Clemenger BBDO’s ‘Meet Graham’ work for the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) took the ad world by storm, winning the Cannes Lion Grand Prix and a litany of other industry gongs.
Though now it’s time to Meet Grant; the only person designed to survive a career in advertising.
The work is a joint effort from Cummins & Partners, The Melbourne Advertising and Design Club (MADC), and //Thirteen&Co.
While Graham possessed a flat skull, a barrel-like chest, abrasion proof skin and air-bag-like ‘nipples’ to protect him from a car crash, Grant’s physiology is a little different.
To cope with a life in advertising, Grant boasts ears that filter out conflicting opinions, unusually thick skin to deflect scathing comments on campaign brief and an auxiliary liver to process copious amounts of alcohol.
As well as this, Grant has smaller than average genitals; giving him something to compensate for, a completely removable spine for client meetings and of course, Grant is a white male.
Now, B&T spoke to the team behind Meet Graham, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne ECDs Stephen de Wolf & Evan Roberts to hear their thoughts on Grant.
Overall, both said the project is nothing short of hilarious; and incredibly accurate.
“The amount of work put in to ensure that level of detail and accuracy is incredible and flattering,” they said.
“We had no idea anyone knew let alone could capture exactly what we looked after we delivered Meet Graham.
Adding: “The shower scene is uncanny.”
The project is all in good fun and was created to promote a MADC award show, and with the tagline “proving once and for all that there is no substitute for an original thought”.
Speaking to B&T, MADC president Adrian Bosich said “‘Meet Grant’ began as a poster, but we kept coming back to him.
“‘Meet Graham’ was such an iconic, globally awarded campaign, and our audience is those working in advertising.
“Once it was thought about from that context – what would a human body need to evolve into to survive a career in advertising, a film version began to take shape… we began to fantasise about taking advertising’s most common gripes through the structure of one of the most world-famous case studies.
Asked whether the MADC was concerned about a backlash from Clemenger, Bosich said the project should only be seen as a tribute to its award-winning predecessor.
“It was very much written with this in mind – it’s a loving tribute film.
“The act of choosing ‘Meet Graham’ is an absolute compliment – it’s a testament to how well known, loved and celebrated this Melbourne work is.
“I still think the gold standard for a case study with narration is ‘Meet Graham’ (and without narration, I still point to the emotions invoked by ’Fearless Girl’ – both statues interestingly enough, executed in very different ways).
“Graham’s fame and our advertising audience meant we could leverage mental models about the Graham work, case study literacy, and use this as a vehicle to talk about modern advertising gripes.”
Bosich also admitted Graham wasn’t the only Cannes winner they had zeroed in on.
“At MADC, we are all about celebrating and inspiring Melbourne creativity.
“We have supplementary poster campaigns for parodies of other great Melbourne work, such as ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ (Stupid Ways to Get Killed), ‘Gaytm’s’ (StrAightTMs) and ‘Hungerithmn’ (wait to see it!).”
Agency: Cummins & Partners
Creatives: Chris Ellis, Heath Collins, Liam Jenkins
MADC sub-committee: Adrian Bosich, Ed Howley, Elle Bullen, Tracy Proposch, Nicky Finlay, Tony Prysten.
Thanks to: Matt Stoddart, Connor Beaver, Sarah McGregor, Emma Robbins.
Production Company: //Thirteen & Co
Director: Armand de Saint-Salvy
Producer: Charity Downing
Executive Producer: Roy De Giorgio
Colourist: Matt Fezz
Post production: Hogarth
Motion Graphics: Kane Dixon
Post Producer: Cat Park
Audio Mix: Bang Bang Studios
Sound Designer: Rob Stephens
Sound Producers: Polly McGregor/Holli Dee
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