If you’re one of those people who watches the Super Bowl for the commercials, you may have seen the work of Vanguard alumnus Rye Clifton.
Rye, who graduated from Vanguard in 1999 and later attended SMU and Miami Ad School, has worked on several Super Bowl projects over the past several years, including for RadioShack, Avocados from Mexico and, most recently, Dodge. Rye is the Director of Experience / Creative Director at GSD&M.
The Dodge commercial was specifically designed for the pre-game. Click here to view.
“The idea is that when so many people are gathered together for this one special moment in time, the streets empty up, which is ideal for people who like to drive,” said Rye. “The Facebook upload has about 3 million views, and most of the comments are from Dodge fans. It ignited a niche audience and people were uploading pictures of themselves driving during the game.”
Finding these types of creative avenues is one reason Rye enjoys his job.
“I love that there is no routine, problems are always changing, and your brain gets stretched in different directions,” he said. “Last week I was working on separate projects for cars, trucks and cheeseburgers. This week, I’m focused on launching a liquor brand and getting ready for SXSW.”
Rye said that Vanguard played a role in his successful career by, not only giving him a strong academic foundation but by encouraging creativity.
“Most of what I remember isn’t sitting in class or taking tests, but applying learning in interesting ways,” he said.
Tessellations in geometry and straw bridges in physics were hand-on learning examples that sparked his creative side. But Vanguard also sparked a more practical skill, as well, with his favorite teacher Mr. Flowers.
“The most important switch that flipped had to be technology,” Rye said. “I was a system administrator of our email system, started learning HTML and learned some of the basics of programming calculators.”
Using his creativity and technical knowledge to solve problems in unorthodox ways has become both Rye’s passion and his calling card. And he encourages current Vanguard students to use what the school offers them begin to forge their own ways.
“Figure out what you want to do,” he said, “then figure out how to get there.”
Rye lives in Austin with his wife Megan, a jewelry designer. They have two children, Towns, 4, and Millie, 1.
Vanguard Alumni Only Facebook Group