Cannes Lions

STEPDAD STEVE

DDB GROUP, Melbourne / MURRAY GOULBURN CO-OPERATIVE / 2014

Film
Film
Case Film
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Dairy Soft is Devondale's spreadable butter. Unlike hard butter it spreads straight from the fridge, which is great because hard butter can really make a mess of your toast. What sort of mess? In this spot bad buttering is misconstrued as passive aggression - Mum thinks her daughter is angry about her new relationship with Steve, which leads to Mum's revelation that his greatest asset is he's a "careful driver". Hard Butter. What a mess it makes.

Execution

Devondale - Stepdad Steve - Achievement in Casting - blurb

The problem with comedy is it has to be funny. The 'Stepdad Steve' script was structured with that funniness at the end. What elevated the ad on film was that it was funny all the way through. And that was down to casting.

The casting process involved a nationwide call for all three characters, followed by chemistry rehearsals with the shortlisted actors. Each role was equally important. Mum had to be believable, empathetic but also a bitch. We had a shortlist of 7, but chose our final mum based on her ability to upset her daughters in rehearsals.

The daughter had to be a teenager you actually liked. And that's hard. She had to be a combination of vulnerability, likability and bewilderment. We chose our final daughter because she was so lovable in real life - she wore a pink unicorn t-shirt to rehearsal.

And finally, stepdad Steve - Mr Average, the epitome of ordinariness, the classic second dad. For the humour to work you had to feel sorry for him, but deep down you also had to see where mum was coming from. We had a shortlist of 4 stepdads that captured those subtleties. We ended up choosing the one that looked like grumpy cat.

The casting process lasted a month. It was worth it.

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