Canal+ Celebrates Creative Minds in ‘The Idea’
All stories start as an idea in one’s mind. As a struggling writer, believe me, this isn’t easy. It’s lonely, daunting, and, when it’s all said and done, the public gives credit to the director or actors that help bring it to life. Luckily, now, people like me can relax. There are those such as Canal+ that appreciate wild imaginations.
To promote its programming, French television station Canal+ created a 90-second ad titled “The Idea”. Directed by Ivan Grbovic, the ad celebrated the talent of the screenwriters behind the channel’s popular shows (The Young Pope, Versailles, and The Bureau). It was kinetic. It was all over the place. It had high production value and was visually one of the most complete and striking ads I’ve ever seen.
According to Stephane Xiberras, BETC Paris CCO and President, that was the point. “That’s the whole theme… to show the process of how an idea is born, the mysterious ways in which our minds associate one bizarre element to another.” The mind is a beautiful thing and Canal+’s “The Idea” is too.
The ad wins awards in these categories…
1. Production Value – WHOA! From floating cages to a fiery ball thundering through the sky to a clown doing flips in the street to a giant octopus on top of the Roman Coliseum, this ad had it all! Damn! I had no idea what I was watching when I first saw it, nor on the subsequent viewings. It being in French didn’t help and I’m sure I missed a lot of what shows the ad was advertising, but I didn’t care. I was enamored by what was flying on the screen. It was as if someone tapped into my imagination. There was no stone unturned in the ad’s direction, production design, cinematography, sound design, editing—it may very well be the Best Picture of this year’s ads.
2. Originality – This put the “O” in “Original.” But, it also put the “U” in “Unique.” Normally, when channels promote their shows, they concentrate on the actors. They are the faces, the vessels that deliver the story. All of that is good and understandable, but I applaud Canal+ for celebrating the genesis of the programs. The creative minds that headache to morph ideas into stories. The screenwriters. As a wannabe myself, I was blushing in the cheeks. It was as if someone in France said “thank you” for all that you do. I hadn’t (and still haven’t) done squat, but darn it, I took the thanks.
3. Mission Accomplished – Yes, Canal+ was celebrating the writers behind its hit TV shows, but don’t let that approach fool you. Its intent was to promote its programming and it did (albeit uniquely). By ad’s end, I realized actors in the ad were stars in Canal+’s shows. So, at the end of the day, the channel’s objective was to advertise its programming and it did so. I want to watch these shows (hopefully they have subtitles).
No bad pages in this script!
Visually stunning. Frenetically paced. Unique approach. ORIGINAL! What else can one say? Canal+’s “The Idea” is my pick for Best Picture of this year’s ads!