Project Re: Brief: A Film About Re-imagining Advertising

Project Re: Brief: A Film About Re-imagining Advertising


man: Well, here he is. I got you. GABOR: That’s right. man: You ready? GABOR: Yeah. Good-bye Detroit.
Good-bye big tire. Hello, Big Apple. Is this your job? man: He’s got all his stuff. Look he even brought his Cleo.
Crazy, man. GABOR: We originated from
Waterford, Michigan. It usually takes us 13 hours. My son Eric did it in nine. And then it took us two hours
last night to cross the George Washington Bridge. So welcome back to New York. GREEN: I got a call. You know, it was just kind of
out of the blue. Well, there was an interesting
project going on, and then they tell me
who else was coming. And I knew the other people
because they were of my generation in advertising. I was a little skeptical,
frankly, about the whole idea. GARGANO:
I don’t know what to expect. And that’s intriguing for me
because when somebody gives you a narrow box to work in, the
thing to try to do is see if you can break out of that and do
something completely unexpected. COHEN: Here I am on a plane
going back to New York, back to the scene of the crime of our
most famous advertisement. And the most exciting thing is
I’m going to see Bob, you know. We haven’t worked together
in 32 years. Bob, we were like the perfect
team for each other. He was the Italian art director,
I was the Jewish copywriter. He was the eyes, I was the ears,
and we did everything together. PASQUALINA:
How are you doing, buddy? [Paula Green] [Amil Gargano] [Harvey Gabor] [Howie Cohen and Bob Pasqualina] [Project Re: Brief ] [A film about re-imagining
advertising] [Made with friends from
Johannes Leonardo] [and Grow Interactive] [Directed by Doug Pray] [Have you ever clicked
your mouse right here?] RAMANATHAN: The first display
ad basically said, “To find out more, click here.” And then the
15 years that followed, that’s basically the only
innovation we saw. And so response rates declined
from 35% to 0.09%. People just got tired of seeing
the same type of advertising. If you did the same ad in any
other platform repeatedly for 15 years, you kind of
going to get tired. COOKSON: When you say banner
ad, I think clutter and annoyance, of course. I mean, everybody has the same
superficial reaction. ROYER: Hasn’t advertising
always gone to where the eyeballs are from the first
signs to, you know, newspaper ads that were all
crammed together? I mean, we are constantly
chasing people’s attention because we aren’t the thing that
people are looking for. It’s just so many people
don’t know how to do that well yet
on the Internet. REINHARD: If we were obsessed
as much today with content and ideas as we are with technology,
we would begin to make some progress. BERNDT: If anything can be,
it can be good. I mean, if you have time
to make it, you have to
make it wonderful. GAVIL: Like, to come up with
great display advertising, you need to first come up with
just great advertising. [How can we inspire
better digital advertising?] man: We started thinking about
how can we inspire better display ads? And not just better display ads,
just better ads online and opening everybody’s mind. And the best way to that, we
thought was to take the work that defined the industry 40
years ago and the people who defined the industry
40 years ago, and see if they can come back
and redefine this industry today. JACOBS: We thought what
better way to do it than to take people that you least expect to
be able to do an amazing job, and take work that you classify
as from a different era. And if you brief those same
people to take those same things, knowing what we know
now, what would they do? GAVIL: So, we brought them
out of retirement, took their most iconic work, and
took the idea that was still relevant and worked in 1960s and
the ’70s, and brought it to life with modern technology as just
an expression. PREMUTICO: There’s something
deeply comforting about people who’ve been there and done that. They’ve seen change before. This isn’t really about can we
make that ad work in display. I think it’s more about
can that idea become, you know, something
more powerful? all: [singing] I’d like to teach
the world to sing In perfect harmony,
perfect harmony, I’d like to buy the world
a Coke, and keep it company. man: I can’t believe I ate
that whole thing. woman: You ate it, Ralph. [We try harder] man: Trying harder is still
the best way to do business. man: You can drive a Volvo
like you hate it. Cheaper than psychiatry. [and the creatives
who made them] COHEN: When we used to be
editing a commercial, at some point,
Bob would go, “Cut.” And two seconds later, I go,
“Cut.” “What are you thinking?” He
said, “Well, his hand was here.” I said, “Yeah, but it was
in the middle of a sentence.” GABOR: My own impetus is
a little bit of insecurity. Can you do it, champ? GREEN: I hate pretension. Is that good enough? GARGANO: I was born on 1932. Technology has left me pretty
much in the past, largely because
I tend to ignore it. [Old meets new] GREEN: I’m not an expert at
my computer, but I do email. Occasionally, I will use Google
to look up something that I’m interested in. Computer drives me crazy. GABOR: All I know of Google
is the search engine. I use it mostly for email and to
look up all my aches and pains, and what disease I think I
probably have and I’m gonna die from. PASQUALINA: The first day in,
we were completely immersed in a technology meeting,
surrounded by 35 people. They just filled us in
on the reality of what they were
capable of. Mike: My name is Mike,
and I am part of the Product Marketing Team
for display ads at Google. SPARKS: I’m Joe Sparks. I’m from the Teracent group
inside of Google, and we do something called
Dynamic Advertising. COLE: I’m Sally Cole.
I’m on the marketing team. GARGANO: What drives it from
5,000 hits to the millions? What process? It can’t be word of mouth,
can it? GABOR: What you’re telling me
is that there can be 25 different things
that you sent out? RAMANATHAN: Oh, 2,000. GABOR: Okay.
That’s hard for me to grasp. I see the banners. It looks to me like
if you were in an ad agency, you could do it
in the morning. To have something go bwoop,
and maybe whoop. So I’m baffled. How and when did they come up? Do you–after you click… RAMANATHAN: It’s the most fast-
moving, complex, ever-changing,
competitive industry in the
advertising space. People think it’s too complex,
too geeky, you know, and the buzz words. And, like, people shy away
from that. And so we have a role in making
things simple and easier because we think it’s simple
and easy. man: But everything that you see
here is all possible on a phone. GREEN:
You mean a smart phone. man: Yes, exactly. GREEN: Because I have
a phone, and it doesn’t do that. It just makes phone calls. GABOR: I don’t understand,
and I’m going to find out. My problem is absolute
ignorance. BENDER: If technology is done
right, it’s almost like magic. It should feel easy to use. There should be something that
is a new tool kit that unlocks creative minds. GREEN: When we got to Google,
it was so enormous that you walk long,
long hallways, pass meeting room
after meeting room, where there are all of these
young people sitting around big tables–
doing what, I have no idea. PASQUALINA: Oh, God,
It’s insane. They were barefoot,
and they’re cool, and they’re young,
and they look great. And God knows what they
understand and do. GREEN: I thought it was
so amusing. I said it’s like a playground.
It’s like elementary school. PASQUALINA: We needed a guide
constantly. GREEN: I’ve always been
a writer, ever since I can remember,
including third grade. But I had no idea that I was
going to be in advertising. I can tell you I didn’t even
