Squarespace’s Super Bowl Ad Starring John Malkovich Wins Best Ad Emmy


Back in March, Squarespace chief creative officer David Lee told me that diverting from its original strategy plan, at least in industry hardware, was a “calculated risk.” But now, that risk has paid off, and the brand’s reward is the 2017 Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Commercial.

Created by agency JohnXHannes, “Calling,” which finds the esteemed actor vying for his own name’s domain, is goofy, fun, but manages to still be all about the product.

The spot was up against four other contenders, including The Ad Council’s “Fans of Love” and “We Are America” from its Love Has No Labels campaign, agency Mcgarrybowen’s “Why I March,” and Google’s “Year in Search 2016.”

The Emmy-winning Squarespace spot wasn’t Malkovich’s first for the brand, but it was decidedly different in tone from the earlier, more serious spot. Lee told me they just loved the script enough to divert form the original plan.

“There was one script on the table that everyone really liked, but it didn’t quite fit with the overarching narrative we were going for with (the first ad). But it was so simple and witty, we decided to shoot it anyway,” says Lee. “John took the blueprint of that script and made it his own. On the first take, it was just genius, so we knew we had something fantastic and that’s what became the new spots.” JB