When I Grow Up, the monster.com 1999 Super Bowl ad by Mullen Advertising has been chosen as one of its top ten according to USAtoday.com by its visitors. It has also justifiably, won a lot of industry awards.
What makes it so good is that it’s simple and surprising. It takes an entirely different approach from other ads in this category, which tend to be pretty conservative and stick with leveraging dreams of a great future. By doing the opposite, this one stands out. The ad featured a series of kids sharing their dreams, only with a twist.
Here’s the transcript of the famous When I Grow Up Superbowl ad:
When I grow up, I want to file all day.
I want to claw my way up through the middle management.
Be replaced on a whim.
I want to have a brown nose.
I want to be a Yes Man. Yes Woman! Yes sir! Coming Sir! Anything for a raise sir!
When I grow up… I want to be under appreciated. Be paid less for doing the same job.
I want sunshine blown up my dress.
What did you want to be?
The subtext of the question in the end, “What did you want to be?”, of course, is that you didn’t set out for any of these roles when you were young, so shy do you settle for one now?