Fred and Farid Push the Red Envelope

NEW YORK Three spots for Netflix, the first TV work by Fred Raillard and Farid Mokart since joining Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in October 2002, portray special moments in life overshadowed by the arrival of the client’s DVDs in the mail.

One spot by the San Francisco shop shows a grandmother celebrating her birthday until she is rudely pushed into her cake when a Netflix envelope arrives. (Netflix, an online DVD rental service, mails discs to subscribers in red envelopes.) A second ad presents parents ignoring their baby’s first steps when the mailer arrives. The darkest of the trio depicts a grieving woman at a wake, who stops crying in mid-sob when she sees the envelope.

“What’s better than a movie in your mailbox?” copy asks. “Rent DVDs online. Receive them at home.”

Raillard and Mokart, more familiarly known as Fred and Farid, chose director Neil Harris of Smuggler to make the moments appear realistic and not too campy.

“It’s more surprising to show something in a realistic way and see something [unexpected] happen than an edgy or trendy treatment when you make the thing expected,” said the two men, who speak as one.

Rich Silverstein served as creative director on the campaign for the Los Gatos, Calif.-based client. Before this effort, which broke last week, Raillard and Mokart’s only produced work for the agency was a print campaign for Pony. That campaign broke in February magazines and featured images such as a big toe wearing a condom and a baby in a diaper with the word “Mom” tattooed on his belly.

Raillard and Mokart are currently at work on a second round of Pony print ads, due out in mid-May.