U.K. Magazine The Drum Bangs the Facebook Gong

Behind the scenes of a Cannes Lions issue cover shoot

Under most circumstances, background information about a conference-room shoot of media company executives would merit, maybe, a couple of tweets. But these are no ordinary circumstances.

And so… Doug Zanger, U.S. editor for U.K. magazine The Drum, clocks in with a breathless behind-the-scenes account of what it was like to sit in on the photographing of Facebook executives Sheryl Sandberg, Mark D’Arcy and Nicola Mendelsohn. The trio also served as guest editors for the Cannes Lions special issue.

Zanger leads off with some #FirstWorldSiliconValleyReporterProblems. Later, he goes full Zuckerberg:

First in were Mendelsohn and D’Arcy. Game faces were on, yet with a smile. Both are relentlessly optimistic. Even working on an insane schedule, they approached their individual photos in the same way they approached their assignments–good-natured and willing to do whatever it took to ensure it was done well.

Then, Sandberg made her way to the conference room–focused. Even with an earnings report looming, it was impressive to see how she was able to take a moment for the task at hand, without distraction. One can only wonder, and be duly amazed, at how she handles the myriad things thrown at her, and though this may have been comparatively innocuous in the grand scheme, she treated it as the most important thing in the world.

A couple of questions. 1) Can a photographer truly have “leapt into action” when they are based in nearby San Francisco and the assignment takes place in an interior, air-conditioned space? 2) Given the general nature of Facebook quarterly results, is it truly that impressive that Sandberg juggled the photo shoot on the same day as an earnings call? Piece of cake, two times, if you ask us.

We kid Zanger, of course. The black and white cover shots are cool. Our only quibble with photographer Marc Olivier Le Blanc, given Zanger’s rapturous description of the conference room with a view, is: 3) Where’s the water?

Among the marketing folks interviewed by the Facebook guest editors for the issue: Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall; BBH founders Sir John Hegarty, Nigel Bogle and John Bartle; and new R/GA creative heads Chloe Gottlieb and Taras Wayner. The Facebook trio also answered questions from The Drum readers.

Editor’s Note:
The original version of this post incorrectly spelled Mr. Zanger’s last name. Fishbowl apologizes for the error.