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Cannes 2012: The craft behind the ship

By , Seminars, Cannes | In Advertising | June 22, 2012
On Day 5 of the 59th International Festival of Creativity, the BBDO team talked on the importance of the craft behind the work and what makes a great creative work 'greater'.

Everyone loves a great piece of art, but seldom do they know the story of the work behind it. Day 5 of the 59th International Festival of Creativity saw team BBDO discussing the topic, 'Everything counts: a dissection of what makes great creative great'.

The session included speakers David Lubars, chairman and chief creative officer, BBDO North America; Paul Brazier, executive creative director, AMV BBDO; Josy Paul, chairman and national creative director, BBDO India; and Greg Han, executive vice-president and executive creative director, BBDO New York.

Playstation 3

Mumbai Mirror

Canal Plus

The session started with Lubras talking on the importance of craft and how that can be achieved. He then talked about the three examples of great craft to be shown by his team.

The first example was that of a Sony Play Station 3 campaign, called 'Michael - Long Live Play'. The TVC showed various characters from Play Station talking about a player, Michael. Calling it a brilliant example of craft, Han said, "The interesting aspect of the commercial is how all the characters have been executed on the same page. While the television commercial (TVC) mocks importance, it is not extremely funny - it is witty. The TVC never builds too far, not at the audience's expense."

According to him, when the TVC started, it left certain small clues in every shot, from the currency to the wall of weapon and to the gaming characters shown in between shots. "The TVC carries interesting details. And, what makes the TVC more interesting is the music and the dialogue, which start building the moment. It is a classic example where the nuances are integrated to make a great piece of work," he said.

The second example was provided by Paul, who talked about the campaign called 'I am Mumbai' by India-based tabloid, Mumbai Mirror. The TVC showed characters from the city talking to the people of the city about their daily issues.

Paul explained, "The TVC shows the underbelly of the city of Mumbai and hurtles forward a lot of issues that are not being talked about. The format of the shooting was completely based on guerrilla shooting and as the protagonists could not see where the cameras were placed, it led to the building of angst. Everything was happening in real-time."

Cannes 2012

According to Paul, the director of the commercial conducted a two-day workshop about the issues in order to motivate the cast about the real issues. He said, "The editing led to a cycloramic feeling which further generated the real-time feeling. The sound of the local train makes it even more authentic and actually represents the city as on a daily basis, many people take the local trains to travel from one corner of Mumbai to another."

Interestingly, he points out that all the stories shown in the TVC are based on stories that have been written by the tabloid. "As the TVC ends, the product - the tabloid - is shown hanging on the edge, almost a representation of the famous belief that 'Mumbai is hanging precariously on the edge'."

The last example was that of a television commercial of Canal Plus. The TVC showed a bear that is a big fan of cinema, turning into a director. Brazier reasoned, "There are various factors that make this TVC a great work. Right from the epic drama music to the humble guitar - the music makes 50 per cent of the TVC. The agency in this case got everything right, from wardrobe to story-telling to editing. Through the bear, it captures the characteristic of a film director's personality, who can throw tantrums, scream at people and carry an attitude."

For Brazier, perfection can be achieved by asking questions at various levels. "One can start from what the client wants, to what he requires to how to capture viewers' imagination. Questions should be asked at all stages, only then a TVC will turn into a great work," he concluded.

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