know what advertising was. It’s very simple,
but if you look at it, it is an argument,
it is a syllogism. We’re number two,
but we try harder. We’re putting our name
on the line. We can’t afford to give you
a dirty car. We can’t afford to give you
windshield wipers that don’t wipe. We can’t afford to give you
dirty ashtrays. We presented a company that was
willing to work for you. It was sort of like tacking up
the manifesto on the door. And the one thing I’m sure we
did is kind of write a manual for the whole rent-a-car
business. I think we hit a chord. People talked about it a lot. They were intrigued by it. So when people started to say,
“Hey, we saw your ad. It’s terrific,”
everybody kind of perked up. They began to be very proud, and
the whole organization changed. The cars got better care, the
costumers got better care. They began to get a lot more
costumers. Their advertising has
included, “We try harder” for years. GABOR: I worked in New York
from about 1964 to, God, about 20 years. I’m retired, but I miss
the action. I miss the sturm und drang. Somebody said, “Are your
creative juices flowing?” I said, “Not only that,
they’re the only ones.” [The Creative Sessions Begin] woman: Good morning, hey. man: Good morning.
SPARKS: Hi. GABOR: How are you?
man: Fine. GABOR: Please be seated. I’m Harvey Gabor. I’m one of the six grand old men
of advertising. NOSTITZ: When you created
Hilltop, what was that thought? What was that one thing
that you kind of said, “Okay, “this is now taking it from
something that’s okay to something that’s
really great”? Because Hilltop had, like,
a real message and an insight. GABOR: I don’t really have
that, but I can tell you how it came about,
which is mostly instinctive. The hero was the song. I think the next thing that was
very important was the humanity. It talks about the world, but
it really speaks to one person. [singing] I’d like to teach
the world to sing in perfect harmony. GABOR: There were two guys in
England, Kork and Greenway, who loved the melody, which was so simple,
and it was so beautiful. I thought that it would be
interesting to do a united chorus of the world. Tepidly, they liked it. I thought it was really
pretty good. Of course, the rest is history. People were humming it. Coke got 100,000 letters
from people saying that they loved it. It matched their personality
perfectly with the brand. This is, now–
You guys got to correct me if I go in the wrong
direction. I’m old at it,
and you’re new at it. woman: Yeah. GABOR: I think this–
this is not just me. I think the song is sacrosanct. I think that we don’t touch the
song other than I can help you edit if you want to. [singing]
I want to buy the world a home and furnish it with love. Silence–I want to buy
the world a Coke…click. Well, apple trees, honey bees,
snow-white turtle doves. Maybe if they click, maybe it’s
a thing where it goes, and it shows a frame where
you’re buying a friend a Coke. Maybe it’s the–I want to
understand more of what the depth
of the banner is. Surely, it’s more than a strip
across the top. Surely, this week is going to be
something a lot more than that. I can’t imagine it would come up
to the 60 second in terms of emotion or depth
of a feeling. I can’t imagine that. It looks to me like it will be
always be a step down. The most important thing is that
we get enough people in here. The rest of the stuff, the doves
and all that stuff there, the real subject of
“buy the world” is the people. CLACK: How do you feel about
maybe instead of showing the people, is there anything
to, like, connecting people? GABOR:
You know better than I do how to start connecting
people. You know, how about your
mother-in-law? I don’t know.
It wouldn’t be– BERNDT: There are so many
ways that you can connect what someone sees on a screen
to the entire rest of the world. It’s daunting and that’s why
the best thing that we could possibly do is connect together deeply
technical people with creative counterparts, and actually
explain to them how close they are in goal
and temperament– that they’re makers. And where we put those people
together well, you see amazing things. COHEN: Are we sitting
together? PASQUALINA: Oh,
do we always sit together? COHEN: Our classic commercial
is made for that box, and its isolated
one moment. Everything happened right
in that commercial. man: I can’t believe I ate
that whole thing. woman: You ate it, Ralph. man: I can’t believe I ate
that whole thing. woman: No, Ralph, I ate it. man: I can’t believe I ate
that whole thing. woman: Take two Alka-Seltzer. COHEN: And there’s, like,
25 of us around this long table. Beef and pasta and fish, and… PASQUALINA: The lobsters. COHEN: Chicken and salads,
and the lobsters and desserts, and the wine and the brandy. And I’m a nice Jewish kid
from the Bronx. I eat everything in front of me,
and I lean back and I go, “I can’t believe I ate the whole
thing,” and my wife says, “There’s your next Alka-Seltzer
commercial.” woman: Did you drink your
Alka-Seltzer? man: The whole thing. man: It was shared around the
water cooler, it was shared– Anytime anybody sat at a table
and felt that thing, and they said, “I can’t believe
I ate the whole thing,” they were instantly funny,
they were a hero. And that’s why it spread. Very much like the viral stuff
you feel today. Three networks. When you
put it on, everybody saw it. Everybody was saying it, and sales were turning
back up again. GOVIL: How many of us have
shared or even sent an email, either a photo
of what you’re eating– you know, your guilty pleasures
you’re indulging in… UNGVARSKY: Christa says,
“Just ate so much. Frown face.
I feel like dying.” COHEN: That was from
[indistinct]. “Thought I was gonna die.” UNGVARSKY: “I just ate all the
red and pink Mike and Ikes. Now what? COHEN: So is this the site
that’s dedicated to food and… UNGVARSKY: No, this is–this
is just the social sphere. Say anything you want.
COHEN: That’s all? UNGVARSKY: Yeah, this is all
in the last minute. ROMANS: Once we start looking
at it like this, you can immediately see sort of what technologies are going
to start becoming applicable to helping
us, you know, really bring that sort of direction to life. There’s something really nice
about the fact that we’re dealing with a medium that for
the first time we can interact and see things happen in real
time, you know what I mean? We can affect it.
We’re not just a passive– COHEN: And affect the
conversation. We can–we can speak to people. ROMANS: Yeah, exactly.
Exactly. BENDER: The medium is social. You could share really cool
things with your friends. That’s what the great
advertising is now. We’re letting advertisers and
consumers interact in ways where it really is now a two-way
dialogue. WOJCICKI: The users are
telling us what they’re interested in, and where they
want to go. They’re telling us stuff about
them, and so it’s an opportunity for the brands to create dynamic
experiences, compelling experiences, have conversations. ROMANS: Can you give us some
insight into what your original “Drive it like you hate it,”
was tapping into? GARGANO: “Drive it like you
hate it” was visceral. Its personality grabbed
people’s attention, and when you ran an ad like that in a full
page bleed in “Life Magazine,” which was a format by
10 5/8 by 14 inches. It jumped off the page. It was–it was powerful. Volvo gets over 25 miles
on a gallon of gas, just like the
little economy cars, and runs away from other
popular-priced compacts in every speed range. GARGANO: In 1962, they were
anonymous. They needed help almost
everywhere in terms of an identity and a personality. We said, “Let’s make this car
brutally real.” And so what happened is that
