Google Project Re: Brief: A Film About Re-imagining Advertising
What Would Happen to Advertising if We Marry the Best of the Old and the Best of the New?
What happens when you team the industry leader in interactive advertising, Google, and their all-star creative team and pair them up with advetising industry legends responsible for creating four of Americas greatest advertisments of all time?
Coca Cola with “Hilltop“,
Volvo with “Drive it like you hate it“,
Alka-Seltzer with “I can’t believe I at the whole thing” and
Avis with “We try harder.“
The Google Project RE: Brief documentary film covers 4 individual stories behind 5 ad industry legends leading the Google Advertising team on the journey to “re-imagine” the 4 legendary brands within a creative process and a digital advetising medium that will build on the existing brand legacies while providing engagement in a way that was unimaginable 40 years ago.
This documentary covers how these ad legends collaborating with a talented team of Google advertising leaders to bring these brands back to life for today’s generation using technology for creative digital delivery.
The A-Team of legendary ad executives who are, in my opinion, the real stars of the show are:
- Harvey Gabor, Art Director with his legendary “Hilltop, I’d love to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, but like to the world a Coke and keep it company” (1971) for Coca-Cola
- Howie Cohen, Copywriter and Bob Pasqualina, Art Director with their legendary “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” (1972) ad for Alka-Seltzer (Bob Pasqualina, far left, Howie Cohen, far right)
- Amil Gargano, Art Director with his “Drive it like you hate it” (1962) ad for Volvo (far left),
- Paula Green, Copywriter with her “We Try Harder” (1962) ad for Avis
These are the ad industry giants, legends and icons that created a living, lasting brand legacy for these four legendary brands, a legacy that survives even today.
The goal of the Google Project RE: was to create the inspiration for the digital advertising industry to re-imagine what advertising could become with the delivery capabilities that new and emerging technologies offer in terms of personalization, targeting, engagement and fun.
The ad legends above brought something even more valuable to the table, the ideas and creative process behind these monumental advertising accomplishments that have stood the multi-decade test of time.
Where is all Begins – in NYC
The documentary begins with Google enticing each of the five ad executives out of retirement and bringing them together in New York City to kick off this exciting new and innovating advertising project with the goal to reimagine advertising in the 21st century.
The ad legends brought the most valuable assets to the table; their ideas and creative genius.
Here’s more recent photos of the Ad Legends profiled in the film.
Howie Cohen and Bob Pasqualina
Beyond the ad legends, the film features a broad array of digital advertising industry leaders including, key members of the Google RE Project team as well as industry giants like Emma Cookson, Chairman, BBH, NY and Keith Reinhard, Chairman Emeritus, DDB Worldwide, providing insights and commentary on the creative process and how that relates to the current state of the digital advertising industry.
- Deepak Ramanathan, Head of Google Display Marketing
- Emma Cookson, Chairman, BBH, NY
- Ted Royer, Executive Creative Director, Droga5
- Keith Reinhard, Chairman Emeritus, DDB Worldwide
- Andy Berndt, Google Creative Lab
- Aman Govil, Product Marketing, Google, Project RE: Brief Lead
- Jason Jacobs, Creative Director, Johannes Leonardo, Project RE: Brief Creative Agency
- Leo Premutico, Creative Director, Johannes Leonardo, Project RE: Brief Creative Agency
- Brad Bender, Director of Product Management, Google
- Drew Ungvarsky, Creative Director & CEO, Grow Interactive, Project RE: Brief Digital Agency
- Alex Romans, Senior Copywriter, Johannes Leonardo, Project RE: Brief Creative Agency
- Susan Wojcicki, Senior Vice President of Google Advertising
- Jarrette Beeler, Project Manager, Grow Interactive
- Julie Matheny, Copywriter, Johannes Leonardo
How Can We Inspire Better Digital Advertising?
Old Meets New
Once arriving at the Google offices, the Ad Legends were quite in wonder … “They were barefoot, and they’re cool, and they’re young, and they look great. And God knows what they understand and do.” –Bob Pasqualina
“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.” –Paula Green
“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.” — Keith Reinhard
“They [Google and Partners] 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?
- Here’s how we’re going to do it.
If I can get them to stay on that, then that’s my job.” — Amil Gargano
Howie Cohen On Inspiriation – The Four I’s of Creativity
“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.
- The Second “I” is information. Let’s find out what this is about. Let’s see the technology.
- 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.“
Harvey Gabor on the Creative Process
” I don’t have a particular way of working. I read the strategy, do all the research. It’s a stream of consciousness. 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 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.”
