This Mockumentary About a Real French Band Is Actually a Pretty Slick Ad for a Hotel Chain

Meet the Naive New Beaters and their long-suffering friends at Ibis

In partnership with pop band Naive New Beaters, BETC Paris created a tongue-in-cheek branded documentary that takes place entirely in an Ibis Hotel. It opens with band member David Boring refusing to sign autographs while stroking a tiny dog, Dr. Claw-style.

That tells you a lot already. “Do Not Disturb” follows the Franco-American musicians on the last leg of a two-year tour. They are tired. They are pissy. And they’ve become frequent users of “Do not disturb” signs.

The piece does as much strange justice to Ibis as it does the band, which appears to be in a state of severe burnout. They listlessly hoverboard through hallways as suited hotel managers anxiously babysit, offering caged birds, cakes with their faces on them, or an endless number of tennis balls to hit in the parking garage.

If Wes Anderson directed Spinal Tap at an earlier stage in his career, this is what it might have looked like. Not much happens, but it’s aesthetic, moody and darkly funny, as much a study of the band’s interior as the hotel’s.

“The project tells an almost true story,” Naive New Beaters tell AdFreak. “We worked with Ibis last year. We did two shows in Paris and Lyon, turning Ibis into party hotels. Then we started selling them our beer, the Naive New Beer. They let us park our van in their parking lot, and we naturally started living in their hotel rooms.”

The shoot took place over three days—”great fun,” the band gleefully reflects. “We used 36 different kimonos!”

According to creative music director Christophe Caurret of BETC Paris, Ibis briefed the agency on a social media activation. “We came up with the idea of bringing the Naive New Beaters back as we wanted to keep writing the story of this collaboration,” he reveals.

In our experience, the Ibis is a serviceable business hotel with a decent breakfast buffet. It’s hardly the Ritz, and it doesn’t pretend to be here. (At one point, the band holes up with a bunch of very old, very large computers.)

Instead, what you see is playful design in small spaces, and the attention they afford some very demanding months-long guests. Think of it as an Avis-style “We Try Harder” for the hotel set.

In the end, the Naive New Beaters’ shared despondency lifts. They start recording their next album—still in Ibis’ cramped confines—make plans to tour again, and return home … where they recreate the hotel’s décor, down to pillows with their faces on them. (Ibis has never offered us this option. But to be fair, we never asked.)

Meanwhile, back at Ibis, room 216 has become a shrine. It’s as if you can still smell them there, lying around in bathrobes and sparkly party hats, like the haunted room 217 of The Shining’s Hotel Stanley. Hopefully with less blood, though.

“Our objective was to draw away from what music brands normally do, such as behind-the-scenes videos,” Caurret says.

A mockumentary was high on the list from the start. “We wanted to tell a real story with a beginning and an end,” says Caurret. “Everybody left their egos at the door to help come up with the best content. In fact, the Naive New Beaters were the ones who told us they usually stay at Ibis while on tour, and appreciate the amenities and facilities. This helped us finalize the script.”

Director Raphael Frydman “has worked a lot with music bands, filming documentaries with them on the road,” Caurret goes on. “He brought a style to the film that makes it fun to watch without relying on expected off-color jokes.”

Caurret is also grateful Ibis let them shoot in black-and-white. “We believed it would give us the aesthetic we were looking for, and we were right, as it brings a certain elegance to the whole piece. I see the final result as a quality product for the client, reflecting the Ibis brand image well and showing viewers it’s a hotel where the staff is close to its guests. Just like in real life.”

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