Squarespace Unveils Its Full Super Bowl Spot, and It Sure Is Depressing

Escaping the hell of the Web

Headshot of Tim Nudd

The Internet is Times Square pre-Giuliani, says Squarespace's Super Bowl ad—the full version of which went live Monday online, a week and a half after a teaser rolled out.

The spot, produced in-house, aims for a grand, dark vibe, but after a decently arresting opening image, it falls flat. It's hard to do convincing futuristic dystopias on the cheap, and it's clear Squarespace didn't put enough dollars into the production of this. If you want to see an amazingly rich, dark, circus-like world in advertising, with great directing and voiceover work, go back and watch Hal Riney's old First Union spots. Then come back and watch this. The difference is stark. You have to pay for it, but it pays off.

Also worth noting: People really don't want depressing messages on the Super Bowl. Here you've got 24 seconds of bleak followed by six seconds of bland. It will bomb on Sunday.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.