Advertising Archive

  1. Hn-itsnicethat-list

    Luxury department store Harvey Nichols’ publicity team has proven its shame game is on point this week, with a new advert incorporating animated cartoon characters in real CCTV footage of theft, taken from cameras inside the store. Dennis the Menace-style heads created by animation duo the Layzell Brothers have been added to the grainy black and white footage of shoplifters filling their pockets with goods – whistling and looking around shiftily all the while, and then being caught legging it out of the store.

  2. List-its-nice-that-boob-soap-good-cop-bad-cop

    A former nightclub and current church in south London’s Brixton isn’t the most likely location for an art school. But for the School of Communication Arts, it’s the perfect fit. “I like the churches for their space – they’re nice and open so ideas can flow around the studio,” says Marc Lewis, the school’s Dean. “Our space used to be MASS Nightclub, my office used to be the DJ booth.”

  3. Saaatchi-and-saatchi-rekorderlig-silver-skaters-its-nice-that-list

    First we had the John Smiths ad that proved a very ordinary bloke could be a dab hand at rhythmic gymnastics, now we bring you a surreal ad that shows that two less ordinary, but very beardy blokes are a veritable Scandi Torvill and Dean. The spot for Rekorlderlig cider by Saatchi & Saatchi documents two very talented figure skaters training under the watchful eye of their devoted, less hirsute coach. It’s infused with grace and oddball humour, and was “born out of the thought that there is something beautifully invigorating and refreshing about seeing someone skating on ice on a sunny day when the sky is blue,” according to the agency. Brilliantly bizarre and, as the streamline goes, “beautifully Swedish.”

  4. John-smiths-somesuch-its-nice-that-list

    Whether or not you loved or hated that John Lewis Christmas ad with the sweet little penguin, there’s no denying that it got people talking. From the same agency – Adam&Eve/DDB – is an ad that’s made us laugh, smile and “awww” til the metaphorical cows come home, in the shape of this spot for John Smith’s. In it, we meet dairy farmer Keith Beasley, who turns out to use his muddy daily existence as a springboard for something rather more graceful. The Channel 4 documentary-style voiceover and the casting are spot on, with brilliant direction from creative studio Somesuch. We won’t spoil the surprise, just watch it. You won’t be disappointed.

  5. 5173

    As the creative world digests last night’s big D&AD winners (those that scooped Black and White Pencils), there was a host of interesting work recognised in the 44 Yellow Pencils given out at the London awards bash. In total, the D&AD juries considered 847 projects this year and so less than one in 20 made the prestigious Yellow Pencil cut. Here’s our rundown of those winners that caught our eye for one reason or another – you can see the full list of winners over on the D&AD site here.

  6. Michaelbuck-airbnb-house-list

    A few years ago there was a great deal of interest in Artangel’s A Room for London project, which saw Fiona Banner and David Kohn Architects build a boat you could stay in high above the South Bank. Today Airbnb has twisted that idea round for its own stunt, floating a 70-tonne house down the River Thames. Designed by Steve and Nick Tidball, creative directors of the TBWA agency, it includes two bedrooms, a working bathroom and a garden with real grass and an apple tree. It will meander up and down the river throughout the week, hosting various events and even some sleepovers.

  7. Ogilvy_dog_batterseafull-its-nice-that-list

    OgilvyOne UK and Framestore have made a sweet, scruffy little dog called Barley on a billboard seem to follow people around, looking them in the eye and wagging his tail in response to the movements of passers-by. The campaign for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, called #LookingForYou sees billboards at east London’s Westfield Stratford City shopping centre “come to life” when people take a leaflet about the charity. Each leaflet contains an RFID tag which activates Barley – a former Battersea dog – to follow them as they walk past the billboards and interact with them. It’s a sweet campaign that goes hard on the emotional pull, perhaps likely to affect those in the strange dystopia of a huge shopping centre more than most. Aside from the cuteness, the tech is very impressive, and it’s worth noting that Framestore was also behind one of the most heart-string-tugging films of the past few years, Paddington.

