ATLANTA -- Some of the most memorable commercials from past Super Bowl broadcasts were made by graduates of Atlanta's Creative Circus.
The Volkswagon's "The Force" ad became an instant hit during the 2011 Super Bowl. Ryan McLaughlin, who graduated from the Creative Circus in 2004, was the ad's art director.
"Commercials are mini-movies, and that one was well done from top to bottom," said Dave Haan, the executive director of the Creative Circus.
The Creative Circus is a two-year, post-graduate school in Atlanta that offers programs in advertising, design and photography.
"We've got a strong connection with the advertising agency community," Haan said. "They rely on us for their next generation of talent."
Another Creative Circus graduate, Justin Bajan, was the writer behind KIA's "Sandman" ad, which debuted during last year's Super Bowl.
This year's big game show will feature work by at least three more grads.
The stakes are incredibly high, with companies paying an average of $4 million for a 30-second spot.
"What you have to be careful of when you're trying too hard to get noticed and to be clever and funny is that you don't lose sight of the brand," Haan said. "You need something that's going to make the brand memorable."
The Creative Circus brand is building with help from advertising's biggest stage.