“How would you like to help us launch a new beer brand by creating the history of a fictional 88-year-old owner of a brewery and her family, designing the packaging, shooting commercials and an online mini-documentary, as well as producing print, posters and a hard-cover brand book?”
That was the question put to yours truly M Denton Esq and my Superwinning team at COY!
And of course the answer could only have been YES, as this kind of project is right up my strasse.
Not that I’ve ever been involved in any project that was quite like this.
The Agency was DDB NY and the client was DDB Worldwide. A bit unusual for a start.
They’d come up with the notion of launching a new beer brand from scratch and promoting it during the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival week.
Odd in itself, but what was even more unlikely was the fact that the brand would exist for that week and that week only.
For DDB it was an exercise in demonstrating their superior expertise in promoting brands by grabbing that slightly distracted audience and wowing them with ‘Ethel’s Brew’.
That’s the name of the beer, ‘Ethel’s Brew’.
Ethel being Ethel Goldschmidt, the afore mentioned 88-year-old New York Jewish, newly widowed Grandmother and founder of the fictional brewery.
The story goes that Ethel and her husband Burt fell in love with beer after a visit to Oktoberfest back in 1952.
Burt especially was obsessed with his new passion and dreamed one day he would launch his own beer.
Unfortunately, he died in a freak accordion accident before that dream was realised and in honour of his memory Ethel pledged she’d make it come true.
Only somewhere in the process ‘Burt’s Beer’ had become ‘Ethel’s Brew’ and a conservative 88-year-old Grandmother had spent all of her spinster daughter’s trust fund money and transformed herself into a bit of a vamp, determined to go out with a BANG!
The brilliant concept was the brainchild of the ‘Dynamic Jew-o’ Aron Fried and Carlos Wigle with the equally brilliant Menno Kluin steering the ship.
They were the most enthusiastic and supportive bunch I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. I really can’t remember the last time I’ve ever been given so much freedom.
Carlos and Aron flew from NY to GB for the shoot, rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in.
There was such a great team spirit that I thrust a couple of cameras into their hands and they helped us capture some of the enormous amount of collateral required in just 2 days.
And what a fantastic, funny, totally delightful couple of days it was too.
The only really hard part of the shoot was finding Kosher nosh in South Woodford.
I’ve got to mention that we couldn’t have produced the project without the enormous amount of help and support we got from Mark Grosvenor, and the rest of his team at Tag.
The commercials look a million dollars worth thanks to editor Joel Miller at Cut + Run NY and post-production courtesy of MPC. Music was specially composed by Finger Music.
My mate and long-term creative collaborator Sean de Sparengo did the impossible by not only shooting over 25 portfolio quality stills but also DOP-ing all of the moving stuff (AT THE SAME TIME!).
And last but definitely not least, thanks to Andy (Dymock) for helping me with the print, the 40 page brand book being a mammoth task in its own right, let alone the required labels, outdoors posters, banners etc.
All in all it was a highly enjoyable project, the only sad note is that it’s not the start of a long running campaign.
I absolutely, definitely haven’t had quite as much fun since 1987.
Director/Designer – M Denton Esq, Producer/Kosher Katerer – Miss Sara Cummins, Associate Creative Directors – Aron Fried and Carlos Wigle, Executive Creative Director – Menno Kluin, Chief Creative Officer DDB NY – Matt Eastwood, Global Chief Creative Officer – Amir Kassaei, DDB Producer – Katy Fuoco, Photographer/DOP – Sean De Sparengo, Senior Art Director – Shawna Laken, Copywriter – Katie Riddle, Typography – Andy Dymock, Retouching – Rob Sherratt at TAG, Editing – Joel Miller at Cut + Run NY, Post Production – MPC, Music – Finger Music, Queen of Super 8 – Miss Fern Berresford, Sensational Hair by Anna Dentonetti and Marvellous Make-up by Louise Constad. And with great thanks to Tanya, Holly and Steve at Short Films for all their support.