot, created by the agencies Droga5 and Wieden+Kennedy, won the fifth annual Creative Bowl Super Clio. According to Campaign US, which attended the awards debate, the jury praised the spot for combining two well-known brands into an interesting, unforgettable commercial.
One juror called it the "most surprising piece and felt right from beginning to end."
"It's great to have a jury of top industry creatives debate the Super Bowl spots — it's fascinating to hear their insights on which work cut through the noise of the game. HBO and Bud Light's 'Joust' was a clever, funny, brilliantly crafted commercial — a hilarious and timely crowd-pleaser that's also a great example of the kind of openness and collaboration that will be useful for all brands going forward," Tim Nudd, editor-in-chief of the Clios, said. "Congrats to both marketers, and to Droga5 and Wieden + Kennedy, for making it happen and catching Super Bowl watchers by surprise."
The spot began as a traditional Bud Light commercial, with a medieval king and queen being served bottles of the beer and members of the crowd chanting "Dilly, dilly!" However, audiences quickly saw the spot was really set in Westeros when the jousting match is interrupted by a dragon who roasts everyone. The spot ended with a tease for Game of Thrones' final season and the hashtag, #ForTheThrone.
The Clio Awards jury considered eight Super Bowl LIII commercials in total, which were narrowed down to a top five. The three runner-ups were NFL's "100 Year Game," Burger King's "#EatLikeAndy" and Audi's "Cashew."
Last year's Super Clio Award was "It's A Tide Ad" by Saatchi & Saatchi New York for Tide laundry detergent. The 2017 winner was "Bad Romance" for National Geographic's Genius miniseries by McCann New York, and the 2016 winner was iris New York's "Portraits" for Jeep.
According to CNBC, CBS charged a record $5.25 million for a 30-second commercial, up from last year's $5.2 million. The cost of a Super Bowl commercial has almost doubled over the past decade, as a 30-second spot during the 2008 game cost $2.69 million.
As for the game itself, Super Bowl LIII saw the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams, 13-3, for their sixth championship since 2001.
The final season of Game of Thrones starts on Sunday, April 14 on HBO.
Photo credit: HBO