Leo Burnett Detroit Goes “ScissorHandsFree” for Cadillac’s 2021 Super Bowl Spot
Actors Timothée Chalamet and Winona Ryder revive the beloved ‘90s film in this cinematic spot.
In 1990, American audiences were won over by Edward Scissorhands, a charming coming-of-age story of hope and perseverance. Thirty-one years later, the beloved story was front and center once again on screens—this time for General Motors’ Cadillac 2021 Super Bowl commercial.
Conceptualized by Leo Burnett Detroit, “ScissorHandsFree” revives the same iconic pair of hands for a new generation. The spot follows Edgar Scissorhands, son of Edward and Kim, now in his teenage years. Played by actor Timothée Chalamet, Edgar finds himself struggling to enjoy everyday activities—whether that’s attending class or tossing the football with friends—because of his unique hands.
The spot follows Edgar as he navigates the obstacles of daily life, and also features a very familiar face: actress Winona Ryder, reprising her role as from the original film—Edward’s love-interest, Kim Boggs—now mother to Chalamet’s Scissorhands. As any mother might, Kim worries about the challenges Edgar faces, until inspiration strikes with a solution. Cut to Kim and Edgar standing in the driveway, where he’s surprised with a brand-new Cadillac LYRIQ. With its cutting-edge SUPER CRUISE hands-free technology, Edgar can confidently let go of the wheel when the system is engaged and enjoy the open road.
The creative team collaborated with legendary filmmaker Tim Burton on this extension of the Scissorhands story, which brings the well-loved film into the future. Key to its success was the involvement of Ryder, who served as a type of “guardian of the movie,” said commercial director David Shane. Ryder enthusiastically jumped in to reprise her role, against a familiar backdrop of the candy pink and baby blue suburban scape of the original film. Other references from the film, such as the speedy slicing and chopping of Scissorhands, were also integrated into the commercial to bring this nostalgic story to a modern audience. These references, with some contemporary adaptations, lend to the cinematic quality of the spot, which was received with fanfare by original director Burton who shared “it’s rare when a work you’re proud of continues to live on and evolve with the times, even after 30 years. I’m glad to see Edgar coping with the new world! I hope both fans and those being introduced to Edward Scissorhands for the first time enjoy it.”
Of the work, Leo Burnett Global CCO Liz Taylor said, “This is a human story wrapped in an iconic piece of pop culture history--and a brand evolution right before our eyes. The work so perfectly encapsulates what we all need this year through its powerful story arc and cinematic quality, giving us a narrative future we can set our sights on.”
The Leo Burnett Detroit team developed this captivating creative at lightning speed – with the concept flying from inception to screen in less than 60 days, even amid a COVID-era production, complete with remote viewing for a closed and safe set. With incredible storytelling and lush production, “ScissorHandsFree” captures the freedom of driving hands-free in a Cadillac LYRIQ while providing viewers with a much-needed moment of joy and satisfaction.
Executive: Liz Taylor
Account: Emily Shahady, Brian Phelps, Maggie Decker
PM: Aaron Lambrix
Strategy: Chris Bridgland, Steve Lampert, Ted Gott
Cross Channel Strategy: Dayna Elconin
Creative: Robert Clifton Jr., Matt Cramp, Matt Turnier, Jason LaFlore
Agency Executive Producer: Patrick O’Brien
Consulting Producer: Bob Samuel
Production Co.: O Positive
Director: David Shane
Executive Producers: Ralph Laucella, Marc Grill
Head of Production: Devon Clark
DP: Jeff Cronenweth
Production Designer: Maia Javan
Costume Designer: Melissa Des Rosiers
Editor: Gavin Cutler
Sound Designer/Mixer: Sam Shaffer
Assistant Editor: Megan Heard
Executive Producer: Gina Pagano
Colorist: Tim Masick
Executive Producer: Larissa Berringer
Senior Producer: Jamie Hoskins Smith
Production Coordinator: Alex Roesch
Executive Creative Director: Aron Hjartarson
Executive Producer / Music Mixer: Gerard Smerek
Music Arranger: Dan Zank
Head of Production: Michael Yessian
CCO: Brian Yessian