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The Making of a Super Bowl Ad

Best Buy CMO Barry Judge revealed the process of making the retailer’s recent Super Bowl spot to attendees of the ANA TV & Everything Video Forum in New York Thursday, bestowing what he learned in his “Super Bowl Survival Guide.”

Among the 10 nuggets of wisdom: “Have a big idea,” “Get your CEO on board,” “Write a lot of scripts (and hope consumers like at least one),” to “Cross your fingers,” and “Pray like hell.”

If you haven’t seen it, the idea Best Buy settled on featured Justin Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne, but it took the retailer a while to arrive at that combination.

Best Buy wanted promote its new buy back program, which lets customers sell back electronics when a newer version becomes available. So they toyed with the idea of illustrating “upgrades” of people, using celebrity pairs like Jay-Z and Beyonce, Will and Jayden Smith, Justin Timeberlake and Justin Bieber, etc.

There were problems getting many of those celebrities to agree, but Best Buy liked the idea of using Bieber, who surprisingly had never done a commercial and comes with a promotion platform 7 million Twitter followers strong.

The idea to pair the young pop star with Osbourne came while watching an interview with the Black Sabbath rocker on Fuse, in which he was asked what he thought of Bieber. Ozzy’s response: “Who the f@#$ is Justin Bieber?”

In the making of the ad that line evolved into “What’s a Bieber” to which a co-star says to Ozzy “Kind of looks like a girl.”

Speaking of that last line, Best Buy’s Facebook page currently has a poll for users to “upgrade” the commercial by voting for their favorite alternative punch line like “A little hairball” or “It’s a disease.” Judge says the lines with the most votes will be substituted when the ad runs in other high-profile TV events, like the upcoming Academy Awards.