On the set of ‘Air on a G string’; (fltr) Timon Zijderlaan, Daphne Koenen, Janneke de Jong, Paco Kumar and Olaf van Gerwen.

Tim Zijderlaan & Daphne Koenen won the biggest JongeHonden pitch of the year; The YouTube Filmhack 2014, with three short films. Together with the runners up, Jort Wildschut (2nd) and Èwa Odugwa & Jolien Kappert (3rd), they did a little write up about the pitch.

JongeHonden organises pitches for students and young ad creatives and goes to Cannes every year with the winners of these pitches. For the Google pitch the ‘ad pups’ were asked to “Create a YouTube TrueView campaign for The Royal Concert Hall that attracts a new, younger target audience to the Concert Compas” (a guide that gives access to all the concerts). TrueView ads on YouTube “give viewers choice and control over which ad they watch and when. You are therefore charged only when a viewer has chosen to watch an ad.”

The pitch process was quite elaborate; the briefing was first shared in February. Then out of all the submitted concepts three winners were announced on April 1st. These winners won a ticket to Cannes and on top of that they were asked to execute their concepts within 2 months, helped by several production companies. In Cannes Zijderlaan and Koenen were announced as the overall winners. You can check out a compilation of the entire process here (created by Matemade).

1st Place
Timon Zijderlaan & Daphne Koenen
This was indeed the mother of all pitches. No 3-minute casefilm with heaps of text to explain your idea. We actually had to get our soft hands dirty and produce a pre-roll that engages people enough not to skip the ad after 5 seconds.

The client was “Het Concertgebouw,” the Concert Hall of Amsterdam. They want to engage a younger audience that doesn’t know a lot about classical music. We used this fact as the insight for our movies. We made literal interpretations of famous classical pieces. So “Air on a G string” by J.S. Bach became a woman in a thong getting hovered by a leaf blower. And the Firebird suite became a plastic bird getting abused by a torch. The message: even if you don’t know anything about classical music, the concert compass will help you to find a concert that you’ll like.

When we entered the second round we were partnered with production company Caviar to take our movies to the next level. It started well when Caviar’s Jacques Vereecken promised us an ass-casting. This proved unnecessary because our nice-assed friend Daphne helped us out.

Being poor students, we borrowed almost everything we needed for the shoot, and improvised a lot. The ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ pre-roll for example was shot in Daphne’s room – her carpet still smells like flowers. And on Facebook we asked if anyone was curious to know how the wind of a leaf blower feels on your bare ass. We didn’t get the overwhelming response we expected.

Google Filmhack Bulldog - August 2014

To create the perfect balance between funny content and a stylish look, we worked with L-A-D-A director Janneke de Jong. She really nailed it. Working with producers for the first time was also unreal. Koen Barnhard and Marit Groenenboom got the props together, managed to convince Olaf van Gerwen to film the whole thing in his studio, produce a kick ass lunch and be friendly at the same time. Thanks y’all!

PS We typed this article on our flight back from Cannes. Tired, cause we celebrated in true Cannes fashion by getting hammered every night.

2nd Place
Jort Wildschut
Waiting is not such a bad thing when you’re sitting on a rooftop terrace of one of the finest hotels in Cannes. Especially when you are one of three finalists waiting to find out whether you won the Google Filmhack. And although my nerves were all over the place, I had plenty of time to reflect on the stunning journey this competition has taken me on.

I’m a business student and recently decided that advertising is the business I want to be in. As JongeHonden is a good place to start, I went online, checked their website, saw the Google Filmhack pitch, made an account, filmed my concept and won a bus ticket to Cannes.

But that was not it. This was the sort of competition that makes you work for your prize. Gijs Kerbosch (100% Halal) was my reality check of what I was up against and knew this called for nothing less than an ‘A-team.’ And Jurriaan Kamps, founder and owner of KADUUK film, was willing to help me. Without his efforts I could have never been able to make this commercial. He knew exactly what and whom we needed.

With no budget to spend lots of favours had to be asked. The main actress, Nanette Drazic, was willing to participate if I helped her out with the edit of her show reel, my pregnant sister and girlfriend did the crew catering (I hope they’re not going to ask me to change diapers in return). All others were willing to help “if I made sure I would beat the competition.” This attitude, good weather, a crew of 14 and the city of Amsterdam made for a brilliant day!

JongeHonden arranged for The Ambassadors to help us with the post production. Brian Krijgsman (grading) and Joep Meijburg (sound design) did an amazing job.

So there I was, waiting in Cannes. While the palms of my hands were getting sweaty, I realised that even if I wouldn’t win the best was already happening; I was able to show my commercial to the ad business.

3rd Place
Èwa Odugwa & Jolien Kappert
Don’t skip me! That’s what YouTube pre-roll videos want to tell you while a big skip button is popping up at the bottom. To be honest, we always skip. That button is just too tempting not to click on. We wanted to use this insight in our film, so we added another skip button above the existing one. It’s the first skip button we actually want you to push. By clicking it, you skip your way through classic music till you find the style you like.

For the execution of our idea we worked together with production company Czar. Our first meeting was at their beautiful office, a former ballet school, together with executive producer Sybrig Andringa and directors Willem Gerritsen and Frank de Kok. We figured out that our idea would come out best if we kept it really simple and intimate. Unfortunately filming at the concert hall wasn’t an option, due to the high costs for hiring a professional orchestra, therefore we had to work with existing film material. For the visual part we brainstormed with production manager Roos Blank and director Aaron van Valen from production company Comrad. Also post production company Storm was there to help us edit the final movie (see the handsome selfie they sent us).

Although we would have made the film much stronger if we were able to shoot it ourselves, we were quite satisfied with the end result. The whole process of brainstorming and getting together with experts was a very good learning experience. A big thumbs up to everyone we worked with. Thanks a lot!