January 30, 2015

‘Dreamy’ Jeff Bridges Super Bowl Ad Seeks Help in Fight Against Hunger

As Americans dig into lavish Super Bowl feasts, one of the game’s TV ads will offer a chance to help the millions of children who go to bed hungry every night.

In a cause-marketing alignment of Hollywood, high tech, and charity, the first half of Sunday’s game will feature a 30-second ad for the website-publishing platform Squarespace with actor Jeff Bridges, a longtime anti-hunger activist.

Through, a Squarespace site, Mr. Bridges is streaming and selling "Jeff Bridges Sleeping Tapes," restful sounds, guided mediations, and stories designed to lull you to sleep.

All proceeds from sales will go to the No Kid Hungry campaign waged by Share Our Strength. Web users who stream the tapes will be prompted to donate whatever they’d like to the campaign.

Mr. Bridges, who founded the nonprofit End Hunger Network in 1983, has been the national No Kid Hungry spokesperson since 2010. According to Bill Shore, head of Share Our Strength, Squarespace approached Mr. Bridges about doing the ad and the tapes as a way to generate buzz about the company. The actor agreed on the condition that proceeds go to No Kid Hungry.

In postgame reviews, the ad could earn equal parts scorn and praise. Super Bowl spots typically try to warm hearts or get laughs, but this will strike an offbeat tone. In a preview, Mr. Bridges plays a recorder and intones the values of "intriguing sounds" to promote sleep.

"We’ve done a lot of cause-related marketing," said Mr. Shore with a chuckle, "but this is really one of a kind."

Previous Super Bowl broadcasts have seen a few similar charity-tied ads. Last year, U2 debuted its song "Invisible" in a commercial that included a Bank of America pledge to donate $1 to fight AIDS for every iTunes download of the song. The effort raised more than $3-million.

Two years ago, Dodge aired a photographic paean to the American farmer, then donated $1-million to the National FFA Organization (formerly Future Farmers of America) for the first million downloads of the commercial online.

Send an e-mail to Drew Lindsay.