Agency Producers: Jennifer Golub

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After the Chuck McBride-led mutiny of sorts transforming TBWA/Chiat/Day, San Francisco into Cutwater, the rechristened agency made its debut with a new campaign for Ray-Ban with the tagline "Never Hide." The webfilms celebrated that motto in all corners of the imagination and introduced a handful of unique characters: a couple who make out constantly while moving through New York, a Samba-dancing, Rubik's Cube-twisting bodybuilder, a Rive Gauche nudist and more. One video, director Benzo's "Sunglass Catch," went viral and scored nearly three million views in just over a week. We spoke with executive producer Jennifer Golub about the unique way of working on those films, which left the majority of concepting and execution in the hands of the directors. (NP)

What was the initial project brief?
Chuck and I generated the brief which was simply, let's make some films with some of our friends. The agency composed a list of a few themes and I solicited treatments.

At what point in the campaign did the hands-off approach to production become the main thrust? When did you make your minds up to go at it like that?
Essentially Chuck and I basically served as executive producers. Creating commercials is extremely expensive and has to involve a lot of parties, and we were just looking to create more assets for the client. [This approach gave]us more shots at it, and created more opportunities for our clients to see what sticks to the wall.

"Dominator"
Did you have to say to the directors, "Look, this is your opportunity to really do whatever you want," or did they latch onto the idea intuitively?
I think there's a whole huge population of filmmakers who are not getting giant, mainstream opportunities and there's a tremendous amount of resources out there in the world with enormous talent. It was just a matter of being resourceful. The talent was still very thoughtfully selected; it wasn't by any means arbitrary. A lot of thought went into this process. We did have people submit treatments, so we selected among the treatments and there was a dialogue [in the selection process]. Then we talked about how the product would be featured. It varied from case to case. In some cases the directors really wanted our involvement, so there's still a good amount of checking in.

"Bobbing for glasses"
So break down the differences between this and the standard fashion or accessory launch.
I think at the end of the day it's really the same, because you're employing artists on behalf of a brand. Here the artists were given a lot more space, and as filmmakers they're responsible for the entire entity, from soup to nuts—the editorial, the shoot, the casting. And it creates opportunities for us to work with friends, and for these filmmakers to work with friends. We really want to put the spirit of play, fun and opportunity back into the filmmaking. And it's alleviated of much of its structure and confines. Here, you're free to go. Grab a camera, grab your friends and make it great.

WOULDN'T YOU KNOW?

Hours of client pre-production meetings: 0

Hours of client on shoot: 0

"Sunglass Catch" views on YouTube alone: Over 3,110,245

Number of hipsters seen sporting Wayfarers this summer: Too many
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