Master Lock - Lock Abuse

January 26, 1992 | :30

In 1992, American Brands' Master Lock used its traditional first-quarter Super Bowl buy for one last appearance by Cramer-Krasselt's "Lock Abuse," which had been running in the big game since 1989.

The spot sets a montage of would-be invaders and thieves to the music of Mozart before concluding with the familiar money shot: a Master Lock padlock surviving a direct hit by a rifle bullet.

Neil Casey, the Cramer-Krasselt creative director and copywriter who created the ad with art director Dave Hofmann, told the Milwaukee Sentinel in 1994 that re-examining the creative was an annual exercise for Master Lock marketers:

"Every year, there's an evaluation, part hunch and part science. Has the commercial worn out or does it still have life?" said Casey.

Test groups are used for as many as five concepts each time a new commercial is proposed. A creative team of three, backed by account service people, a commercial film studio, sound people and outside editors, work months on the commercial, he said.

The process yielded a new spot in 1993's Super Bowl XXVII, "I'd Leave," and again in 1994 ("Security").

Send credit info to
  • BrandMaster Lock
  • Year1992
  • AgencyCramer-Krasselt
  • Superbowl #XXVI
  • Quarter airedQ1