Cannes 2009

Press Grand Prix Goes to Paris Hotshop Fred & Farid

Campaign for Wrangler Jeans Portrays People Getting in Touch With Their Inner Animals

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CANNES (AdAge.com) -- Print is France's forte this year. Two-year-old Paris hotshop Fred & Farid has won a press Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival for its European campaign "We Are Animals" for Wrangler jeans. The idea is that people have lost touch their animal instincts, buried in daily urban life.

Wrangler: We are Animals
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Wrangler: We Are Animals

"It grabbed me by the gut," said jury member Gerry Graf, chief creative officer of Saatchi & Saatchi, New York. "I felt what they wanted me to feel. A simple image and a few ads worked on four or five different levels for me. It changed my image of Wrangler. It's talking about primal urges."

Different executions portray young people in nature-filled settings posed like animals in the wild. Some ads show people in Wrangler jeans or denim shirts. In "Dakota on Road," a woman clad only in white jeans stands in the middle of a road's yellow lines, caught like a deer in approaching headlights. In "Dakota 1," a woman is submerged in water up to her nose, like a crocodile or a hippo.

"What pushed Wrangler in front was it set the code and DNA of what the company can be," said David Lubars, chairman and chief creative officer of BBDO North America and president of the press jury. "It was a master plan."

Frederic Raillard and Farid Mokart, the longtime creative duo behind Fred & Farid, live and breathe Wrangler. Their website consists of about 100 executions of the "We Are Animals" concept. Before setting up the Paris agency, they worked at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, and Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London. In 2005, they opened and briefly ran another creative hotshop, Marcel, that was backed by Publicis Groupe and quickly picked up Coca-Cola assignments. But within 18 months they left and started over again.

France also picked up three Gold, a Silver and five Bronze press Lions. A Gold-winning Alka-Seltzer campaign by CLM BBDO was the other contender for the press Grand Prix. France also did well in outdoor, where the Alka-Seltzer campaign picked up another Gold and the country won a total of three gold, one silver and five bronze Outdoor Lions. Before that, France had won only one Bronze each in the cyber and media contests and nothing in the direct, promo, radio and public-relations competitions.

The U.S. didn't do well in press, picking up a single Gold, for a Miller Brewing Co. campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, for Miller High Life, and one Bronze award.

The press jury was one with a sense of humor. Mr. Graf told a roomful of puzzled foreign journalists at the press conference that Mr. Lubars' nickname is Lubie (it's not) and had T-shirts made for all the judges -- many of whom were wearing them -- emblazoned with Mr. Lubars' picture and the words "I like Lubie." "We were concerned everyone hated him," one judge said, "so we thought we'd show him some sympathy."

Mr. Lubars said the gesture made him wonder about the judges who didn't wear the T-shirt.

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