Happy Anniversary, Charlie & Frank

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Normally I don’t blog here about my advertising writing. But it dawned on me that this summer it’s been ten years since I got to make my favorite campaign, Charlie and Frank, for SecureHorizons. This was memorable for having the chance to work with some of the most talented people on earth: Our director, Robert Black, who brought on the great cinematographer Janusz Kaminski to serve as our director of photography; our talented actors, Vic Manni (Charlie) and Victor Raider-Wexler (Frank); and narrated by the legendary voice of William Schallert (whom I’ll always remember as Patty’s father in The Patty Duke Show.) Typically, commercials shown in black & white are shot in color and then de-saturated. But Kaminsky, who won the Academy Award for Schindler’s List, filmed this commercial using black & white film, giving it the look and feel of an old movie. The script told a simple story, which, as anyone familiar with Mad Men knows, is the heart of any great ad. But it was really the talents of these extraordinary professionals that made this commercial into something quite wonderful. Senior citizens adored the characters and we made several more commercials with them. They even managed to outlive me; after the ad agency (Doner) lost the account, it was continued by the successor agency.

Watch Charlie and Frank here