All it took was a man, a woman, a puppy, and a horse. And after nearly fifty million YouTube views (and probably as many tissues), Johnny Dantonio’s (’07) Budweiser Super Bowl commercial has become the most acclaimed spot from this year’s big game.
Dantonio and his partner at the Anomaly advertising agency have struck gold twice in as many years, as the writers of the heartfelt Budweiser commercials “Brotherhood” and “Puppy Love.”
“Creating something memorable really takes a hardworking, collaborative team that is all on the same page from top to bottom,” Dantonio says. “And we’ve been fortunate enough to find that recipe these last two years.”
Though he didn’t always intend to go into advertising, one thing Dantonio knew he wanted to do was to write. So he channeled that desire into a degree in English, concentrating on creative writing.
“I knew that it wasn’t necessarily a sustainable career path,” he says. “After college I began to look for industries that could utilize my creative thinking and writing skills to help solve real-world business problems.”
He gives the creative writing program at UT a good deal of credit for helping him get over his initial creative fears and teaching him that “a good idea is a good idea no matter where it originates.”
That experience helped him easily transition into advertising. After all, Dantonio says, it builds confidence to be a student reading something very intimate for your peers to critique. And writing your opinion in the form of a paper is really a sales pitch to your professor.
“Advertising is no different,” he says. “You study the business task at hand, you form a concept, and then you present a creative execution to your client. In either situation, you’re hoping the powers that be agree with your thinking.”
It seems that Dantonio’s ideas are hitting all the right notes with advertisers and viewers. But, then again, it never hurts to throw in a puppy for good measure.