from "DDB NEWS" August ,1969
When the International Film Festival bestows its Grand Prix of Television, it's rather like the judges are saying: This, in our opinion, is the best commercial in the world.
Two years ago, DDB won the 14th annual Grand Prix with Burlington Socks' "Dance."
TV CF for Burlington Mid-Length Socks
This year at Cannes, the 16th annual Grand Prix went to DDB again, for a quiet public service commercialtitled "Have a Cigar," produced for the United Cerebral Palsy Fund.
The creative team was:
They are splendidly modest about their prize.
"The odds are stacked in favor of a public service commercial," says Jack.
"It's a plum: You don't have to invent excitement and emotion," says Dave. "It's all there. All you have to do is articulate it."
"It's a lot harder to write a commercial for a product and get the emotional impact of a public service commercial," says Jack.
On the other hand, many creative people have found that dealing with the committees that invariably run public service campaigns can be debilitating and fatal to the creative effort.
"No problem at all with the United Cerebral Pals, committee,'" Jack shrugged. "Ned Doyle came with us when we showed the storyboard. One member started to nit-pick, but Ned took care of him."
"Have a Cigar" was the team's first commercial for the campaign.
When Jack and Dave were briefed on what had gone before, they decided they had two things to accomplish: 1) remove the cellophane that had been wrapped around cerebraf palsy in past campaigns, and 2) find a way to raise cerebral patsy up higher on the list of Th,jngs to Donate Money To.
"We were sure" said Jack, "that many people, like ourselves, confused cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy.
We had to get across what cerebral palsy is, and as emotionally as we could because of the competition for the dollars peoplewill donate.
"The previous campaign had the slogan, 'Happiness is helping.' It always showed children on crutches, but getting better .... "upbeat situations. The implication was that these children had been helped by contributions.
Our feeling was that this approach wrapped cellophane around the problem and kept it from touching people."
"In fact the commercial has a medical: error," Jack and Dave explained. "'You wouldn't know at birth that a baby had cerebrat palsy, whicb is the resut of a moment"s lack of oxygen to the brain.
But it was dramaticaly better this way.
"And the implication that the mother felt it was the wife's fault held the commercial together' and kept it from getting maudlin."
After the word was out about the Grand Prix, the production company that made "Have a Cigar," David Quaid Productions, took a half-page ad in Backstage to thank the people involved.
Phil Worcester, meanwhile, had many words of thanks for David Quaid, who gave and gave, and got others to give and give, for the cause.
At the time the commercial was made, Phil was in charge of all volunteer efforts for DDB.
"People in the industry used to run the other way when they saw me coming," he says. "I was a pariah. They knew when approached that I was going to ask for something free."
Mr.Jack Dillon's My favorite Ad.
I picked this as my favorite ad because it seems to me to be one of the best solutions to a problem that ever popped into my head.
A few years ago, ANNY ran a front-page article saying that several major agencies were preparing big presentations for the American Airlines account.
American was embarrassed by this and asked us to do an ad for ANNY to say they liked Doyle Dane Bernbach and had no intention of changing.
This was an embarrassing assignment. How do you write about yourself and sign your client's name to it?
(Also, what do you do with an opportunity to show what sets DDB apart from other agencies?)
This is the ad we did.
I've heard that the day it ran, an absolutely wonderful shock wa've went through the enemy camps.
AD: Marvin Fireman