Creative Report Card: DDB gets it

The top agency on the list this year takes us inside its award-winning work for Netflix.
4. Netflix_You get it to get it_Pep Talk_TV_Still

This story appears in the February/March issue of strategy.

TOP AGENCY

DDB has done it again. For the second year in a row, it’s topped the Report Card’s Agency list after a sweep of 60 awards across nine shows for 13 different clients. And it wouldn’t have been possible if not for work that broke creative boundaries, making audiences laugh with sexual undertones and sarcasm.

One campaign that really hit it out of the park, picking up more awards than any other creative piece the agency entered last year, was the Netflix “You Gotta Get It To Get It” work, featuring the “Pep Talk” spot, in which a coach tells his team to recall a motivational speech from a Netflix flick to bolster morale.

The spoiler-free piece has been seen around the world, with equally hilarious sequels made since its December 2013 debut. Curious to know how the idea came about and what went on backstage, we asked ECD Dean Lee (#16 on the CD list) to spill the beans.

How many ideas were on the table before you landed on making fun of familiar Hollywood tropes in the Netflix “Pep Talk” ad?

Lee: Although many [concepts] didn’t make it to the client presentation, we did share about a dozen [different ideas] in what we call a tissue session. This is an early stage of the creative process where we bring the clients in and have a conversation about where things are heading. It’s very collaborative.

In those conversations we talked about how people who have Netflix love to talk about it in a way that doesn’t spoil things for others and how those who don’t have it have a fear of missing out. The expression “You gotta get to get it” captured that observation perfectly.

New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault told reporters he planned to imitate the Netflix speech at a pre-Stanley Cup game news conference. How did DDB manage to get actor Neil Crone onto the NHL Network to talk about Vigneault’s comment?

Lee: It literally happened overnight. The creative team, along with our PR specialists, began jamming ways to respond to Alain the moment he referenced the campaign during the news conference. By the next day we had secured seats right behind the Rangers bench for our Netflix “coach.” The original vision was that when the broadcast cameras did tight shots of the bench, our coach would be seen cheering the team on. What we didn’t expect was to have a three-minute interview on NHL.com.

The “coach” also said he lost track of how many takes the team had to do for the commercial. How many were there before the director wrapped up the shoot?

Lee: Almost every take, whether the coach was in the shot or not, we had the coach give the entire speech to get genuine reactions from the players in the locker room. [ACD] Daryl Gardiner was one of the creatives on set. He tells me he doesn’t remember specifically how many takes there were but they spent the entire day on it. He guesses there must have been 40 to 50 takes, which probably felt like 100 for our actor.

View the full interactive Creative Report Card here.