- The Road Less Traveled

January 30, 2000 | :30

The challenge for agency Mullen in 2000 was to top its success in the 1999 Super Bowl with’s Bryan Buckley-directed “When I Grow Up.”

The sequel replaced the wistful “What did you want to be?” humor of 1999 with the wistful poetry of Robert Frost, giving workers lines from “The Road Not Taken” and swapping out the direct pitch “There’s a better job out there” for “Work. Life. Possibilities.”

Probably nothing will ever match that 1999 kid’s fierce proclamation, “I want to claw my way up to middle management,” but there’s something less mechanical, more inspirational and individualistic, about the pretty 2000 work, even before the subtle visual effect at the end.

Traffic to didn’t spike after the game the way it did for other dot coms in 2000, according to a study by Media Metrix at the time, perhaps because the brand was already so well known, clearly a calculation the marketer and its agency made in selling a little less hard that year.

In Super Bowl XXXIV, was joined not just by rival site ("Negotiation") but also, whose "Looking for a Job" showed an apparently untrustworthy street peddler recommending “hot jobs” and “jobs that are actually monsters.” For perhaps the most fun comparative ad in Super Bowl history, however, flip over to Chevy Silverado’s ad in Super Bowl XLVI “2012.” And for other Super Bowl sequels striving to live up to their predecessors, see "Running With Squirrels," EDS's attempt to follow 2000's "Cat Herders," and "The Dog Strikes Back," Volkswagen's semi-continuation of "The Force."

Director: Andrew Douglas. Production company: Propaganda/Satellite Films USA. Copywriter: Brian Hayes. Art director Paul Laffy.

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