Volvo sales began to soar up, maybe triple to what it was in a four,
five year period. God, I remember getting in the
car with this rally driver. He said, “Amil–” He said, “Would you like to go for
a spin?” I thought it was the
dumbest decision in my life. This guy drove like a maniac. man: And you can drive a Volvo
like you hate it. Cheaper than psychiatry. GARGANO: This is on YouTube? man: This is on YouTube. Yeah. woman: You can see all– You could probably see all of
your old work on YouTube. You just need to search it.
Yeah. ROMANS: I don’t–I don’t
think we’re locked into a sort of just speaking about
Avis’ mantra. I think we can–we
can definitely open up to actually demonstrate. GREEN: Oh, I think that’s
much more interesting. The concept is this pride, and we do this because we can’t
afford to do otherwise. We’re not number one. We don’t say we’re not
number one. We say we’re only number two. GOVIL: She kept bringing us
back to trying harder, not being just a tagline in a three-word
manifesto. GREEN: I was concerned that
technology would rule rather than the idea, because I think
that it I can get swept away by all of this newness, like little
toys to play with, but that’s
really not the point. It’s not the point of
advertising. The idea is primary. GARGANO: I don’t know why
that you need the execution to come with a broader idea
in terms of appeal. BEELER: I guess, when I’m
talking about execution, I’m trying to find that
beautiful thing. GARGANO: You’ve got an ad–
If it’s done right, it’s a brilliant execution
for a banner ad. Am I right about that
or am I not? BEELER: Yes.
I think you’re right. GARGANO:
Let’s deal with that. That’s what we’ve got. My question is now, how do
we get people to see this thing? Don’t get it any more
complicated than that. man: Yeah. MATHENY: We need an ad
for our ad. GARGANO:
That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right.
It’s an ad for an ad. And that’s what the banner ad
does. That’s with the first
15 seconds does. Thank you. RAMANATHAN: Amil was tough. His role was basically that he
kind of come in to it as being, “All right,
you guys are the guys “with the technical knowledge. You guys are the new creators,
you know, bring it.” He didn’t want us to kind of
just come back with something that was to do with
his old campaign. He wanted us to innovate and
come up with something new. GARGANO: They will tend to
become ensconced a lot smaller ideas, and it’s my job, I
believe, to keep bringing them back to
what the major idea is. Because it can be executed in
any number of ways if they can keep focused
on it. Who are we trying to reach,
what do we want to tell them, and here’s how we’re
going to do it. If I can get them to stay on
that, then that’s my job. BERNDT: They see a tiny box
on a screen, and they know that box
can do anything. It can see, it can hear, it can
sing, it can play, it could take directions,
give directions back. It can–it can change more,
grow, do just about anything. So, if creativity loves
constraint, that is the absolute removal of restraint, which is
sometimes liberating, and sometimes can just send you
into a sort of a dead-flat spin. RAMANATHAN: But it’s about
being able to say here’s the vision, and here are the new
boundaries, and let’s figure out how we deal with all this
wonderful technology we’ve got. REINHARD: If Bill Bernbach
were, here what would he say about what’s going on? I believe he would say, “You’re
making it too complicated.” He said among many other things,
“Always adapt your technique to the idea, never your idea
to the technique.” COHEN: If we went into this
saying we have to improve on I Can’t Believe I Ate the Whole
Thing, we’d be putting a bullet in our head. If we say there’s
a basis for some kind of connection using I Can’t Believe
I Ate the Whole Thing, but it really has to be totally
re-imagined and become something else, that’s the opportunity. [Inspiration] PASQUALINA: You don’t know
where it comes from but there is a process, and that is
understand, understand, understand the problem,
and then forget about it. COHEN: I sat down one time to
try and define it, and I came up with what I call the Four Is
of Creativity. First I is intuition,
but there’s an intuition, but we don’t have
very much information yet. So, the second I is information. Let’s find out what this is
about. Let’s see the technology. And then the third I is
incubation. It’s like a creative soup, you
know, you go to sleep, you go in to shower. You’re not thinking about it, and then all of a sudden,
the fourth I happens, its inspiration, and
then you have an idea. What I–just a thought,
but um… I Can’t Believe I Ate
the Whole Thing, 30 seconds, one line, and yet there’s
a whole life there, the whole story. He’s got relatives,
his got friends. She’s got–they’ve got their
relationship. man: Is that his wife? Or a guy in drag. COHEN: You know what else
it is? It’s trust, because you got to
be able to trust that whatever you
say is going to be okay. And a stupid idea can lead
to a great idea. PASQUALINA: I don’t like
this idea. COHEN: No?
PASQUALINA: No hard feelings. COHEN: Don’t do that to me. PASQUALINA: Howie believes
we’re geniuses. I believe we’re idiots,
and we’re both right. COHEN: No. I said I’m a genius,
you’re an idiot. PASQUALINA: Either way,
the combination works. CLACK: Harvey and Matt. Matt’s in Paris, Harvey is on
his computer in New York City. And when you click this banner,
this comes out. GABOR: You can do that?
CLACK: We can do this. GABOR: That’s very good. I don’t have a particular way
of working. I read the strategy,
do all the research. It’s a stream of consciousness,
et cetera, et cetera. What inspires me is to recreate
the feeling you get when you think you’ve nailed the creative
project, and it’s a rush. If you’re working with a
partner, you say something,
he hits the ball back. He gets excited, and pretty soon
you have something on the table that the world never saw before. The song is going
to continue to play, but picture stops. And then you’re off
to the vending machine. woman: Yeah.
I think that totally works. GABOR: We’re in clover, then.
We’re just fine. CLACK: All right. GABOR: The creative moment is
instantaneous, and it’s the greatest feeling
in the world. You’re in flow, they call it. Nothing beats it.
It’s better than sex. Is my wife going to see this? I remember sex. GARGANO: Have you considered
taking an actual owner who may have 240,000 miles
on a Volvo? man: I was looking at a Volvo at
100,000 Mile Club and the guy who started that is
a guy who has 2.7 million miles on his Volvo. man: Wow. GARGANO: There is–that’s
what you–there’s the guy. We have to get–you have to get
a hold of that guy. man: He’s in New York. GARGANO: See, that, to me is
great advertising. GARGANO: When you can take
something like that and turn that
into a nice piece of human film. Boy that is–that’s real
substance. That’s wonderful. BEELER: How do we tailor that
for a banner? GARGANO: That’s your job. UNGVARSKY: He tells you,
“Don’t tell me how they’re going “to interact with it. “Don’t tell me, you know, what
button is going to look like. Just tell me what the story is.” And when–
and when we knew that story, we knew immediately how
to start bringing that to life. We all knew it.
We walked out of the room and started working on it
from that day. And the rest was just the
clockwork of production. ROMANS: If I learned one
thing from this, it’s that– it’s still that the idea is
still king. We’re just dealing with a new
way of bringing that to an audience. CLARE: But tomorrow, we’re
going to be presenting a couple of ideas to these brands
like Coke and Alka-Seltzer, and hopefully they’re as excited
