Ignacio Gil and Creative Process Behind ‘Young & Married’ Promos

by Bernadette Simpao, Viacom International Media Networks

MTV’s newest international series, Young & Married, gives viewers a poignant inside look at young lovebirds coping with the commitment, excitement and challenges of tying the knot at an early age – for better or for worse.

To support the new series’ launch, the MTV International World Design Studio in Buenos Aires created a promo campaign that humorously captures the complex “Laugh-Cry” emotion – that conflicted reaction to news from a loved one that makes you so happy yet so sad at the same time! The WDS team also created digital shorts featuring sage and hilarious marital advice from Stella and Zeke, a “happily” married couple who have been together for 42 years.

We sat down with Ignacio “Nacho” Gil, Art Director for WDS in Buenos Aires and director of the promo spots (one above, one below), to hear more about his creative process and the concept behind the campaign.

How did you come up with the idea for the “laugh cry” spot for the Young & Married promo campaign?

When watching Young & Married, we realized that the loved ones of the young people who were getting married had such mixed feelings about it. Friends and family members were happy for the couples but at the same time these relatives and friends were sad about the sacrifices they thought the couples would be making by getting married so young.

We saw this reaction happening throughout the episodes, so we decided to build on that, calling that particular mixed feeling of happiness of melancholy the “laugh-cry”.

What are you hoping that fans/viewers take away from this spot?

The spot introduces Young & Married by depicting a young guy proposing to his girlfriend and how this couple announces the news to their friends and family. Our aim was to introduce the theme of the show – young marriage – without judging or taking sides. We just wanted to depict what kicks off the storyline (the proposal) and show what kind of reactions this moment generates. In a way we are inviting to people to “laugh-cry” themselves!

We understand this promo was your first solo directing project.  No pressure!  What goes through your mind as you approach this kind of project? Can you tell us more about your creative process?

This was my first solo directing project, but I´ve been shooting in collaboration with other directors for a while. I was really excited to direct this spot. Directing our own projects allows a smoother translation from concept to execution.

The process was very natural – we came up with the spot and everyone felt very confident about it from the start. It was just a matter of bringing it to life and finding the right cast that could achieve great “laugh-cries.”

We saw the “Old and Married” digital shorts your team made, too – they’re hilarious! How did you find the couple Stella & Zeke? Were they that funny in person?  What was your inspiration for this concept?

The concept for the digital shorts came up during a brainstorm with the whole team (Creative, Digital and Marketing). We wanted to have an old couple’s take on marriage and we felt that their advice would make excellent extra content to extend people’s experience around the show.

From the start we knew this part of the campaign had to be real and not scripted, so it all became about finding the right couple. The directors Marc Santo and Michael Halsband did a thorough job casting in New York and interviewed at least 100 couples until we found Zeke and Stella.

What you see on these videos is 100 percent themselves. It was great that we were able to shoot at their apartment; they were very welcoming and everyone wanted them to be their grandparents. Our greatest challenge was to not laugh out loud during the shoot!

Can you tell us about any other projects that you have coming up this year that you’re excited about?

We’ve had a very busy couple of months working on the international promo campaigns for Underemployed, Catfish, Young & Married and The L.A. Complex, which are all shows premiering internationally in the first few months of the year.

Now we are developing the international campaigns for Snooki & JWOWW and Ridiculousness, and the new season of Awkward is coming up next. We are particularly excited about the 2013 MTV EMA that will be taking place in Amsterdam on Sunday, November 10th. We can’t wait to find out who the host will be and start figuring out the concept around that!

We hear the Buenos Aires offices are beautiful! What’s the vibe like at the World Design Studio in BA? What makes it a unique and fun place to work?

The office in Buenos Aires is great. We have two studios and lots of open spaces where we hang out and come up with ideas for our campaigns. We are located in Palermo, a neighborhood that’s the center of the creative landscape in Argentina. There´s a grill on the terrace where we have asados every now and then, and of course there’s a weekly football (soccer) game in which WDS usually comes out victorious.

Young & Married will premiere on MTV’s international channels beginning the week of March 10th. In the meantime, here’s another one of WDS’s creative promos.

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