If you're like a lot of people, you find the sound of Jeff Bridges' voice inexplicably soothing. Doesn't matter if it's a country song or a car commercial. It's both raspy and aged, but with a youthful excitement and sincerity you can't help but like. It's got soothing qualities not unlike a particular round of 1987 bowling playoffs.
Now for the Super Bowl, website publishing platform Squarespace is launching an entire album created by the Academy Award-winning actor, specifically designed to help you relax and get some shut eye. The 11-track record features titles like "A Glass of Water," "Ikea," and "Hummmmm," and is free to stream online as a pay-what-you-like release onDreamingWithJeff.com, with 100% of the proceeds going to the No Kid Hungry campaign, of which Bridges is a longtime supporter. Fans can also bid on one of five signed black linen-lined box sets, featuring gold vinyl, a die-cut gold leaf album, and a sleeping mask, all with original artwork from Jeff Bridges and Lou Beach, as well as a note from Bridges.
The core idea comes straight from the brain of Bridges, and was built into a platform in time for the big game by the brand and agency Wieden + Kennedy New York. While the Super Bowl is typically where brands go big and brash with celebrities, Squarespace chief creative officer David Lee says the company wanted to avoid doing a typical marketing campaign that was a quick hit, and instead create something genuine.
"In a sea of loud, obnoxious noise, it was something that completely cuts through and stops people in their tracks," says Lee. "Our product is best when it’s experienced by people, so we made the decision to go with an idea that worked best across all media and touch points. We worked with W+K and Jeff Bridges to bring one of his wildest ideas to life, but the end result is a real tangible product that you can listen to and even buy."
Wieden + Kennedy New York executive creative director David Kolbusz says the brief to the agency was to raise awareness of the brand in way that feltof the brand—premium, and sophisticated. The original idea was to create a personal project that could become the best version of itself with the help of Squarespace. "We just had to find the right partner and project and were unbelievably lucky to get Jeff on board," says Kolbusz. "He's such a creative person himself with fingers in so many different pies other than acting that he seemed like the perfect test case. It actually took us a while to settle on a project that Squarespace could help him promote because his talents were so varied, but once we did he really took it and made it his own. It's such a cliche but it was a very organic process, and the campaign got bigger, richer, and more interesting as we went along."
Can a Super Bowl ad of a guy wandering the woods with a boom mic break through all the hype? With Bridges involved, you never know. The dude may abide, but this is anything but a traditional Super Bowl play. The combination of the immensely popular actor with a project just weird enough to raise eyebrows that quietly follows through on its promise, is something to applaud. Sure, people will be scrambling all over Twitter about Kim Kardashian, the Bud puppy and whatever GoDaddy's going to do now, but in a game teeming with the cacophony of commercial pop culture, this is a welcome shelter of quirky creative calm.
Kolbusz says another advantage is that it's not completely tied to the premium ad air time, with its many elements making the 30-second spot just a part of the overall story. "Maybe it won't stand out in the way that a typical big game ad does," says Kolbusz. "It suffers from a dearth of animals, slapstick and scantily clad women, but we're hoping that people who are drawn to its slightly odd, meditative nature will be intrigued enough to check out what Squarespace has to offer."
Now after the game, go light some candles, take a (ferret-free) tub, close your eyes and nod off.