about them as we are. BEELER: We’re finalizing the
ideas and figuring out what it is we want to show. So, we have teams now, kind of,
almost in real time, as we start to get to more concrete things,
feeding us what we’re supposed to be doing for their
presentations, like, bright and early in the morning. So it’s going to be
a long night. GOBAR: This is really the
situation room. This is–this is heavy.
I’m– NOSTITZ: Well, at least it
has a good view, right, situation room?
So basically, yeah, we’re just trying
to figure out the thread of how we’re
going to present this, and how we’re going to set the creative
work up. GABOR: I’ll probably take
them through the board first. NOSTITZ: Mm-hmm. GABOR: Then I’ll sing and
point to–point to stuff. NOSTITZ: Okay.
GABOR: Okay. Thanks a lot. NOSTITZ: I think we’re good.
GABOR: Sounds great. NOSTITZ: Thank you, sir. We were tasked
with a daunting thing of recreating something that the
world loved and doesn’t want touched. It’s like sacred, holy ground
and so you’re kind of scared to mess with it too much. We’re going to have a lot of
work to do tonight to kind of get this presentation up to
snuff and make it what we want, but it’s close. NOSTITZ: Thank you.
GABOR: See you later. man: The night before the first
presentation deliverance, you know, if we’re being honest,
we’re all really nervous, like, how would they react,
you know? Will they like the ideas? Will they let us play around as
much as we wanted to? There were a lot of very long
hours, you know, a lot of sweat and tears into getting to that
idea. man: Good night, guys.
COHEN: Goodnight everybody. man: It was a very tough
process. We were all up until, like,
5:00 A.M. When we first went to the brands
and asked for their most iconic ads and told them that, “Hey, we
really want to play around with these…” It’s like somebody giving
you their baby and telling you, like, you know, “Go, have a fun
day.” It’s a scary for them. [Client Presentations Begin] GABOR: Oh, my God.
Oh, my God. Por moi?
Holy cow. woman: Harvey, I wanted to
introduce you to Jackie. JANTOS: Hi, Harvey.
I’m Jackie. GABOR: Jackie,
nice to see you. JANTOS: Nice to meet you. I’ve heard a lot about you than
you probably heard about me. GABOR: Thank you. Well, 40 years ago, Bill Becker
and myself had a wish, and the wish would be
to buy the world a Coke. So, 40 long years have passed,
and I’ve lived long enough to know that now we can deliver
that pitch tomorrow. [singing] I want to buy the world a Coke,
and furnish it with love, grow apple trees
and honey bees, and snow-white turtle doves. Do you know what a great
125-year-old soft drink needs? Bang, click, bang, click..
A little magic. woman: This will be not only the
banner on the Internet, but also, we will have
a functioning vending machine that is synched
with the Internet. You pick where you want to
send it, and all the way across the world, the Coke will come
out of the machine with the message from who it is from. JANTOS: I know.
It’s wonderful. It’s beautiful. I love that you didn’t touch
the song, and you kept it exactly
as it was. It’s how it should be. GOVIL: Do you think this is
something, from our standpoint, that we should move forward and
try and, you know, make it happen? JANTOS: Absolutely. It’s an idea that can move
forward. GABOR: Thank you for this.
It’s very good. NOSTITZ: It was so good. GOVIL: The point is
if a 78-year-old man who has barely ever
used the Internet can come in, sit with us
for 48 hours and then come up with an idea of how his work
from 40 years ago is going to be translated into
a display, and still make sense, and actually advance
the idea… I mean that’s fascinating. [Avis Client Presentation] man: This is Alex. HAAS: Hi, how are you?
ROMANS: How you doing? HAAS: Jessica Haas.
Nice to meet you. AMY: Hi, I’m Amy.
HAAS: Hi. ROMANS: So this is just to
give you an idea of what we are still looking at. [Jeanine Haas, Chief
  Marketing Officer, Avis] As our first example, we’re
talking YouTube content, right? So how can we sort of take the
pre-roll that exists before the movie and instead of just having
it as a–as an ad that causes disconnect, that can now be this
great little sort of prequel into what they’re about to view. It’s like a fun entertaining
prequel that AVIS provides that leads as a nice segue into
whatever content they’re viewing about. GREEN: They were thinking
about the young new consumer not necessarily the regular
traveler. [Paula Green, Copywriter] You know, they were looking for
something more hip in terms of how to do this today. HAAS: And I don’t know I
guess it all depends on the topic. It could be narrow, right? The topic, it could be a very
small segment of people that are truly interested that want to
keep reading about them and… man: Uh-hmm. HAAS: …seeing everything
about this so that you’re a little bit a leap of faith… man: Yeah. HAAS: …that, you know, I
might have seen the movie but I may not be that interested. I guess I like it when
it’s–when it’s a real story… NOSTITZ: Uh-hmm. ROMANS: Uh-hmm. HAAS: …versus a fabricated
story. GREEN: The solution is in
really finding out what’s in the product as you discuss it and
all this things and sometimes you’ll hear it in a meeting with
the client that the ability to identify it that that’s what
you’ve heard is important. HAAS: Think of how many
people take the time to write stories today, write letters and
thank people. Most of what people hear in
service industry is when things go wrong. GREEN: Uh-hmm. HAAS: So when you do get
those, you know, usually it has really made an impact if
somebody writes in and tells you what went really right. GREEN: It’s very interesting
how you learn from the personal experience and the ability then
to turn into something that you think other people will
understand as well. RAMANATHAN: So let us as a
team kind of regroup and kind of bring something back to the
table if we can. HAAS: Sure. RAMANATHAN: Yeah. GREEN: After the rejection,
I think it was very difficult. But I think it was a very
important learning meeting because in saying what she
thought, she outlined a whole a lot of stuff
that we didn’t know. BENDER: We’re only a decade
and a half into this. It’s TV and its first 10 years
or, you know, radio on its first 10 years so you just–we’ve got
I think so much more to go. BERNDT: There’s the Wright
Brothers who have this marvelous invention and scientifically,
technologically, it’s mind blowing. It changes everything sort of
but it isn’t until there’s the DC8 or the DC9 and lots of
people can people can fly that the world changes. So if we invent things here,
that’s great but until we get them to a point where a lot, a
lot, a lot of people can use them and use them well they
don’t have the power to change the world. [Alka-Seltzer Presentation] PASQUALINA: Hi, hi, hi. COHEN: Wow. PASQUALINA: Hey. COHEN: In the original
commercial despite being a rich character we only meet Ralph at
the very end of the day for a very short moment. In that 30 seconds, people sort
of got a whole feeling for a relationship and a problem and
so, “What happened? What really what–who is he? What did he eat?” so the idea
is the day Ralph ate the whole thing and you
can participate in that. So this is an immersive display
experience that shows Ralph’s day in a parallel with the
viewers playing out with a new installment each hour
of the day. ROMANS: We can bring things
from my world into the banner. This is really where the
personal realization comes in. The time on the wall is the same
time as the time that I’m looking at the corner
of my screen. man: Yeah. man: The weather outside of his
window is the same as the weather outside my window. We can impart all those little
