‘Not So Clueless’: Rakuten’s Super Bowl ad sees Alicia Silverstone reprising iconic ‘90s role
Rakuten has got everyone “buggin’.”
For its 2023 Super Bowl campaign, Rakuten Rewards, a leading shopping platform that offers Cash Back, deals and rewards from leading brands, teamed up with Alicia Silverstone to bring her iconic “Clueless” role back to people’s screens.
Following the company’s headline-making Super Bowl commercial debut last year, this year’s Big Game campaign, “Not So Clueless,” taps into nostalgia for 1990’s pop culture while featuring a fun, modern twist on the classic 1995 film. The 30-second spot from Rakuten’s campaign is due to air during the first quarter of the Big Game on Sunday, February 12 and an extended 60-second spot is available on YouTube.
“Don’t bug – your girl is back”
The commercial, developed by Rakuten’s in-house marketing team, includes a reunion between “Clueless” castmates Silverstone and Elisa Donovan. Donovan reprises her role as frenemy Amber for a reimagination of the film’s memorable debate class scene where Silverstone’s Cher takes on the topic “why everyone should shop Rakuten for the greatest savings.”
Cher comes out on top in the war of words by noting the ease of earning Cash Back when shopping with Rakuten.
“Cher was always figuring out how to get what she wanted in the most clever ways, so I think Rakuten would really appeal to her – getting cash back for doing her favorite activity.”Alicia Silverstone
Familiar settings from the original film also appear throughout the commercial, albeit with a markedly modern twist; the mansion where teenaged Cher lived with her father now features a technologically-advanced closet system and Cher drives an electric Jeep.
Ahead of the Super Bowl, the campaign has already been generating major buzz. Since the teaser was released at the beginning of February, the 15-second clip, which ends with Cher declaring to the viewer, “Don’t bug – your girl is back,” has received national coverage from outlets such as USA Today, People, Variety and more, as well as influential advertising and fashion outlets. Ahead of the big game, the full-length Super Bowl commercial was also revealed to millions of viewers on NBC’s The Today Show and covered on The New York Times.
A trip down memory lane
Some of the (younger) readers out there may be wondering what made “Clueless” so special, and so ideal for the company’s viral new campaign.
The film, released in 1995, was a fresh and hilarious take on Jane Austen’s classic novel “Emma.” Set in Beverly Hills, it followed the life of Horowitz, a rich and fashionable high school student, as she navigated the ups and downs of adolescence.
“When we saw the concept for ‘Not So Clueless,’ we immediately loved how clearly it communicated that Rakuten is the place to save when shopping, while also tapping into the hyper-relevance of current ‘90s trends in culture.”Vicki McRae, Senior Vice President of Brand, Creative and Communications at Rakuten
With its iconic fashion, memorable slang, and satirical storyline, “Clueless” resonated with audiences of all ages and was bolstered by a supporting cast that included the late Brittany Murphy and Paul Rudd in his big-screen debut. The movie’s success spawned a merchandise line, soundtrack and even a TV show.
Now widely considered a cult classic, its legacy as a staple of ‘90s pop culture has continued for over 25 years.
Bringing back a shopping icon
It was this enduring legacy coupled with Rakuten Rewards’ focus on helping save while shopping that presented an opportunity that Silverstone couldn’t resist. “I think most of us would agree that Cher is one of film history’s most iconic shoppers, so when Rakuten approached me to reprise the role for their Super Bowl spot, I thought it was a great idea,” said Silverstone. “Cher was always figuring out how to get what she wanted in the most clever ways, so I think Rakuten would really appeal to her – getting cash back for doing her favorite activity.”
Vicki McRae, Senior Vice President of Brand, Creative and Communications at Rakuten commented, “When we saw the concept for ‘Not So Clueless,’ we immediately loved how clearly it communicated that Rakuten is the place to save when shopping, while also tapping into the hyper-relevance of current ‘90s trends in culture.”
“Clueless” takes to the Runway
As well as leaving its mark on ‘90s cinema, “Clueless” has also had a long-lasting influence on the fashion community and for this year’s campaign, Rakuten reached out to award-winning CFDA designer, Christian Siriano, who also makes a surprise appearance in the Big Game spot, to bring the movie to the runway.
Siriano helped to re-imagine Cher’s iconic yellow plaid suit for the commercial, as well as three additional “Clueless”-inspired original designs which will debut at New York Fashion Week. These designs will form part of the “Christian Siriano x Rakuten Giveaway” available exclusively for Rakuten members. As part of his partnership with Rakuten, Siriano also curated Rakuten’s “Not-So-Clueless Edit”, where shoppers can earn Cash Back by shopping Siriano’s exclusive picks of “Clueless”-inspired fashion looks.
Commenting on the campaign, Siriano said, “I’m such a big fan of ‘Clueless’, and Alicia is one of my dear friends, so imagining the 2023 version of her most iconic look in ‘Clueless’ for Rakuten’s ad was a dream come true.”