So many Super Bowl ads strive for this level of emotion, to tap into deeply felt, pent-up or even repressed sentiments during a certain moment in history. The Turkish Airlines ad, getting aired during the tumult of a pandemic, will connect with people, and is so on point for the airline.
Turkish Airlines has advertised in the Super Bowl almost as many times (6) as Tom Brady has rings (7), and this Sunday’s Big Game spot about the connectivity of the airline’s route network, “making far feel close, bringing there to here,” is a standout winner.
“Pangea,” the 30-second spot — with costs for these ads estimated in the $6 million to $7 million range — will air in the second quarter in 136 countries. It’s part of a global advertising campaign that Turkish Airlines kicked off Thursday. (See the ad embedded below.)
The Turkish Airlines ad in Super Bowl LVI might be said to have two main characters in that actor Morgan Freeman is the sole narrator, but the visual effects, including computer-generated animated images of separated land masses and continents reuniting, reverting to their supposed supercontinent status during the Pangea era, should get equal billing.
What a perfect cast: Freeman, with that deep, earthy and primordial voice partnering with the imagery of a Turkish plane flying over ocean-divided land masses, which mesh anew like fingers clasped together in an exquisite plea for connectivity, physical and, one can hope, politically and humanly, as well. Freeman was featured in Turkish Airlines’ 2017 Super Bowl ad, too.
So many Super Bowl ads, or any such creative efforts for that matter, strive for this level of emotion, to tap into deeply felt, pent-up sentiments during a certain moment in history such as the current pandemic one, and fail.
But the Turkish Airlines ad evokes the longing that people feel to hold loved ones in their arms — or at least to give respectful, heartfelt and socially distant fist bumps in a hopefully post-pandemic world.
The ad doesn’t use the words “pandemic” or “Covid-19” but it deftly taps into the deeply felt yearnings and emotions of millions of people who are desperate to travel again or to see long-lost family or friends when Freeman talks of Turkish Airlines “reversing millions of years of rifting, making far feel close, bringing there to here.”
Using the word “rifting” is questionable although technically correct. I replayed the ad a couple of times to make sure Freeman didn’t say “drifting,” let alone “grifting.” Some viewers will undoubtably have to set aside their guacamole, wings or beer to look up the definition of rifting, which describes how the continents got divorced because faults disconnected tectonic plates.
Ad agency Whale, based in the Netherlands, created the Turkish ad, which was shot in Istanbul and New York beginning in September 2021.
The ad finishes with the on-screen message: “We Connect More Countries Than Any Other Airline, Turkish Airlines.”
The airline, which saw passenger revenue nosedive last year when Turkey banned flights from late March to June, according to Airline Weekly, flies to 334 destinations in 128 countries — in five now-flight-connected continents.
Super Bowl LVI Coverage
Updated Jan. 24, 2022