cues that we’ve got about this person and we can serve it back
to them, you know, when they feel that connection suddenly
with Ralph again. PASQUALINA: It’s just a tip
of the iceberg so it can be tailored to what
you feel is relevant and get the message
at that time. SCHWIETERMAN : You know, it’s
exciting for someone like me on the brand today to be part of
such a rich history and heritage, you know, it was
something that was so iconic and, you know, living with that
legacy, it makes me really proud and also makes me feel a little
bit of pressure. You know, to keep that going but
I love–this is–this is a great way to do that, so thank you
very much for your guys time between… RAMANATHAN: I think brands
are just looking constantly to figure out how to best use their
marketing dollars and cut through. GEVELBER: I think in some
ways consumers really build brands in ways never before and
the brands that are smartest are taking advantage of that. They’re providing more and more
opportunities for consumers to help build their brand. And back when I started, there
wasn’t really a great way to do that. ROMANS: And when we stumbled
on this story of Gordon, we thought could there be a better
testament to what Amil was talking about in that original
advertising back in 1963. And what it really boils down to
is 3 million miles worth of memories, right? So we’ve got
this huge emotional jackpot. And using Google Display
Technology, we can actually send those stories direct to the
person they’re going to be relevant to. man: And we could actually
outfit this car. We’ll do it very carefully
so Irv won’t… woman: Get upset? man: …be too upset but, you
know, to account where he is the world right now and in this
reliving of the story and then counting up towards 3 million. GANGERI: So with–you know,
we’re a humanity brand and this is humanity at its best. So how could you not think
this is spot on? It’s brilliant. GARGANO: It’s difficult, I
would think, to sit here in an office and try to imagine what
he may have been through sitting and talking to the man himself
and having him review over an extended period of time some of
the interesting stories of his life. I’m sure he–it’s got to be
fascinating, that he may very well have befriended a lot of
people in the course of his driving. GORDON: How are you? GARGANO:
A pleasure to meet you. GORDON:
A pleasure to meet you. GARGANO: Wow, the car’s
in beautiful shape. Is this the P1800 or
is this a different… man: No, P1800 S. GARGANO: It’s the S. Okay. man: The story? man: Oh, my god. Oh, my god. I thought my wife
kept saying this but… GORDON: You can drive a Volvo
like you hate it. They’re built that way,
you know. They can take
a lot of punishment. [Eight weeks later,
Paula and team present a new idea to Avis] GREENE:
I almost wore my jeans. Why didn’t I? Everybody else did. I mean, I just didn’t
think it was proper. woman: Hi. HAAS: Hi.
ROMANS: How are you? HAAS: Good to see you again.
ROMANS: Good to see you again. HAAS: How are you?
man: Good. We really took what you said
last time on board and I think we’ve come up with some really
good strong directions. So our idea was can we capture
authentic customer experiences by inspiring people to turn
their testimonials into personalized visual stories? The plan would be that with a
team of illustrators, we can actually turn people’s letters
into these small animated films. Our plan is to develop thousands
of these individual frames that are going to turn these letters
into something that could be actually really quite touching. GOVIL: So a customer, they
just write a letter normally in plain English. HAAS: Uh-hmm. GOVIL: And then we would
start off where the algorithm password through and figure out
which of these thousand frames make sense and stitch the video
on the fly. HAAS: Okay. GOVIL: And the output is a
30-second video which lives in that banner and then you can do
all social things with it, right? PEEBLES: Well, it’s a crowd
source campaign. GOVIL: Yeah. PEEBLES: But it’s the
framework that keeps it true to the brand. GREENE: What distinguishes
you besides your service is your attitude which
appears in your ads and I think
this new idea of using the technology is another
kind of advertising that sets you apart. HAAS: You took a lot of the
feedback from the last session we had and I think you guys did
a nice job to sort of keeping it authentic. But I like the idea of this
opportunity for people to kind of create their own. I do think about how wide and
vast all the possible screens have to be to make that kind of
come together in a way that would be cool and interactive. But I like the concept. BEELER: What you’re seeing
here is a listing of the hundreds and hundreds of letters
that we actually received from AVIS that helped us shape our
logic and how we put together what these scenarios would be. They’re all encapsulated in this
one huge spreadsheet. That’s just absolutely mammoth. man: So you’ve got this
massively complicated artificial intelligence system that’s
taking, you know, how did AVIS try harder for you and saying,
“I know what that scenario is and I know what parts of the
story they are and now how do I tell that back in animation.” BEELER: Two quadrillion,
three hundred and two trillion, eight hundred and fifty-seven
billion, one hundred and fifty-eight million, four
hundred thousand? man: What? BEELER: Items of awesomeness. man: This number is just
for the illustrations. So really, this number is going
to be bigger when we figure this thing all out. [Nexus Studios,
Avis animators, London, UK] KIRKHAM: So today I’ve been
drawing generic locations. Here’s a beach and these are all
drawings and grids which Johnny has devised. So these individual assets will
interlock and create dynamic animations. That’s lakeside, some mountains,
ominous black clouds, suburbia, nice white clouds. YOUNGMAN : We’re still at the
beginning and we don’t quite know how many animations we’re
going to actually be able to produce and how they’re going to
fit together and what stories are going to be made. It’s animation but with a little
bit of magic in it. KELLY: I would say it’s a bit
like going–it got fit in where you’re going up for the
beginning of a roller coaster. It’s like tick-tick-tick, and
you’ve no idea how high you’re actually going to go up. We don’t really know the full
extent of what we have to create yet. YOUNGMAN : No. KELLY: But we know
it’s a lot. YOUNGMAN : We’ll just end up
going raaaaaaa! [Blair Neal
Creative Technologist Fake Love] CLACK: So, this is our mobile
banner that Ricky has actually developed and I designed. You’ll see this little tiny
silver of a banner with the Coke ad in it. When you click it actually will
play the original commercial. WILLIAMS: And then we play
this visual voyage, this animation that simulates the
free Coke being sent and there it is to Cape Town,
South Africa. man: The Volvo Tyler execution
has to work across all of these
different tablets. So, all of them have their kind
of quirks and if something goes wrong on one, its not
guaranteed to be going wrong on the other so you have to kind of
troubleshoot case by case to make sure that everything is
functioning the way it is. GOVIL: When you want to watch
a video right now, which website
do you go to? Do you watch it on your TV? Do you watch it on your radio? Do you want to watch on your
iPad, phone, laptop? It’s like it the same choice,
choice, choice of media and technology, right? And the same thing like, “Oh,
should we put it the banner ad? “Should we do this? Should we do that?” The challenge right now has
become not how many things we can come up with but
what we can do without. WOJCICKI:
We do this full time. This is all we do and yet I am
