Rémi Babinet (born 1957, Suresnes, Paris, France) is a French creative director, best known for his work on Evian's "Live Young" campaign. His official title is Founding Chairman of BETC and Global Chief Creative Officer of Havas. He is also the author of the book "BETC Paris – Global Advertising Agency".
Babinet’s advertising career began in the late 1980s with internships at Saatchi & Saatchi, Y&R and BDDP (now TBWA Paris). In 1986 BDDP hired him as a copywriter and he eventually rose to the position of Creative Director. During that period, and alongside art director partner Philippe Pollet-Villard, he produced campaigns for Polaroid, Virgin Megastore, BMW, McCain, Le Monde, Wonderbra, Galeries Lafayette and Canal+. In 1995, Babinet founded agency Babinet Tong Cuong alongside associate Eric Tong Cuong. Mercedes Erra joined them in 1995 and the agency was renamed Babinet Erra Tong Cuong Euro RSCG. Tong Cuong left the company in 2002. In July 2005, Babinet was made Chief Creative Officer of Euro RSCG Worldwide (today known as Havas Worldwide). From 2003 to 2007, Babinet was President of the French Art Directors Club and in June 2014, he will preside over the Press Jury at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
BETC, a French advertising agency, was co-founded by Babinet in 1995. Babinet has spoken extensively about what he believes sets BETC apart from other agencies. In an interview with Brazil's Meio & Mensagem publication, he claims the difference stems from two things: "The first is that we do not have a creative process formalized: No rules, no preconceived ideas." The second is that they "do not believe in the culture of globalization, a mold that fits all. We believe that a strong brand globally needs to have powerful roots." Building on that last idea, Babinet has said BETC makes a conscious effort to separate itself from how people perceive the French, a culture he calls "unique" but something people either "love or hate". He considers BETC an "international brand" that retains a French identity because of its work with renowned French brands, such as Air France, Evian and Lacoste. On advertising in general, Babinet has said he finds "simplicity is the most difficult of all to achieve."
In 2008, Babinet wrote the book ‘BETC Paris’, distributed by BIS Publishers. The book is an overview of BETC's trajectory, work and agency culture, with a special focus on its efforts in music, fashion, design and photography.
BETC London was opened in 2011, beginning the process of expansion of BETC Network. In 2014 BETC São Paulo was opened, meeting the expectations of success in the local market.
Babinet continues to act as Global Creative Director for several of BETC’s largest clients, including Air France and Evian, whose “Rollerbabies” campaign was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most-viewed online ad to date (45,166,109 views at the time of its 2009 distinction).
Babinet has been credited for Evian's "Roller Babies" ad, which has generated an estimated 330 million online views. The initially web-based campaign was so successful that, in 2009, the Guinness Book of World Records declared it the most-viewed online ad ever.
However, Babinet maintains that the ad wouldn't have become such an online hit if not for the added boost of TV viewership. The ad began running on television in 2010. At Cannes Lions in 2013, Babinet was quoted as saying "viral is the mix between the web and the TV," and that promising work will not see equivalent success without TV.
Rémi Babinet was born in 1957 in the Paris suburb of Suresnes. His father is a university law professor and his mother operates an independent children's bookstore in Strasbourg.