A Creative Tour de Force: Pierre Berville - Paris, France

Pierre Berville is the vice-president and creative director of Callegari Berville Grey in Paris. At 54, his advertising career spans more than 25 years. Berville started out as an art director at TBWA and CLM/BBDO, where he created award-winning work for Vittel, Lee Cooper and Avenir, as well as the Myriam poster campaign now considered a French advertising classic. In 1987, he and Pierre Callegari founded Callegari Berville, which was twice named French Creative Agency of the Year. In 1999, Callegari Berville merged with Grey to create Callegari Berville Grey, which was named Agency of the Year in 2001. The agency has since landed a clutch of awards including the Effie Grand Prix for Les Pages Jaunes and L'APPM Grand Prix, France's premier press prize, for Ligne Roset.

- Where do you live?

I live in Paris, walking distance from where I was born. I have always worked in this city.

- Describe a perfect day with guests in your city

Breakfast at Laduree tea room. Shopping in Avenue Montaigne for the wealthy or the Marais for the trendy. Lunch at Chez George on the roof of the Pompidou Centre, from where we can enjoy the prettiest views of the city.

In the afternoon, we could visit an exhibition in the beautifully renovated Grand Palais. Then dinner at Brasserie Wepler and nightcap at the Harris bar. Or we could dine and get drunk at Le Pouilly Reuilly.

- Tell us where you've chosen to be photographed and why

At the foot of Notre Dame Cathedral, where a tiny gold star engraved in the pavement marks the official geographical centre of the city. This perfect balance between beauty and precision is what I have always dreamed of in my work - yet have so rarely achieved.

- Tell us about the ad you've chosen to feature on this page

I love our Eau de Rochas "pebbles" film because, like most of the best fragrance commercials,it is based on a poetic situation that is neither too descriptive nor too narrative. I also like the fact the ad's concept relates subtly to the name and the history of this prestigious French fashion and perfume house. Rochas is nearly "roches", meaning stones, and "eau" is water, which inspired a surreal story of a woman immersed in water, surrounded by beautiful magic stones. The film presents the Rochas woman in a moment of perfect harmony with nature, when her mind and body are as one and time stands still. I love the way the director, Bruno Aveillan, has focused his attention on every single detail of this poetic idea.

- List the three most inspiring things about your city

The brunettes, the blondes and the redheads.

- Give us a quote that encapsulates your city

"If everyone agrees with something, it is wrong." - Pierre Berville.

- Tell us a perfect place to brainstorm in your city

Cafe Marly, a restaurant and terrace opposite the Louvre. This prestigious neighbourhood is stimulation in itself but, more important, you'll eat well there.

- and to celebrate an account win

If the new account is big enough, Le Grand Vefour, the three-Michelin-starred, 18th-century restaurant nestled in the Palais Royal gardens. Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine, Victor Hugo, Jean Cocteau and Jean-Paul Sartre all dined there.

- to entertain a client

La Maison du Caviar. The rule is not to order caviar - it is far too cliched. But clients often don't realise this, in which case you should go along with them.

- to kit yourself out

Strangely enough, I always wear the same shirts (white only, from Brooks Brothers in New York), the same jeans (Levi 501s, only in black) and the same shoes (from Sebago, they are comfy and convenient for every occasion). That leaves me a little freedom in my choice of jackets and coats, which come from Cerruti or Marcel Lassance. Shorts? From Turnbull & Asser in London, where the Prince of Wales gets his.

- to go for a run

I hate running.

- How do you unwind?

With my babies.

- What is your greatest extravagance?

I've worn a tie a couple of times.

- Name one thing about yourself that might surprise others

Sorry. I am an open book.

- If you were an ad, what would your strapline be?

"No system is still a system. But it is the best one." Attributed to Tristan Tzara, founder of the Dada movement.

- Finally, tell us the best way to ask for a pay rise in your country

Boss, I'm ready to swear this picture of you with the teenage twins is a fake.


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