Its been a remarkable week for Mr+Positive. Two D&AD Pencils, The AICP’s Best Web Film, and three Australian AWARD Award Pencils were won last week by work that the two-year-old Japanese production company helped to produce.
The AICP Award and D&AD Pencil were for AMVBBDO’s Liberty Fields, the Guinness Rugby World Cup campaign for which Mr+Positive ran line production across three units of film, photography and social. The work also won Silver at Ciclope in Berlin earlier this year.
Mr+ was also the local production company on Special Group’s NZ Says 39 for Tourism New Zealand’s sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup 2019, as well as the local production company on Steinlager’s New Zealand Meets Japan (A Little Slice of Heaven) for Tokyo Dry, which won four Gold and one Silver Craft Award, one Gold Executive Judge’s Award, 1 Bronze Film & Video Content and 1 Bronze Branded Content Award at the Axis Awards in March.
“This is supremely satisfying in the face of seeing all our scheduled Olympic productions abruptly cancelled and Covid throwing a spanner in the jet engine of world’s best talent coming to Japan.”
I met Peter Grasse in Sydney just before he launched Mr+Positive in 2018. His trademark positivity was on show – he was dressed to impress all the creative heads he had been meeting that day and his infectious joie de vivre was up front and leading. But there was also a more serious side to his manner. While he had a string of success behind him, growing production companies in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, Mr+Positive was his first solo flight. Grasse was hoping that he could take the creative excellence of Japan to adland-global. That he could take a production sector, which had always kept largely to itself, and open it up to work with and for the world. [:ed]
It looks as though he has.
Of course, Covid hasn’t been the only obstacle that Mr+Positive had to move out of the way. Grasse freely admits, there have been good and difficult projects.
“I have so much love for the whole Tokyo Dry campaign. It’s everything I am about,” he commented. “I was so genuinely happy when DDB NZ & Good Oil were here shooting the last campaign. It was like being at home working with great creative people I genuinely respect.”
BTS Tokyo Dry
“Conversely, the Guinness shoot was really hard work. We had both and A, B and C-Units simultaneously competing on set, which made everyone act a like a bunch of c-units in my opinion. From experience, it doesn’t have to be like that. Additionally, the hard work really kicked in when we realised that we’d have to clear the archival footage and acquire the releases from all the players past and present. I have a new appreciation for that aspect of production service.
“All in all, the good folks at AMVBBDO kept us buoyant with arguably the best production department I’ve ever worked with. That and the positive people at Cutting Edge Japan & M+ Positive worked their smiling asses off for thirteen months because they knew the project had great potential. And now, that film keeps on winning.
“Finally, NZ says 39 was something Tony Bradbourne of Special Group NZ and I talked about over a beer in Tokyo. 39 being pronounced as San Kyu (thank you) is an old joke in Japan, and I knew that New Zealand’s appreciation for Japan’s work on the Rugby World Cup was genuine. The end result was something my son & I filmed on the way to an All Blacks game. We didn’t film the journey home, ai yai yai,” he added.
Peter Grasse is feeling that his positivity is paying off – that, and his relentless desire to make good work. “I suppose having the experience of making good work alongside the best people in Australasia for ten years helps. Seeing our good work win heaps of shiny metal helps as well,” he added.
“Whatever the case, I do sincerely look forward to the days ahead. The Olympics are back in Tokyo 2021 and beyond that, I like to think that Mr+Positive is the destination company to crafting great work in Asia. Japan’s not as expensive as people think. In fact, we can do much more here with much less than you could in Australia, NZ the UK or the USA. Ultimately, it has a more flexible model with good-natured people that really respect our craft and delight in making collective art. Yokoso! We’d love to see you here in Japan.”