  8. Scottking-popkultur-itsnicethat-list

    There used to be a comedy on British TV called Goodness Gracious Me which had a sketch where an Indian father would tell his son that every public figure you could possibly think of – from the Queen to David Beckham – was in fact Indian. There was something very funny about his claiming credit for anyone and everyone, and I was reminded of that idea when I saw Scott King’s new campaign for the Pop-Kultur festival.

  9. Obv-campaign-itsnicethat-list

    The impending general election in Britain is encouraging a spurt of striking advertising campaigns and creative efforts to encourage potential voters, not least Pentagram’s “Give an X” campaign, and this new offering by Saatchi & Saatchi for Operation Black Vote is particularly powerful. The campaign is intended to boost the numbers of black, Asian and ethnic minority voters, in order to attain greater representation of Britain’s diverse population in government. Featuring Paralympic athlete Ade Adepitan, actor David Harewood, rapper Tinie Tempah and footballer Sol Campbell with their faces painted white, the campaign reasserts the quotation “If you don’t register to vote, you’re taking the colour out of Britain.”

  10. List

    If you’re a luddite like me you’ll find that most technology needs careful and thorough explanation – ideally some kind of video infomercial that leads me step-by-step through the device at hand. Now that I think about it I’d also like the instructions to be given by an attractive female presenter with an overdubbed male voice; she should be smoking occasionally and if possible exude an air of insouciance. The guys at Impossible and Stark Films have been kind enough to meet all these stringent requirements in their latest promotion for Instant Lab, a product which prints polaroids directly from your phone, showing off all the gadget’s new features. They’re also offering 10% off the Instant Lab to our readers by using the discount code “itsnicethat” in their online shop. What a friendly bunch!

  11. Wieden_kennedy-nike-itsnicethat-list

    The US Masters is arguably the most anticipated event in the golfing world, and as Thursday’s tee-off draws ever nearer all eyes are on British hopeful Rory McIlroy. But as ever there’s also a lot of attention on Tiger Woods, whose scintillating talent can’t be ignored despite his much-publicised personal problems. With a lot made of the showdown between the two, it’s interesting to think that for years Rory idolised Tiger and this journey from fanboy to rival is played out with typical aplomb in Wieden + Kennedy’s new Nike spot.

  12. Rickygervais-netflix-int-list

    Ricky Gervais is a figure who splits opinion and for every acolyte who hails him as the saviour of contemporary comedy, there’s plenty more who just can’t stand that laugh. I happen to be in the former camp and I am also a fan of postmodern advertising, so these new spots for Optus push pretty much all of my buttons. Commissioned to promote the Australian telecoms company bringing Netflix Down Under, Gervais is on typically obtuse form, whingeing about the expectations put on him, shamelessly plugging his own successes and revelling in his own unprofessionalism. Your views on Gervais will dictate your reaction to these, but if like me you enjoy his posturing then there’s plenty here to enjoy.

  13. 4creative-grandnational-int-list

    When a promo advert for one of the world’s most famous horse races drops into my inbox I have certain preconceptions about what’s it’s going to look like – mainly close-ups of thundering hooves and gurning punters. It’s fair to say this Grand National spot from Channel 4’s 4Creative agency and Nexus directors Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes confounded all of my expectations.

  14. Kevin-bacon-int-list

    Every advert that Kevin Bacon has ever starred in has been leading up to this moment – the one where he is cast in a commercial to advertise eggs. Because he is Bacon! So he goes well with eggs!

  15. Wiedenkennedy-honda-list

    Nice simple idea here from Wieden + Kennedy to introduce Honda’s new range of cars under the wider umbrella of the brand’s boundary-pushing approach. Keep Up begins as a spot that challenges the viewer to, well, keep up with text that runs across the screen – against a backdrop of a vast expanse of desert – culminating in the line “Get to better faster.” But rather than leave it at that, the idea is taken onto its logical next step, with viewers directed to a second spot where the text goes even quicker, and then to a third where the words positively shoot across the screen. What’s interesting is how your mind adapts and you are able to follow the sense of it even at breakneck speed, which is a neat way of encapsulating the brand message in a very human, individual way.

