The Cannes Q&A: Jason Zada, Executive Creative Director, Co-founder, EVB

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Jason Zada
This is your first time at Cannes—what do you think about it so far?

I haven't gone to a lot of workshops yet but the vibe seems to be so non-traditional, which is great. I'm looking through everything and it feels like everybody's saying they figured it out, but no one has yet. This whole shift on digital, and how big of a voice it's getting, is really, really cool. Everybody I've talked to, when I say 'we do digital, we do content' their ears perk up.

The Elf Yourself site you guys did for Office Max's "Holiday Gifts" campaign was pretty basic but it was very successful—what happened?

That just proved you don't have to download ten megabytes and have this really complicated game to get them engaged in something. It was an extremely simple site. It really did reach into pop culture for the holiday season. Everybody asks me who choreographed the elf, and the funny story is I just yelled out dance moves to the girl who did the thing, like Do the macarena! Do the robot! and we just timed it out for 45 seconds. And now we have all these videos of children around the world doing the dance, with their moms taping them, and putting them up on YouTube.

What other Cyber do you think is going to do well?

Everybody's really talking about Goodby's Get the Glass site. I think it's a beautiful project—if it does win, it can do so for art direction alone. It seems like everyone really loves that project.

What do you think about the (rejected) push to bring internet and mobile videos under the Film umbrella as opposed to Cyber?

The amount of time and work that goes into building a huge interactive piece versus a viral video is hugely different. They're also not interactive—which is weird. The stuff that I really love is the non-linear, the quicker, the easier, but still really deep experience. I think that's why people loved Elf Yourself—you could do 400 elves or you could just do one.
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