During Sunday's Super Bowl in Las Vegas, the adverts will surely be dissected as much as the play on field. And one of the contenders hoping to make an impression is the web design company Squarespace with non-other than Hollywood legend Martin Scorsese.
Scorsese directed and starred in the 30-second commercial, which depicts the arrival of aliens on Earth going totally ignored. Until the visitors launch a website, that is. It's an amusing tale that points out a truth of digital communication in 2024. See our full roundup for all of the best 2024 Super Bowl ads, and see our pick of the best website builders for photography if you need a site yourself.
Hello Down There opens by showing people so preoccupied with the consistent stream of digital content on their devices that they miss the extraterrestrials' attempts to make contact. The intergalactic visitors become increasingly frustrated, until they opt for a Squarespace website.
It's the first time Scorsese has directed a Super Bowl ad. There are other pieces too, including a comedic short film featuring Martin Scorsese and his daughter Francesca discussing the creation of a Squarespace website, echoing their content on TikTok. Francesca also directed a behind-the-scenes look at the production.
The premise is fun. The argument suggests that there's so much AI-created nonsense on social media these days that a website is the only way to stand out above the noise and gain credibility. Because a website has to be real, right?
That might sound doubtful, and the ad could also be seen as a criticism of today's digital culture. But there is some truth in it. A lot of freelancers and even some fully fledged agencies decide to promote themselves today only via social platforms, but the reality is that a website still provides more weight and the flexibility to really communicate a message. When it comes to investigating credentials, many clients still want to see a website to check a business is the real deal.
Alas, sadly even Squarespace, which tops our own guide to the best website builder for artists, doesn't provide that magic button that the aliens have to automatically redirect every user's browser to your site.