This Mole is the New Star of Brazilian Advertising. No, Really.
There’s a scene in the Austin Powers movie Goldmember where someone’s mole becomes such a distraction that it’s almost a character in its own right. The Creative Club of São Paulo recently took that idea to the next level with their new film to promote invite submissions for the 40th yearbook. It’s a joyful, silly, surreal and slightly icky spot – and we had to find out more. LBB’s Addison Capper caught up with Borghi/Lowe’s Fabio Brigido who was one of the creative directors on the project to find out more…
LBB> What kind of brief did Creative Club São Paulo initially approach you with? It seems like you were free to have some creative fun?
FB> The brief was to create a campaign to reinforce the importance and relevance of the CCSP Yearbook in the lives and careers of all creatives in Brazil. Fernando Campos, CCSP’s President, left us completely free to come up with anything, in any format we thought it would be appropriated to talk to our audience.
LBB> Talk us through the story - it’s a bit crazy! But totally brilliant. What were the inspirations behind it?
FB> We wanted to talk a little bit about passion for advertising - something that seems to be kind of out fashion these days.
Passion is, after all, the very reason why almost every creative decides to start a career in our industry.
And it's never easy. It's a long journey.
At the same time, It's a path that, in spite of being hard, we believe anyone who's willing to work hard enough can go trough, with a good chance of having some fun along the way.
That seemed to be an interesting thing to say to our audience. But, of course, we needed to create a story out of it, and make it fun, different, entertaining.
So, we decided to talk about the life of a creative, showing both good and bad sides of it, but using a hairy mole as protagonist, and exploring every funny or odd detail an idea like this would permit.
LBB> I think I spotted a couple of references in there! Mainly Richard E. Grant’s boil in How To Get Ahead In Advertising. Are there anymore you can tell us about?
FB> There are lots of references. Things we love, things we're obsessed about, authors, writers, directors, and personal experiences.
From Richard E. Grant to Nelson Rodrigues. From Austin Powers to, I don't know, Family Guy. I'd say maybe that's the reason it got a bit crazy. It turned out to be a blend of elements that were very, very different from each other.
LBB> Who did you work with on the production of the film?
FB> Carlão Busato, from Hungry Man directed the film. Mondo produced the audio and Nash did the post-production. Working with people as talented and compromised as these guys made all the difference!
Carlão Busato is an extremely talented director, who added so much to the story.
LBB> It’s got a brilliantly funny retro look to it, especially at the beginning. What were the inspirations behind that?
FB> We decided that the story would be told from the mole’s point of view as he speaks, in modern day, to a crowded seminar. That meant the "beginning" of it all would be somewhere near the early 80's.
You see, Carlão, among other things, is a little obsessed with the 80's aesthetics [laughs]. Those funny, creepy horses paintings, statues that decorated a few 80's homes, remember? That’s all on him and his team. They brought those references and we just loved it.
They really did a great job and completely filled the rooms and dressed the actors with funny, retro clothes and objects, making it look tacky and beautiful at the same time.
LBB> It’s also gorgeously shot - but actually quite gross at the same time! How tricky was it to strike that balance? I think you’ve nailed it...
FB> It was tricky indeed. I’d say I think all the angles, lenses, colours, textures, the rhythm, the patterns and music ended up working well as a counterpoint to the humour and grossness of the film.
It was rich in details and I guess, for that reason, we were able to establish those connections between beautiful things, nostalgia and that ugly mole.
But it would be easy to get too excited with all the jokes, the funny stuff and end up laying a “heavy hand” on it. So a lot of the balance was decided in the editing and sound design part of the process. Removing the excess, you know?
LBB> I love the shots through the perspective of the mole, with its hair protruding in the way.
FB> Hahaha. Yes. We even gave a name to it! We were referring to those scenes as the "over the hair" shots, instead of "over the shoulder" shots.
LBB> What has the reaction been like from the industry?
FB> It's going really well. We're very happy with the amount of people the ad was able to reach and talk to. A lot of people (not only creative professionals), but agency executives, magazines… even Estadão, a huge newspaper here in São Paulo called us to talk and write about it.
LBB> Any funny stories to tell us about from the production?
FB> There's one specific story which I think says a lot about the process of making this film: there were, I don't know, about eight people in a room talking very, very seriously, and passionately defending our points of views regarding the length of the mole's hair.
Some of us wanted long hair, others short hair. We were actually fighting over it!
Then everybody stopped for a second, in complete weird silence. And we all just started laughing.
I think we were so focused and so immersed in the details of this production that it took us some time to realize the absurdity of the situation. We were talking about a mole's hair as if it was the most serious and important thing in our lives!
Advertiser: Sao Paulo Creative Club
Account Executive: Erica Oliveira
Creative: Fernando Nobre and Fabio Brigido
Creative Agency: Borghi/Lowe
Creative Director: Fernando Nobre and Fabio Brigido
Executive Creative Director: José Borghi and Fernando Nobre
Music and Sound
Arranger: André Abujamra and Marcio Nigro
Sound Design: Marcos Nazareth
Sound Production: Mondo
Editor: Ivan Kanter Goldman
Post Production / VFX
Colourist: Psycho 'n' Look
Post Production House: Nash
Director: Carlão Busato
DOP: Pierre Kerchove
Executive Producer: Rodrigo Castello and Renata Correa
Managing Director: Alex Mehedeff
Production Designer: Gizelle Muller