As football fans tuned in to Super Bowl XLIII last Sunday, they were likely surprised to see Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. Even more surprising was seeing Lewis in tights, dancing with CGI lizards before turning into one himself. All in 3D, no less.
Well, it happened. Sort of.
Lewis, New England Patriots tackle Matt Light and New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck were all featured in the SoBe Lifewater ad during the big game on Sunday, one of the most memorable spots of the night.
Combined with the official trailer for the upcoming Dreamworks film Monsters vs. Aliens and a TV-spot for NBC's Chuck, this was the first completely 3D commercial in Super Bowl history, as well as the first ever Super Bowl commercial crossover.
Over 125 million pairs of 3D glasses were distributed at SoBe Lifewater retail locations in the weeks leading up to the game.
The commercial, which was shot in November, was a new take on the classic opera Swan Lake, this time dubbed Lizard Lake. Lewis and the other players shared the spotlight with the trademark CGI lizards of other SoBe commercials, as well as characters from Monsters vs. Aliens.
Lewis has done commercials in the past, and was contacted by SoBe earlier this season about being in the spot. Since he wants to venture into acting after his football career is over, he saw it as a logical step. He took a train up to New York on his day off to shoot, in between Ravens victories at Cleveland and Houston during the 2008 season.
As he told Director of Media Relations Chad Steele, Lewis "had a ball with the other guys" on the set.
The 60-second spot was produced and directed by Super Bowl commercial veteran brand architect Peter Arnell, and choreographed by renowned choreographer Keith Young. But Lewis couldn't help but bring his own unique style. Lewis' trademark dance, which he performs during pregame introductions at M&T Bank Stadium during the season, made its way into the commercial.
"The football players added a special element of humor to the SoBe Lifewater spot," said Kristine Hinck of SoBe Beverages. "We'd seen some of Ray's great moves on the field, and thought it would be fun to watch him groove with the SoBe lizards. He definitely didn't disappoint!"
The spot proved to be one of the more unique commercials of the night.