constantly learning about new things that I, you know, that
were just invented last week. The speed of change is really
overwhelming and I think that’s also–that’s the exciting part
but it’s also the challenge. COHEN: I mean the business
is going very fast. PASQUALINA: Uh-hmm. COHEN: You know what I mean? We used to have maybe three
weeks to solve a problem and now you got three days. PASQUALINA: And now you got
three minutes. COHEN: Three minutes. man: This is not like
any other TV commercial. This has never been done before
so it’s not going to be easy. man: Right. DADZIE: At this point in the
scene they’ve just gotten out of this sticky situation, there’s
people and now they’re ready to start interacting with each
other while they’re in the car and you get
to kind of propel them into a ditch
by playing a little radio roulette. man: This is essentially
a logic diagram, right? So, imagine this is the point
where you get the first option to choose a radio station. All right,
the film is blank. man: Uh-hmm.
man: It pauses. If at three seconds they’re
like, “Oh, what if I could change the sound again?” COHEN: In the old days all
we had to worry about is, is this line funny? man: Right. [laughter] CLACK: This is a work in
progress. And he’s modeling it after some
of our favorite 70s TV shows. COHEN: Right. I like the look. I like the type face. The only thing I have a question
is, “The” is more than the whole thing and I think that “The
Whole Thing” as an entity, a unit. [Milt Moss,
The Original “Ralph”] COHEN: Do I get a hug?
MOSS: Absolutely. COHEN: All right, Milt. Good to see you. MOSS: You know what
I kept saying that… COHEN: Forty years?
MOSS: [speaking French] In French, “I can’t believe
I ate the whole thing.” COHEN: Yeah. You speak French
with a Yiddish accent. MOSS: Are you kidding?
COHEN: What’s with that? MOSS: I’m number one in the
country as a put-on artist. COHEN:
Give me the line once more. MOSS: I… COHEN: Just let me hear it. MOSS: I can’t believe I ate
the whole thing. COHEN: We were trying to find
our Ralph, the guy who is like the original character and
finally just before the last day of casting we found this guy,
Larry. He actually embodies the
original character. FEMALE: On your mark. man: So, here we go. ROMANS: When you click it
will poke him in the face and it will be like
you’re poking him in the face
or you can shake him. man: We’re still rolling. Are we good? man: Yeah. man: Okay, cut, cut.
man: And we cut. ROMANS: We need to now
have a look at this shot. PASQUALINA: Two crews going
on at the same time and three things being set up at once. It’s a little
different than the solitude of the bedroom and… CLACK: When you look at it
you’ll see things in the opening sequence that relate to you. PASQUALINA: But… CLACK: So, you’ll see like
it’s in your town. PASQUALINA: That’s good. CLACK: The idea is to get it
as synced up to the–to the street view as possible
so you can see like we’re kind of moving
the background with the… COHEN: That’s so great. CLACK: …foreground. So, he’s actually driving down
your street. COHEN: Street? Oh, wow. CLARE: We’re on the road with
Gordon as he’s driving towards three million miles. We’re filming this
as a road trip. So, we’re getting some awesome
footage, some great interviews with Irv, meeting a lot of
characters along the way. And it’s just incredible to see
the effect that it has on the people as he drives through
these towns and to hear them when they find out he has
driven nearly three million miles. It’s just astonishing. GORDON: Nothing
has ever been like this. man: Right here. GORDON: The video production
is very, very, interesting. Very confusing, very erratic. man: Okay, ready? We’re rolling. So, action. GORDON: This car has never
let me down yet. I love my Volvo. CLACK:
And once they click it. GARGANO: We created the
personality. That’s what
advertising agencies do. They create personalities. They create
an association and a persona that
s largely the creation of the creative people
in an advertising agency. ROMANS: We’re constructing
this banner ad for a tablet. This is a really rough beta
test. So, if you just drag that little
guy across you can see that we actually start scrolling through
different stories. And up here, the odometer
is changing on and on. GARGANO: That’s funny. ROMANS: So, if we’re going to
play a video then we go straight into the experience. GORDON: When I was seven
years old my folks decided to spend the entire summer
traveling around the United States. And we went just about
every way anybody wanted to go. And it was a trip
that I never forget. I’ve been trying to recreate the
feeling I had on that trip ever since. [Volvo display ad film] I’d like to stop every couple
hours, you know, see what’s going on in town. It’s fun. You meet a lot
of nice people. ROMANS: We’ve got the car
hooked up to Google maps, right, so we can actually see how
he’s–how he’s moving along, you know, as his campaign
is live, you know. We can have him updating
in real time where he is. GARGANO:
It has a nice feeling to it. There’s a lot of warmth
to the thing. And I like his homespun kind of
view of life and the fact that you take the long road because
that maybe you the best way to go somewhere. NOSTITZ: If you click that
this is when–this is the moment that your
Coke actually goes from… GABOR: Oh. NOSTITZ: Where you are
in Michigan. GABOR: Wonderful. Yeah, it’s great. Google Earth. NOSTITZ: Yeah. GABOR:
Type’s gotta be bigger. If I’m on the computer I–
and my eyesight’s pretty good. It’s too small. NOSTITZ: Yeah, I totally
agree. GABOR: Even if it–even if
it’s either drifting on it or something. NOSTITZ: Yeah. CAMPBELL: We’re trying to
target a 10 second or less render for a 30 second video. So, this FPS
needs to be up to 75. It says 750 frames
in 6 seconds. GREEN: What I didn’t
understand was if I’m doing it and somebody else is doing it,
and somebody else, you can… GOVIL: Everybody
gets to see it live. GREEN: you can
accommodate all of those? GOVIL: Everybody
in the world. woman: In 15 seconds. GREEN: Okay. I really don’t think
I want to know that. I think that’s
too much for my head. GOVIL: I was going to say, should we pull up
the motion test? woman: Yeah, yeah. Here we go. man: Here’s one from Rachel. After visiting in Avis branch in
Mountain View, she realized she mistakenly left
behind her cell phone. Michael, the costumer service
rep on duty was happy to help, searching high and low and
eventually finally finding it in between the seats. He promptly returned it to her. If we don’t return a lost item
we could loss the customer. After all Avis needs you, you
don’t need Avis and that’s why we try harder. GREEN: Well, it’s something
else, isn’t it? It’s terrific. I think you’re very far along. woman: Okay, I think
we go that way. GLASER: From a consumer
standpoint you just type in, “I had a great experience
with Avis today “because they held my car because my flight
was delayed.”, sent. And what comes back is a person
speaking just like you or me that says “Mike had a great
experience with Avis today “because his flight was delayed
and they kept the counter open for him.” man: After popping into an Avis
branch in Westchester she realized she
misplaced her cell phone. Was it in the glove box, under
the seat, trapped behind the bathroom sink? One of our associates, Iris, was
happy to help, searching high and low until she found the item
and returned it on the spot. We’re still a little hungry. Costumers aren’t
a dime a dozen to us. That’s why we can’t afford
not to return a lost item. It’s all part
of why we try harder. PASQUALINA:
It’s written down. This is the setup to the montage