  16. Queen-list

    Turns out even Prince Charles and Camilla are prone to some Royal cock-ups on Mother’s Day, if a new ad for The Body Shop is to be believed. The brilliant spot by Mr President and Alison Jackson shows Charlie and Cam struggling, as many of us do, to make the morning just perfect for Her Majesty, burning the toast, making a shambles of Sellotaping gifts and goofing around washing the corgis. Where they do succeed, however, is in making the boiled eggs into very British little soldiers. It’s a really clever campaign – sweet, funny, brilliantly written and replete with Harry dashing down the stairs clutching champagne, wearing nothing but his pants (Union Jack-patterned, of course.) And if you want some tips from the hapless pair before this Sunday, there are six additional films showing the prep in more detail, including “How to blow-dry a corgi” and “How to make a breakfast fit for a queen.” Great work, Alison!

  17. Geicoad-int-1

    When an insurance company challenges you to not skip through their latest ad on YouTube, your first reaction is likely to be “try me.” But you know what? They have actually pulled something pretty remarkable together for their latest advert. Well, I say remarkable, it’s pretty low-budget, but the idea behind it is great. Knowing that the majority of people wouldn’t watch an insurance ad on YouTube unless you were holding a gun to their head, they made their advert two seconds long. Then if like me you enjoy the first two seconds, you can stay for the whole thing. Best thing about this ad is how they didn’t even green screen the family, and you can see them wigging out and twitching as that dog goes all Beethoven on their dinner. Well done The Martin Agency for keeping us on our toes.

  18. Skoda-int-list

    I can’t remember the last time that an online ad left me open-mouthed and staring blankly at my computer screen, but this from 18 Feet and Rising for Skoda managed it. Easily. The campaign, called Fight For Attention, uses pupil-tracking technology to measure the way the viewer interacts with a 90 second-long split-screen film in which two cars, a white and a blue Skoda, literally vie for your attention. It then creates a personalised infographic to show you which held your attention for longer, identifying the details you missed and creating a percentage measure of which won. It’s space-ace in its accuracy.

  19. Kk-velocita-int-list

    When I think of major league sports brands the name Umbro doesn’t come to mind – sorry lads. That’s probably because they’re comparatively small, British and their logo’s not as cool as the Nike swoosh or whatever that adidas thing is (again, sorry). But Umbro’s latest ad is making me think I’ve got them all wrong; that they’re capable of trouncing the major players when it comes to their advertising budget.

  20. Superbowl%e2%80%93int-list

    Last night in Arizona Superbowl XLIX took place, a sporting event that brings with it lots of cultural collateral – a much-hyped half-time show (with Katy Perry this year), some baffled Brits pretending they know what they’re talking about and loads of Twitter users doing that “superb owl” joke. It also means a huge amount of attention lavished on the adverts, and after showing you a selection of the pre-released spots last week, we’ve updated to bring you our pick of the whole lot.

  21. Johnnolan-hereeast-list

    John Nolan may have the coolest job title on earth, described as he is as “a designer and creator of robots.” An animatronics expert who’s worked on a whole heap of blockbusters (from Harry Potter and Hellboy to Where The Wild Things Are and Clash Of The Titans), John was the go-to guy when Poke and directorial team The Theory wanted to do something pretty special to promote Here East, a new maker space on the site of the Olympic Park in east London.

  22. Valleeduhamel-samsung-int-list

    French Canadian creative Julien Vallée first appeared back on the site in 2008 and a quick search through our archive shows that he’s popped up with pleasing regularity over the years. Julien – who joined forces with Eve Duhamel back in 2013 to form Vallée Duhamel – has a longstanding mastery of creating great-looking, playful and tactile creative solutions and is particularly skilled at lending his unerring sensibilities to all manner of brands from AOL and Hermès to a Quebecois development capital organisation.

  23. Sj4-home

    A new ad tells the story of a chewed up pen lid, a jelly baby, a princess and a peanut who are all rather concerned about infants choking on their very beings. Created by BBH London, John Ayling and Associates and animators Si & Ad, it’s something of a departure from St John Ambulance’s usual tone.

