The Super Bowl final between the best two American football teams is known for being the most-watched annual sports match on the planet. And the New England Patriots weren't the only winners during the duel in Atlanta last Sunday night.
A Costa del Sol film and television production company came away with the prize for the best television commercial aired during the ad breaks, traditionally the most-expensive and most-watched advertising on American television.
The Super Clio award for the best commercial went to a joint advert between HBO's Game of Thrones and beer-giant Budweiser which was shot in December by Malaga-based producers Fresco Film at El Escorial, near Madrid.
"The adverts premiered during the Super Bowl are the most important in the year in America, something like what happens in Spain with the first adverts after midnight on New Year's Day," explained German-born Peter Welter, owner of Fresco Film and the man behind the filming of all the episodes of Game of Thrones that have been shot in Spain.
A joust with 'The Mountain'
A large part of the Game of Thrones team took part in the recording, including director David Nutter and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who plays Gregor 'The Mountain' Clegane. The dragons were also called upon.
The minute-long Super Bowl ad was created by the agency Droga5 Weiden + Kennedy and was named Joust, reproducing a medieval tournament with a knight sponsored by Bud Light and which evolves into a parody of the fourth-season confrontation in the Game of Thrones series between The Mountain and the Red Viper .
"We were filming until 19 December," said Weber, "and in the mornings we had to put up with temperatures eight degrees below zero." He joked that at least they had had the dragons to keep them warm.
Two brands in one advert
Welter explained that the advert was made in record time as up to three weeks before the planned shooting no sign-off had been given to create the props and scenery for the joust, while the green light wasn't finally given until two weeks before.
"Super Bowl rules don't allow two brands to be in the same advert, so until the final authorisation arrived, we couldn't start the filming, and in fact the advert ended up being a trailer for the start of the final season of Game of Thrones," explained Weber, adding that the eagerly awaited last installments of the saga will see their worldwide launch on 14 April.
The Super Clio awards were decided on Monday in New York and the jury also chose as finalists the Cashew campaign by Audi and #EatLikeAndy by Burger King, in which an actor mimics late artist Andy Warhol enjoying a hamburger instead of a tin of Campbell's soup.
But the first prize went to HBO and Bud Light who, besides the costs for this extravagant production, paid ten million dollars for the 60-second slot during Super Bowl night. And the Fresco team, managed from Malaga, played a key part in bringing home their prize.