in the beginning. COHEN: Yeah. PASQUALINA: And what it tries
to do is reflect the whole disaster of his life. COHEN: This is your little
opening 70s song for… ROMANS: Yeah, yeah. COHEN: …like if this were a
sitcom. ROMANS: Oh, yeah, yeah. COHEN: Don’t let the itty
bitty bumps on the road get you down. man: Here we go. [commercial theme song] Male singing: Don’t let the itty
bitty bumps in the road get you down. Put on a smile and head for the
bright lights in town. [Alka-Seltzer Display Ad Film] man: If you’re going to do
anything, do the whole thing. If you’re going do anything,
do the whole thing. Life is a feast,
so go and make it. [Howie Cohen,
at home in Los Angeles] man: Love’s all around,
just reach out and take it. If you’re going to do anything
do the whole thing. The whole, whole thing. COHEN: Man it feels so much
like, of that genre, you know? Like, here’s our 70’s sitcom. ROMANS: Yeah.
It looks good, right? man: Hey, what are you doing?
That’s my TV. ROMANS: Alka-Seltzer is taking
who you are as an audience and customizing a story to you. So a story starts being told and
then you get to a point where you want to customize that based
on who you are from a series of ten clips that are relevant to
different types of audiences or different geo-locations and we
would bring that part of the story in. ROMANS: Poke around. Poke around the space. COHEN: Oh, that’s great. ROMANS: Keep moving and
you’re going to wake him up. COHEN: Yeah. I’m pulling his eyelid. Oh, he really
moves around, huh? Okay, good. woman: You ate it? man: I did? woman: Why didn’t
I listen to myself? Now, what am I going to serve
for dinner tonight, huh? man: I can’t believe
I ate the whole thing. woman: Yeah. You ate it. man: I can’t believe
I ate the whole thing. COHEN: So the concept was
it’s going to be personalized and I get that. I’m seeing it personalized
with my weather right now. This does mean when this runs,
it’s going to be personalized for thousands of people? ROMANS: Yeah. It’s–I agree,
I still find it bubbly. COHEN: And Bob right now is
in Massachusetts probably getting snow, right? Poor Bob. I’m in LA. [laughter] [The interactive machines
are installed, New York City] man: No?
Oh, wasn’t it? man: No, a can got stuck. man: Oh, okay. GABOR: What did they say,
you can take the Bronx out of the boy but you can’t take
the boy out of the Bronx or something like that? I’m ready for
my close up Mr. De Mille. [Coke tumbling from machine] [Cape Town, South Africa] man: Whoo!
man: Whoo! [Buenos Aires, Argentina] woman: Hola, Buenos Aires! woman: Hope you enjoy your Coke! woman: It’s really nice that
someone in another place in the world will see me this
moment so it’s really nice. woman: Hello, Argentina. Here’s a small gift from me.
I’m Nelly from Cape Town, bye. man: Nelly from Cape Town.
[speaking Spanish] [Coke tumbling from machine] woman: Oh, my god. That’s so great. [Coke tumbling from machine] woman: Thank you very much
for the Coke. [Coke tumbling from machine] GABOR: Disbelief, huh. Still pretty good. woman: [laughs] GOVIL: I would like
to not be nervous when I practice my speech. So today’s the introduction of
Project Re: Brief in the market. This is the first time anybody
outside Google and the agencies that have been working on this
will get to see what we are doing. We’ll find out as the rubber
hits the road. [Project Re: Brief
Industry Preview] The day is actually
focused on the icons. Them coming out of retirement
and inspiring the next generation to do things that
they did 50 years ago and make ads, you know, that people will
love remember and share 50 years from now. Silva: Everyday this
questions comes up, “How is it that digital technology is
affecting story telling?” Kay: Technology is helping to
re-inspire and reinvent story telling in ways more fundamental
than the invention of the moving image. More importantly, technology and
story telling are dependent on one another. GOVIL: All right. man: I don’t think I’ve ever
felt a better sound than that ka-clunk. NEAL: I know. man: We’re all just,
like, huh. NEAL: It was
a huge sigh of relief. man: It was the best sound ever. GABOR: A machine created
an emotional experience. That’s seismic. It’s going to change the way
things are going to be done in the business. It reminds me of when print
went to television. [Shortlist Sessions,
Hyper Island, New York City] DETCHMENDY: Tonight you had,
you know, 75 people in a room and they looked at this and they
everyone went [gasps] because it was–it was that magic. DILORENZO: You felt like you
were empowered to do something and that’s very different
than banner ads used to be. COOKSON: What technology has
enabled has changed the whole culture and society such that
how brands work and how people relate to them has changed
fundamentally. ROYER: You know, I’m on my
computer six hours a day, seven hours a day. [The One Club,
New York City] There’s something there that’s
amazing, you know, and it’s not just emails and stupid videos. And there’s things that and
almost in daily basis, blow my mind. GOVIL: How do we start using
technology, you know, to make ads that all of us will remember
50 years from now just like you’re remembering
this add from 1962. man: I would say the Internet
is more creative than TV with advertising. Perhaps because it’s–you can
take greater risks on the Internet. woman: It’s important for us all
to constantly be geeking out. We have to all be using the
tools and the things that we are constantly talking about. man: The web is evolving
all the time. And it’s getting more and more
natural how you handle it. It’s getting better
in so many different ways. [applause] [Source Fast Company,
Author Terassa Lazzi] [Source Advertising Age] [Source Creativity Online] [Source Wall Street Journal] [Source: New York Times
Author: Stuart Elliot] COOKSON: We live in this
world and we can pollute it or we can embellish it. And advertising is everywhere
and companies have a responsibility to improve
environment and certainly not to destroy environment. It’s like the Hippocratic Oath
thing, isn’t it? First, do no harm. First, create no ugly mess. Second, create some delight. ROYER: I definitely believe
the potential for telling great stories is there. I feel like we’re just starting
to see it. The fact that there is so much
more to do, there is so many ways to find crazy interesting
expressions for the–for the thing you want to do. It couldn’t be
a more exciting time. PREMUTICO: The truth is
probably that we’re really only at the beginning. We’re really at
the beginning of change. And to see Amil and to see
Harvey, and Bob, just come to grips and succeed in adapting
to these new opportunities. I think it is a very comforting
thing for anybody else who’s working today. RAMANATHAN: I’m hoping that
this is the moment that we shift, you know, shift the
industry and our role is to help facilitate that. COHEN: We grew up in those
days in an age of we had control, advertising control. And we could tell you and we
could sell you, and we push the message out. Now, we’re in this age
where we’re sharing. You have to share. GARGANO: The act of just
trying to create something and you think, “What can I do
to make it better? What can I do
to make myself happy?” And I think that’s
the first requirement is to make
yourself happy. There’s a good chance you’ll
make somebody else happy. GREEN: I’ve loved it. I haven’t been doing anything
for some time. The little gray cells get very
lazy and it was good for me. It made me think again. “We Try Harder” is somewhat
the story of my life. GABOR: What Google did was
very creative. They said, “What would happen if
we marry the best of the old and the best of the new?”
No one ever did that before.