  24. List

    When it comes to a company with as global a reach as Pepsi, the possibility for commissioning brilliant creative work seems almost limitless, and this suggestion is truly put to the test at New Years. To celebrate the beginning of 2015, Pepsi brought London-based art directors and filmmakers HarrimanSteel on board to recreate the process of nuclear fission on an enormous scale.

  25. List

    We’ve all been there – the slightest twinge and it’s straight onto Google to terrify yourself with what it all might mean in the worst case medical scenario. DDB Brussels have taken that premise as the basis for this spot for Flemish online health platform Gezondheid en Wetenschap, which aims to underline the importance of getting information from reputable sources. While the starting point may be a staple topic for observational stand up comedians, the DDB team have pushed it to the extremes and the execution makes the most of the raw material. A nice extra touch uses Google Adwords to warn people to seek proper professional help when the search for symptoms like “twitching eyelid.”

  26. List

    There was a time when a great video was enough. Come up with the idea, film it with the right production values, whack it up on YouTube and watch the hit counter go through the roof. But that was then, and now viewers expect more. They don’t want to just consume online content; they want to control it. There have been several innovative and exciting interactive videos where the viewer can call the shots, change things up and make decisions that affect what they’re seeing. But too often this can come across as a gimmick, a fun but ultimately futile set of bells and whistles that don’t really add anything to the experience.

  27. List

    The Coca Cola trucks, the red cups at Starbucks and now the John Lewis Christmas adverts; the commercialisation of Christmas is nothing new but these days the touchpoints seem more clearly defined. The latest John Lewis spot by adam&eveDDB was unveiled this morning and there’s no doubt it will massively split opinion. Some will castigate its formulaic saccharine sentimentality, while others will love its unapologetically heartwarming fluffiness. Also (SPOILER ALERT!!) some will see the Calvin &Hobbes style twist coming but I admit I really didn’t.

  28. List

    Ambition is an often underrated component of creative undertakings, but that’s not a charge that can be levelled at Robert Bösch’s genuinely astonishing shoot for Mammut’s 2015 campaign. Working with hundreds of specialist climbers, Robert took this extraordinary series of images to mark the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn ridge by Edward Whymper. These pictures have been doing the rounds for a few weeks now but if you haven’t come across them yet then let yourself be dazzled by their brilliance and the organisational feats that brought them into being.

  29. Main

    IKEA are known for using their stores to promote their goods (I’m referring of course to the highly successful ad where they filled one of their shops with cats and filmed it) and today they’re back with a new spot to celebrate Hallowe’en. This time they’ve taken the famous scene from The Shining where Danny rolls around on his trike and inserted that same ominous fear into their own store. I swear anyone that puts a Rail Cam anywhere and follows a kid on a small tricycle around for a while is going to give everyone the heebie-jeebies, and this is no exception. The ending’s a bit weird, but at least you’ll be able to sleep after watching it, which is more than I can say for the original.

  30. List

    Forget what you think you know about surfing; the “gnarly dudes” on the hunt for “tubular waves” (I’m basing most of this language on Sean Penn’s character in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, but you catch my drift). Finisterre’s latest surf film is more in line with Jonathan Glazer’s legendary Guinness ad than any piece of footage you’re likely to see for O’Neill or Billabong. For one thing it’s not set in an exotic location – there are no bikini-clad babes – as they’ve traded warmer waters for the icy depths off the coasts of northern Scotland and Ireland.

  31. List

    It was 17 years ago (!) that the BBC released a star-studded cover of Lou Reed’s Perfect Day, and tonight they marked the relaunch of BBC Music in a similar way. Musicians from Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder to Lorde and Chrissie Hynde weigh in on this heavyweight effort that more than anything confirms the strength of the BBC’s pulling power. Sure some people will find it cheesy as hell and on balance it’s probably not as good as Perfect Day but when you can roll out guns as big as these it’s sometimes fun to put them all together and see what happens. Also the song’s writer Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys plays a piano with a tiger on it. Because, well, just because I think…

  32. List

    Is there nothing Tim and Eric can touch without turning it into a gleaming hunk of gold? I’d have imagined that homeware would be simply too dry for their unique brand of slapstick, but somehow the American comedy duo have succeeded in making an ad for GE Link lightbulbs, dreamt up by BBDO New York, which is pant-wettingly funny and super slick without undermining their usual offerings on American channel Adult Swim.

