Re-imagining Advertising when Digital met Legendary

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


Film Credits: Made with friends from Johannes Leonardo and Grow Interactive, Directed by Doug Pray. Additional film credits below.

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-ColaHarvey Gabor CocaCola
  • 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)Howie Cohen Bob Pasqualina Alka Seltzer
  • Amil Gargano, Art Director with his “Drive it like you hate it” (1962) ad for Volvo (far left),Amil Gargano Volvo drive it like you hate it
  • Paula Green, Copywriter with her We Try Harder” (1962) ad for AvisPaula Green Avis we try harder

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

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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.

Harvey Gabor

Harvey Gabor 2012

Howie Cohen and Bob Pasqualina

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Amil Gargano

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Paula Green

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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
    Deepak Ramanthan Google
  • Emma Cookson, Chairman, BBH, NY
    Emma Cookson BBH
  • Ted Royer, Executive Creative Director, Droga5
    Ted Royer Droga5
  • Keith Reinhard, Chairman Emeritus, DDB Worldwide
    Keith Reinhard DDB
  • Andy Berndt, Google Creative Lab
    Andy Berndt Google
  • Aman Govil, Product Marketing, Google, Project RE: Brief Lead
    Aman Govil Google
  • Jason Jacobs, Creative Director, Johannes Leonardo, Project RE: Brief Creative Agency
    Jason Jacobs Johannes Leonardo
  • Leo Premutico, Creative Director, Johannes Leonardo, Project RE: Brief Creative Agency
    Leo Premutico Johannes Leonardo
  • Brad Bender, Director of Product Management, Google
    Brad Bender Google
  • Drew Ungvarsky, Creative Director & CEO, Grow Interactive, Project RE: Brief Digital Agency
    Drew Ungvarsky Grow Interactive
  • Alex Romans, Senior Copywriter, Johannes Leonardo, Project RE: Brief Creative Agency
    Alex Romans Johannes Leonardo
  • Susan Wojcicki, Senior Vice President of Google Advertising
    Susan Wojcicki Google 
  • Jarrette Beeler, Project Manager, Grow Interactive
    Jarrett Beeler Grow Interactive
  • Julie Matheny, Copywriter, Johannes Leonardo
    Julie Matheny 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.

 –Howie Cohen

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.

–Aman Govil


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.”

–Amil Gargano

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.” 

 –Harvey Gabor


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.

–Emma Cookson

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.

–Howie Cohen


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.

Amil Gargano


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.

–Paula Green



“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.”

–Havery Gabor


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


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:
Aman Govil,
Deepak Ramanathan

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

Music: Human

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

Director: Rosey

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

Music: Human

Voiceover Production: Studio Center

Addtional Production: Joey Cardella, Mike Potter





Rick Noel is an experienced digital marketer enabling businesses and organizations to grow through the Internet, while maximizing marketing ROI (Return On Investment). Rick is the CEO and Co-Founder of eBiz ROI, Inc., a full-service digital marketing agency located in Ballston Lake, NY.

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