By: Daniel Geiger | Crain's New York Business
The 72-story tower at 4 World Trade Center will take a star turn Sunday in a Bud Light Super Bowl ad starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The building will be the towering backdrop in an elaborate two-part commercial that will also include Don Cheadle and a llama.
According to a trailer for the spot, an "unsuspecting guy" is ushered to 4 World Trade Center in a stretch limo where he parties with "412 actors," "five rockstars," and "58 hidden cameras," in a night of adventure and mayhem that is supposed to embody Bud Light's catchphrase that it is the "perfect beer for whatever happens."
Part of the ad will feature the former champion-body-builder-turned-Kindergarten-Cop-turned-governor-of-California dressed in a track suit and sporting a headband and shoulder-length locks readying himself for a ping-pong match. According to reports, Mr. Schwarzenegger was paid $3 million for his performance. Mr. Cheadle is also shown in a preview walking a llama into an elevator.
The commercial was shot almost entirely in the 72-story, 2.3 million square foot building. An exterior shot of the tower itself is also briefly featured during the trailer, raising the possibility that it will have at least a second of screen time in the commercial that airs—giving the tower a moment in the spotlight during the most watched and most expensive block of television advertising of the year. According to reports, 30-seconds of advertising time during the championship game sold for $4 million, meaning Budweiser spent as much as $16 million on the minute and a half commercial.
The spot is the most prominent promotion yet for the new office building. The property opened late last year and is largely occupied by the city and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which together lease its lower 30 floors. But the top half remains vacant.
"We have been fortunate enough to host TV and fashion shows, commercials and events at 7 World Trade Center and now 4 World Trade Center," said Dara McQuillan, the chief marketing and communications officer for Silverstein Properties, the firm that built and owns 4 World Trade Center. "This is part of our efforts to raise awareness for the building."
The Bud Light production crew shot the commercial in early January, renting four floors at 4 World Trade Center for a week, 57-60, including space for a pen made out of straw for the two llamas used during the shoot. Part of the space, the 57th floor, which features a large outdoor deck, had previously been used for filming for an upcoming version of Annie that stars actor Jamie Fox. 7 World Trade Center, another office tower owned nearby by Silverstein Properties, has also played host to film shoots. The business can be lucrative. Silverstein Properties charges $50,000 a day to rent out a vacant office floor in the buildings.