George Patterson Y&R (Patts) is getting into the movie business, with their official backing of a heavily anticipated new film by acclaimed actor and writer Brendan Cowell, which will be making its début appearance at the 2015 Sydney Film Festival. “Ruben Guthrie” is a black comedy that was supported by the agency, and was even partly shot at their offices. The film is based on Cowell's own 2009 novel of the same name, and follows the trials and tribulations of an alcoholic 29 year old creative director at a cutting-edge advertising agency in Sydney. Patrick Brammall stars as the titular character, a CD wrestling with the pressures of his own perceived fame and the lure of the bottle. The film represented a unique opportunity for agency branded content, while supporting the Australian film industry and a local talent like Cowell in the process, so seems (at least on paper) like a win-win for everyone involved!
Ruben Guthrie – Official Trailer
The agency will also naturally be lending a hand with the promotion of the film. The campaign kicked off with a rather apt (and rather clever) direct marketing piece, that the agency shipped out to the desks of media and advertising industry heads. The piece strongly resembles a D&AD Award pencil statue, but actually contains a hip flask, complete with a few shots of Johnnie Walker Double Black, the favoured tipple of Mr Guthrie himself. The statue announced the film as the opening feature of the 2015 Sydney Film Festival, which kicks off on the 3rd of June. Patts executive creative directors Bart Pawlak and David Joubert said of the unique item; “It’s a pretty irreverent film that deserved an equally irreverent announcement. A trophy, that doubles as a hip flask? We reckon Ruben would have approved.”
“Ruben Guthrie” is a black comedy that was supported by George Patterson Y&R, and was even partly shot at their offices
Y&R Group managing director Andrew Dowling, said: “Knowing Brendan for some time, we were big fans of his work both on the stage and as an actor on screen. When he presented us with the idea of making a movie that draws on our industry, albeit the more colourful side, there was no question of us getting behind it.” Of the agency's involvement with his film, Cowell himself added: “Having Patts Y&R involved with the film not only led to us owning our own whiskey pencil, but it created the most desirable thing a film can hope for: authenticity. Being involved with the guys in the lead up, having them as sponsors, then eventually shooting all over the building using actual facilities and staff made Ruben’s world so real, so sexy, and so dynamic. It’s the stuff of dreams for a film maker.”
This isn't the first time the world of advertising has been put under the media spotlight of course, as we have the phenomenally successful Mad Men to thank for that. It is, however, the first time a notable agency has put its weight behind such a project in such a big way. The film will open in cinemas across Australia from the 16th of July. International distribution has yet to be confirmed, but considering the character, and the creator's popularity, it certainly wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility.
Y&R recently unveiled a cheeky new outdoor campaign for Tatts Lotteries
In related news, Y&R recently unveiled a cheeky new outdoor campaign for Tatts Lotteries, which gives Australians an extra reminder to enter into the Powerball lottery. The campaign, which is supported by print, outdoor and social media, was led by an eye-catching outdoor activation that saw gigantic, arrow-shaped helium balloons floating above luxury yachts on the Gold Coast, showing how winning Powerball can change the lives of everyday Australians. “Winning Powerball gives you ultimate freedom,” said Ben Johnson, brand portfolio manager at Tatts Lotteries, “For many of our winners that includes the freedom to buy a yacht and sail around the world.” The balloon display is supported by print, outdoor and social media.