Positive Feedback from the Coca Cola brand meeting
After meeting with Coca-Cola Brand/Marketing team, the Google team, led by Harvey Gabor, was given the green light to bring their ideas to the next level for a proof of concept.
“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.”
Amil Gargano on Creating Personas
“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.”
I wonder if this is like when pet owners and their pets begin to look alike 🙂
Closing Thoughts and Quotes from Project RE: Brief Team Members
“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.”
Aman 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 on the street: “I would say the Internet is more creative than TV with advertising. Perhaps because it’s [that] you can take greater risks on the Internet.“
Woman om the street: “It’s important for us all to constantly be geeking out. We have to all been 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.”
“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.”
“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.”
–Ted Royer, Executive Creative Director, Droga5
“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.”
–Leo Premutico, Creative Director, Johannes Leonardo, Project RE: Brief Creative Agency
“I’m hoping that this is the moment that we shift, you know, shift the industry and our role is to help facilitate that.”
–Deepak Ramanathan, Head of Google Display Marketing
“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.”
“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.“
“I’ve loved it. I haven’t been doing anything for some time. The little gray [brain] 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.”
“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.”
Project Re: Brief: A Film About Re-imagining Advertising
Made by Google, with friends from Johannes Leonardo and Grow Interactive.
Independent Contributors & Executive Creative Directors:
Harvey Gabor, Amil Gargano, Howie Cohen, Bob Pasqualina, Paula Green
Project Leads & Film Producers:
Marketing Managers: Mike Glaser. Emel Mutlu, Sally Cole, Pamela Eng.
Production Company: Oil Factory
Director: Doug Pray
Executive Producers: Billy Poveda. Jay Wakefield
Line Producer: Peter L Murray
Director of Photography: Peter Nelson
Editor: Philip Owens
Original Music: Garton Chang
Post Producer: Izabela Frank
Assistant Editor: Ruben Proenca Dias
Additional Editing: Mark Imgrund, Doug Pray
Additional Camera: Zeus Morand, Doug Pray, Chris Reynolds, Edwin Stevens, Justin D. Weinstein
1st Assistant Director: Peter L Murray
2nd Assistant Director: Dino CasteIli
Production Supervisor: Melanie Kai Murray
Assistant Production Supervisor: Danny Gomez
Additional Interviews: Peter L. Bull
1st Assistant Camera: Kevin Walter
Gaffers: Glenn Miller. Ion Montgomery, Scott Ramsey
Grips: Garrett Boehling, Steve Ramsey
Sound Mixers: Tom Holman, Michael Lonsdale. Roger Phenix, Dave Powers. Mark Roy, Len Schmitz, Scott Harber
Boom Operator: David Role
Make-up: Michelle Brown, Melanie Quevedo-Murray
Clearance Supervisor: Toby Dana
Production Assistants: Kellen Davidson. Cab Hatfield. Shepherd Lashley, Su Lee. Annie Ra Jordan Quevedo, Heather Shaw, Edwin Stevens
Colorist and Finishing: Michael Gossen.
Helium Digital Sound Mix: Dan Creech. Subtractive, Inc.
Visual Effects: Mind Over Eye, a division of Source Interlink Media. Shapeshilter Post
Special Thanks: Arash Ayrom: Diana & Sophia Pray, Zizu Frank: Kevin Frank. Frank Speak Elizabeth Bemheim. Alex Bushe, Mary Warlick, Kevin Swanepoel, The One Club Russo Anastasio. Shapeshifter. Kyle Schember, Subtractive, Andy Dellenbach & Gail Paget-Wilkes, Mind Over Eye
Creative Agency: Johannes Leonario
Co-Founders: Jan Jacobs, Leo Premutico
Senior Creatives: Alex Romans, Ben CMre, Steven McElligot, Jerome Marucci
Creatives: Emmie Nostitz, Sandra Nicholas, Harv Bains, Julie Matheny, Paul Caiozzo
Head of Design: Andrea Gustafson
Designer: Isaac Weeber
Head ol Integrated Production: Jenny Gadd
Executive Producer: Aaron Royer
Digital Producer: lames Young
