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Jack Black Dishes on His Childhood in Google's Illustrated Love Letter to California


When Jack Black was a kid in Hermosa Beach, Calif., he left a special message for the Tooth Fairy: Rather than money, he wanted Farrah Fawcett's phone number.

That's just one of the funny anecdotes packed into this Google Play ad from BBH Los Angeles. In the three-and-a-half-minute animated clip, Black dishes on growing up in the Southern California beach town in the 1970s and 1980s.

It's part of a series called "California Inspires Me," created with California Sunday magazine (the regional print offshoot of nonfiction event series Pop-Up Magazine), which Google is using to promote Black's catalog of movies on Google Play (as well as the availability of the entertainment he cites as inspiration—the Steve Miller Band, Journey, Styx and, naturally, Fawcett's Charlie's Angels).

There's even a nod to Fast Times at Ridgemont High. And for those of you looking to geek out on more details, there's a second website with more quotes.

Overall, Black's profile takes a theme that could feel a little parochial and gives it broad appeal. And the clip itself is well-paced and beautifully illustrated—graphic artist Nicholas Menard puts a new spin on the actor's colorful storytelling, like a description of Hollywood as a "throbbing dream" that can't but influence nearby communities.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for an excellent flow-chart on the relationship between getting laughs and feeling loved. But mostly just sit back and enjoy a neat bit of entertainment, even if it is technically advertising, too.

Client: Google Play
Global Director of Marketing: Brian Irving
Marketing Manager: Zena Arnold
Product Marketing Manager: Robin Gonterman
Director: Nicholas Menard
Animator: Anne-Lou Erambert
Music: Shannon Ferguson
Sound Production: Mooj Zadie

Agency: BBH, Los Angeles
Executive Creative Director: Pelle Sjoenell
Creative Director: Josh Webman
Design Director: Florencio Zavala
Art Director: James Beke
Copywriter: Tyree Harris
Business Director: Derek McCarty
Account Lead: Raquel Castro

California Sunday
Publisher, President: Chas Edwards
Producer, "California Inspires Me": Derek Fagerstrom
Project Manager: Whitney Lynn
Account Executive: Noelle Kaplan

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