Cannes Lions

PEDRO

DDB TRIBAL BERLIN, Berlin / VOLKSWAGEN / 2013

Awards:

1 Bronze Cannes Lions
1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
Case Film
Case Film
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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Description

Recognizing traffic signs, which inform you what is coming ahead in time, is always a good thing. It helps you make easy and safe progress in traffic.

In everyday life, it can sometimes be difficult to recognize important signs and indications such as behavioral signs. Maybe some you’d rather ignore.

Based on this insight, we created a humorous and innovative film in which someone simply ignores or misses all the signs even when they are literally dangling in front of his face.

Execution

Overview

The script for ‘Pedro’ was something we felt could potentially be very funny. Although our vision of what we wanted felt clear, finding the right people wasn’t going to be easy. That became more evident once a casting brief had been written. From the start there were logistical problems to overcome. The directors were based in America. One lived on the east coast and one on the west coast. The agency and casting director were based in Berlin. The script was in English and definitely had a streak of British humor running through it. From the moment the concept was first developed we always imagined the parts being played by native English speakers. This meant looking for British or American actors. We really pushed our resources to the limits to find the perfect people. Casting sessions sometimes took place online between 3 or 4 different time zones as we looked for actors with the right chemistry, subtlety and believability. Not only that but also actors who could adlib and make the part their own. We felt this would lead to a more authentic and believable film.

The Husband (Tim)

Even though the film is called ‘Pedro’ we felt the husband was the key component. The part had to be your average middle-aged husband but played with a certain naivety. He also had to be able to deliver his performance with good comic timing and subtlety. We wanted people to feel sympathy for him but also laugh at how unobservant he is. We looked at actors in America, England and Germany. The husband ended up being the most difficult to find because of the specific nature of his character. Eventually after many auditions we found an actor who we felt played the character perfectly. He was able to deliver the subtle British humor that is the essence of the commercial.

Pedro

Pedro had to be the antithesis of the husband not only in look but also in behavior. Cool, fashionable, exotic, and mysterious with a certain amount of sexual magnetism thrown in. We wanted people to believe that the wife would be attracted to him and see him as the excitement that is perhaps missing from her husband. Pedro doesn’t actually say anything in the commercial and so his expressions and behavior had to be just right. Because we wanted him to be as authentic as possible we looked at many people from South America, Spain before eventually finding our perfect Pedro in Portugal.

The Wife

The wife and husband had to be believable as a couple and so this was taken into consideration when choosing both characters. Apart from that, the wife had to be the right balance between the average woman with a young family but still have that ability to pique the interest of someone like Pedro. There also needed to be a balance between showing sympathy towards her husband and being able to show she is passionate about Pedro. It made sense to have an all-English couple and we worked hard to ensure there was chemistry between all three characters within the love triangle that the commercial is based around.

Pedro Jr.

A key plot point in the commercial is that Pedro Jr. is really the son of Pedro. We thought it was best to cast Pedro and then find someone that would be believable as his son. Pedro Jr. had to be a character that was young enough that he still appeared innocent and naive but just old enough that he was beginning to develop certain character traits that could be linked to Pedro, his real father. Finding someone who met these criteria was a big challenge especially as child actors are not always used to working in front of a camera. But we felt that we eventually found someone who fit the bill perfectly.

Conclusion

As is often the case when making any kind of film, you can have the best script in the world, but if you cast it even slightly wrong the tone and humor you want to create can easily be lost. We feel that the actors that were cast in the ‘Pedro’ commercial demonstrate perfectly the combination of chemistry, comic timing, subtlety and believability we were looking for and the result is a film we are proud of.

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