Squarespace may not be buying up any Super Bowl ad time this year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t continue its annual tradition of tying a celebrity spokesperson directly to its products. The brand has teamed up with director Spike Jonze and Idris Elba for its newest campaign, which focuses on Elba’s many creative pursuits and, crucially, the website he uses to help publicize them.
The 30-second spot is a cute, artsy interpretation of Elba’s projects and features the multi-hyphenate lip-syncing a small child’s version of Doris Day’s “Que Sera Sera.” Then we get a four-minute short that shows Elba working with his (hilarious) assistant–played by Lolly Adefope–behind the scenes of the ad to get his new website up and running.
Over the past few years, Squarespace has been one of the best examples of how brands can effectively use a celebrity Super Bowl appearance. In 2015, it was Jeff Bridges and his Sleep Tapes. For 2016, the company got Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key to play a running gag throughout the entire game. In 2017, it was about John Malkovich’s fashion ambition. Last year, we got a peek at Keanu Reeves’s IRL custom motorcycle business.
Squarespace chief creative officer David Lee says they knew they wanted to capture the nostalgia, and often limitless ambition, that comes with childhood dreams, then also inspire the action it takes to turn those dreams into realities. “More than anyone else, Idris Elba fit the embodiment of this idea, with his many varying ambitions,” says Lee. Elba is not only an actor, but also a director (Yardie) and a DJ who’s doing a set at Coachella this year, as well as a fashion designer with his label, 2HR SET. “We were fortunate to work with Spike Jonze to create the two films that evoke both sides of this entrepreneurial coin: The initial stages of dreaming and the tactical stages of creating a home for that idea on Squarespace,” Lee says.
As disparate as Squarespace’s celebrity collaborators seem, Lee says the one thing that links them all is the brand itself. They’re all customers. “Squarespace has never featured a celebrity in our creative for the sake of using them as a spokesperson to tell people to go use our platform,” says Lee. “The celebrities we work with are real customers, with real dreams. Idris manages his apparel company 2HR SET with our platform and e-commerce tools, just like the millions of people that use Squarespace everyday.”
Now if he could just stop blathering on about being voted the sexiest man on earth.