Squarespace’s Super Bowl ad tells the true story of John Malkovich’s struggle setting up a website for his fashion label

Squarespace john malkovich
John Malkovich stars in Squarespace’s Super Bowl LI spot. Squarespace/YouTube

When Squarespace first met with John Malkovich last spring, the website-building company had no idea the actor was thinking about building his own website.

Squarespace signed up Malkovich to act out a string of David Lynch characters — including “Twin Peaks” detective Dale Cooper, John Merrick from “The Elephant Man,” and Henry Spencer from “Eraserhead” — for its digital marketing push “Playing Lynch.”

Andrew Casalena, Squarespace CEO, told Business Insider it was then that Malkovich said “in passing conversation” that he had started a new fashion line — his third, having begun his career in costume design — and wanted to create a website for his eponymous brand. The website now exists, complete with prominent Squarespace branding. 

Casalena said: “When we dug a little deeper into the journey he went through in order to create and establish that line, we realised how similar the story was to so many of our Squarespace customers. This set the wheels in motion for our short film Journey, which is a campaign meant to inspire others to make their next move with Squarespace.”

Now Squarespace is continuing its partnership with Malkovich for its Super Bowl ad. The spot sees an increasingly irritated Malkovich on the phone to the owner of “JohnMalkovich.com”

“You think when people contact the JohnMalkovich.com they’re looking for you? Or maybe, maybe they’re looking for me!” Malkovich snarls in the ad.

Casalena said he hopes the ad will motivate other people to go out and “stake their claim on the web” and grab their required domains before someone else does.

The Squarespace CEO has loftier ambitions for the ad too: “We also hope that John’s story inspires others to pursue their dream, just like he pursued his by branching out into fashion. We want people to realise, that no matter what their passion or interest is, everyone and anyone with a creative idea can make their next move with Squarespace.”

Super Bowl LI on February 5 will mark the fourth time in a row Squarespace has advertised in the big game. Each year, Super Bowl ad prices increase in value, with big game broadcaster Fox reportedly asking upwards of $5 million for a 30-second slot this time around.

But Casalena thinks it’s a price worth paying: “While it’s definitely an investment, the Super Bowl is a unique opportunity in that people are actually watching the event specifically to see the ads. The audience is huge, and it gives us the chance to do more creatively then we would normally do throughout the year.”

NOW WATCH: Watch Budweiser’s Super Bowl ad — it makes a strong statement on immigration