I wish I’d done that #1: Bart Pawlak, ECD 303 MullenLowe Sydney

Everyone has seen work that makes them sigh. Sigh, because it’s fiendishly brilliant. Sigh, because it’s stunningly crafted. Sigh, because they wish they’d done it.

And so, a new series begins on The Stable. The first entry is by Bart Pawlak, executive creative director at 303 MullenLowe.

I wish I’d done that #1: Bart Pawlak, ECD 303 MullenLowe Sydney

I was thinking about Alec Baldwin recently. Prompted no doubt by the recent on-set tragedy in New Mexico.

One thought led to another, and I was soon reminiscing about a happier time, some seventeen years earlier, when the Hollywood heavyweight lent his distinctively raspy delivery to a bunch of in-house MTV promos – a campaign that I instantly wish I’d made. And, still do.

Shot by Randy Krallman, with the kind of gorgeously limited colour palette that brings Wes Anderson to mind, these ads pondered the trajectory of MTV if, instead of being the cable channel we all know, it was a professional “foosball player” or a “regional sales rep for an industrial supplies company”.

Like all the campaigns that have transcended envy and inspired something more like adoration in me over the years, it wasn’t just about the idea, or the writing, or the art department, or the performance direction, or the inspired choice of narrator. It was the rare confluence of all of those things. An aligning of the planets, in a game where all too often some empowered genius is trying to knock one or more of them out of orbit.

And as such, for me, it continues to stand among several others as an example of when our industry gets it so right. A beautiful, harmonious dance in which creativity and commerce dazzle the ballroom, without ever stepping on each other’s toes.



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