David Lubars

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GivenBBDO, New York's history of big, beautiful commercial productions, it may be easy for the casual observer to write the agency off as just a TV shop, but under the leadership of David Lubars, it's proven just the opposite. Sure, in 2007, there was the expected excellent output of commercials, like the poignant "Jar" spot for GE, a new brand campaign for eBay, and a slew of stellar comedic moments for Cingular and FedEx. But those are just sidebars to the agency's story of the last few years. In 2004, when Lubars arrived in Gotham from Fallon,Minneapolis, with the legacy of BMW Films in tow, he told Creativity that he had his sights set on turning BBDO into a "21st century version of a killer '60s New York agency." Judging from the shop's 2007 efforts, it's well on its way.While BBDO's strong showings at Cannes and the One Show last year speak plenty, the work speaks even more. For example, who needs a hunk in a towel with foam on his face when you can get down and dirty with some real studs? For Gillette, BBDO launched the branded ABC reality show, Fast Cars and Superstars, pairing celebs on the racetrack with Gillette-sponsored Nascar Young Guns. BBDO also created an on demand channel for GE, featuring short films demonstrating "Imagination at Work." Online, upping the ante on its always entertaining M&M's work, the agency created an irresistible site where visitors could make "inner M" versions of themselves. If that wasn't enough magic, the agency joined forces with Mr. Illusionist himself, David Blaine, hanging him over Times Square for three days and broadcasting the event online to announce Target's Black Friday sales. BBDO introduced Brazilian flip flop brand Havaianas in the U.S. with a splashy integrated effort involving print, web and installation work. And we dare not forget the multiplatform "Voyeur" for HBO, in which the agency unfolded three hours worth of compelling storytelling across an integrated platform that included a multilayered website, cable on demand programming and the side of a NYC building.

On his most difficult creative challenge last year: "Every year of my career has been difficult and challenging—it all blurs into one big ball of stress. But probably the biggest thing we learned in '07 is that in the world of content, if viewers like something, they can't get enough of it. They want to keep digging around the idea and spend lots of time with your client. Obviously, this is a great problem to have, but it's still a problem because it requires new production cost models that allow for creating lots of stuff."

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