Producer: Floyd Russ
Account Team: Dean Rubinstein, Carter Collins, Emily Hoyle
Lead Digital Agency: Grow Interactive
Creative Director and CEO: Drew Ungvarsky
Senior Art Director: Matt Clack
Producers: Jarrett Beeler, Sonya Parker, Michael Rose
Design Director: Joe Stanton
Developers: Ricky Williams, Chris Gammon, Gabe Molochko, Jeff Penano, Darius Pilapil, Zach Young, Matt Campbell
Animators/Designers: Jason Levesque. Josh Newton
Account Director: Eric Green
Creative Icons: Amil Gargano, Bob Pasqualina, Harvey Gabor, Howie Cohen, Paula Green
Google: Aman Govil, Lisa Gevelher, Andy Berndt, Matt Ackley, Brad Bender, Mike Glaser, Cecelia Wogan-Silva, Neal Mohan, Deepak Ramanathan, Pamela Eng, Emel Mutlu, Sally Cole, Joe Sparks, Susan Wojcick,i Wook Chung
Special Thanks: Alene Latimer. Andrea Faville, Bianca Livi, Brian Zeug, Dahni Ma, David Monsees, Debbie Hagan, Erin McMahon, Izabela Hawken, Jaci Badzin, Janine Gianfredi, Jen Murphy, Jessica Igoe, Jim Lecinski, Karen Sauder, Kenneth Rubenstein, Kevin Kells, Kristen Chard, Larissa Cardenas. Lorraine Twohill, Mandy Klearman, Samantha Fink, Samantha Gould, Scott Gerwin, Seth Fast Glass, Whitney Horton
Johannes Leonardo: Aaron Royer, Alex Romans, Ben Clare, Carter Collins, Dean Rubinstein, Emily Hoyle, Emmie Nostitz, Ian Jacobs, Julie Matheny, Leo Premutico
Grow: Drew Ungvanky Jarrett Beeler Jeff Penano Matt Campbell, Matt Clack, Ricky Williams, Sophie the Dog
Alka-Seltzer: Laura Schwieterman, Odette Canton, Tracy Nunziata, Wilmette Dadzie
Special Thanks: Allyson Daly, Jessica Graf, Richard Bulllitt
Avis: Jeannine Haas, John Peebles
Special Thanks: Allyson Botto, Diane Matthews, Eric Chang, John Barrows
Coca-Cola: Jackie Jantos
Special Thanks: Angus Haig, Anthony Phillips, Bernadette Drankoski, Jonathan Mildenhall, Judith Snyder, Liz Gorski, Ted Ryan. Wendy Clark
Volvo: Linda Gangeri
Special Thanks: Geno Effler
FakeLove: Blair Neal, Caitlin Morris, Josh Horowitz
Special Thanks: Caitlin DeAngelis. Layne Braunstein
Nexus: Johnny Kelly, Luke Youngman, Michael Kirkham
Industry Contributors: Emma Cookson, Gareth Kay, Keith Reinhard, Ted Royer
Also Appearing: Eric Gabor, Iry Gordon Milt Moss, Urszula Nicewicz
Made Possible with Support from:
Re:Brief Website Design & Development
Digital Production Company: Fantasy Interactive
Senior Designer: Simon Magurno
User Experience Designers: Adam Diehl, lack Wright. and Yuwei Fu
Senior Digital Producers: Chris Rubin
Digital Producer: lohnny Michaelson
Senior Technical Manager: Jeff Yamada
Senior Interactive Developer: Kris Hedstrom
Interactive Developer: Darcy Clarke
Account Director: Carol Callesano
Coke Interactive Machine:
Interactive Production House: FakeLove
Partners/Creative Directors: Josh Horowitz & Layne Braunstein
Creative Technologists: Blair Neat and Caitlin Morris
Producer: Caitlin DeAngelis
Coke Content Production
Production Company: Rebolucion
Director: Nicolas Nubile
Executive Producer: Mariano Avellaneda
Editorial House: Cosmo Street
Editor: Davie Cea and Steve Bell
Volvo Content Production
Production Company: RSA
Director: Henrik Hansen
Executive Producer: Philip Fox-Mills
Editorial House: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor: David Brody
Music: House of Hayduk
Special Thanks: Cape Henry Lighthouse and Preservation Virginia
Alka-Seltzer Content Production
Production Company: Radical Media
Editorial House: Cosmo Street
Editor: Steve Belle
Editor: Craig One
Editor: Tiffany Burchard
Assistant Editors: Hugo Jordan, Nikolai Johnson, and Zack Winick
Executive Producer: Maura Woodward
Producer: Stacey Piculell
Post House: Katabatic Digital
Post Producer: Seth Tabor
Artist: Emery Wells
Mix/Sound Design: Penny Lane Studios
Sound Designers: Bobby Sorentino and Dan Walsh
Sound Producer: Claudia Gaspar
Music: Beacon Street
Avis Content Production
Animation Company: Nexus
Director: Johnny Kelly
Executive Producer: Luke Youngman
Producer: Jo Bierton
Voiceover Production: Studio Center
Addtional Production: Joey Cardella, Mike Potter