World: My Portfolio - Martin Granger

Fake breasts and throwing buckets of water over unsuspecting children are all in a day's work for the director Martin Granger.

Granger, who was born in London, raised in Canada and now lives in New York, specialises in ads for brands looking for something different.

In his signature tongue-in-cheek style, Granger says: "I love coming into a campaign that's in flux and being the person that changes it all. I make sure a lot of people win a lot of awards."

Granger's most-awarded work to date has been for Bud Light. "Greeting cards" and "history" won golds at Cannes last year, and the latter also won the Grand Prix at Kinsale. "History" proves that feminism was invented so that men could drink more beer, while "greeting cards" introduces a card for those occasions where men need to grovel. As the ad says: "It's easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission." Granger comments: "It was so much fun to shoot that it's hard to believe it did so well."

More recently, Granger worked on the Typhoo ad where a family is drenched with buckets of water in place of Typhoo, its usual wake-up call. He says: "There was a tremendous amount of water involved so the house was thoroughly water-proofed. We also had to trick the kids as you'd see them do this (screws up eyes). We said: 'We have to dump it on ten, so don't fool around and don't anticipate. On ten. Camera rolling ...' Then we'd hit them on three so the surprise was genuine."

Having started out as an actor ("I sucked"), Granger enjoys the dialogue with those on the other side of the camera. He directed the current US Burger King campaign with the brand's new agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky.

The resulting "mock-umentary" format, like The Office meets backstage on The Larry Sanders Show, was improvised.

Granger's improvisation skills were tested when shooting an ad for the Canadian charity Rethink Breast Cancer. The ad, which implored women not to take their breasts for granted, starred a man with breasts. His fake breast-plate resulted in an under-whelming pair so Granger had to think on his feet. "In the end, we went for a bra with two water balloons. The actor was a great sport to run the risk of being the 'man with the boobs' and never being hired again."

Unlike most commercials directors, Granger has no ambitions to direct a feature film, commenting: "A lot of people treat advertising as a stepping stone, but I genuinely love doing commercials. A large number of ads are the same and people are dying to see stuff that cuts through."

- Martin Granger was talking to Lucy Aitken.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus