Commercials Helmer Joe Pytka Set For TV Lifetime Achievement Honor

Joe Pytka has created more than 5,000 TV commercials, including 80-plus that aired during the Super Bowl, and is laden with awards including a Clio career honor. He did the popular Michael Jordan/Larry Bird McDonald’s ads, Bo Knows campaign for Nike and Ray Charles’ Uh-Huh spots for Pepsi.

He also created Pepsi’s 1989 Make a Wish spot featuring Madonna, which was the first commercial to have a special global satellite premiere and was seen by an estimated 250 million people worldwide. His John Hancock Insurance commercials were called breakthrough emotional advertising by judge and legendary advertising executive Stephen Frankfurt.

Since the debut of television, commercials have played a critical role in shaping the trajectory of the medium. And when it comes to commercials, there is no higher bar than the one set by the incomparable Joe Pytka, DGA President Paris Barclay said.

So many of his over 5,000 projects are part of the nation’s zeitgeist, from his iconic, generation-defining Pepsi ads to Nike’s ‘Bo Knows’ and Budweiser’s ‘Clydesdales’ to the unforgettable Your Brain on Drugs PSA.