35 COMMENTS

    This is inspiring on so many levels. It may resonate more with those of us alive when the original advertising hit, and i was skeptical at first people from the age of "we will tell you what to like" style advertising would get today's expectations. I was so very wrong to think so. Brilliant.

    Yeah…lets make more money, more advertising, more monopolistic structures, more economic driven life. The awakening in the future will be like a shower with icecold water.

    The four I's. This is -exactly- how creativity happens. Anybody in a creative job will recognize this nugget of gold!

    The best of two worlds…two generations working together to create better advertising in the digital era…¡CONGRATULATIONS GOOGLE!

    Man volvos used to be much nicer back then. And Its good they killed that coke song in the new ads, i've seen it. That song was horrible.

    Very interesting, but it seems to me most mainstream advertisers can't afford to create campaigns like the ones in the video. In the old days a great idea on a magazine page spoke volumes. Unfortunately, today, nobody is reading those magazine pages, so the real question is how to cost-effectively reach a large audience that is fragmented and probably hasn't the time or interest to listen to your pitch?

    I was very inspired by this story and have always felt that you can really connect with people on most any level through digital media.  Only people who truly care about the quality of the lives of others will enjoy the highest levels of success when marketing. Isn't real success when you've made the world a better place?

    Technology done right is like magic. Watch the magic happen in Project Re: Brief: A Film About Re-imagining Advertising when old professionals meet the new generation. youtu.be/cvDoGt1tJy8

    I just had a look at this – some of the sites are now gone (the Volvo 3 million reasons has disappeared).  

    The most important thing this film says is that the older generation are still intelligent, vibrant contributors who are so often overlooked.

    Nice film. Great Idea. And is wonderful for those with millions to invest in ads. But one of the attractions of banner ads, had been their affordability. It would have been nice to see what they could have come up with on a mom and pop budget. Now that would have shown some real creativity.

    Awesome project! Google certainly impressed me with the idea of marrying the best of the old and the best of the new. It is great to see how ideas and technologies come together.

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