  33. Main

    Spectacular promo film here from Reebok, inviting you to “give me your classics and I’ll show you the future.” As well as taking you swerving around northern A-roads in a BMW E28 M5 (dream car) stopping briefly on the way to pick up a blonde girl in the leafy suburbs (dream babe) this short film perfectly promotes the nostalgia associated with the Reebok Classics.

  34. List

    Like police officers getting younger, feeling estranged from Radio 1 is a sure sign that you’re getting on a bit. But even I – from the rarefied perch of my early 30s – can appreciate the brilliance of this promo for the station’s Even More Music Month. They had the good sense to commission animation duo Nicos Livesey and Tom Bunker, who created 30 seconds of trippy music-themed madness complete with gurning lollipops, bopping pineapples and an infernal rock-band playing on a spooling tongue. It’s fun, it looks great and it gets its message across in a half-minute energy burst, even if disappearing into Fearne Cotton’s mouth is slightly terrifying.

  35. Main

    It’s time to play Spot the Creative here in this fantastic video from Rotterdam design studio From Form. I was going to say that it was an animation, but that’s the beauty of this film – it’s totally not. By using clever, olde worlde-style fairground aesthetics they’ve conjured up a mechanical set with which to promote the annual Reasons to Create conference.

  36. Glazer-list

    Fresh off the press trail from Under The Skin, Jonathan Glazer has just finished work on an intensely physical advert for Canon. The spot, called Gladiator Football, focuses on the annual Florentine game of Calcio Storico, a brutal combination of cage fighting and football that sees two teams pitted against each other in a sandy ring, beating the crap out of each other in order to win a cow.

  37. List

    If I’m being completely honest for the first ten seconds of this new Guardian ad, I thought it was going to be frustratingly saccharine. But what starts out seeming like just another cutesy, family-orientated spot packed full of adorable little children making a mess of their middle-class parents’ homes, quickly develops into a beautifully structured bit of film, suggesting that we’re all influenced by The Guardian’s weekend offerings, as person after person engages uniquely with their cultural and culinary content; attending the same shows, cooking the same Nigel Slater recipe and even having a crack at making the same bird house. Which sums up the weekend I’m about to have perfectly. Fetch me my tools!

  38. List

    Film4 has been one of the UK’s foremost production companies since its inception in 1982, responsible for titles like Trainspotting, Paris, Texas, Hunger and This Is England among many others. They’re also the UK’s number one film channel, screening films for free since 2010. But we’ve always just liked them for their weird TV spots. When they launched their free service four years ago they had Lucy Liu, Ewan McGregor, Gael Garcia Bernal and Judi Dench dressed up in all manner of strange outfits making fools of themselves. Now they’ve grown up a bit and have a new look to show off, but the ads are no less enjoyable.

  39. List

    It’s been nearly a year now since Breaking Bad ended although its die-hard fans remain evangelical in explaining to literally anybody how they really should have seen it by now. Maybe this will distract them for a while, as Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have reunited for this super six-minute promo to mark Audi’s sponsorship of Monday’s Emmy Awards. We find the duo running a slightly creepy pawn shop where they encounter Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who is trying to pawn her Emmy statuette after drunkenly buying an island because she was jealous of Celine Dion. There are lots of nicely sly nods to the pair’s previous incarnation, the merits of supporting actors and comedy vs drama, and there are (so I am told) a few neat Breaking Bad in-jokes too. The high-production values help of course but it’s the script that sets this apart.

  40. Scclist

    If Quentin Tarantino made ads, they’d look like this. The scene is a dark, chintzy bar. Our protagonist wears a studded denim jacket and glitzy gold earrings. There’s a song in the background about Little Red Riding Hood, and I think we all know who’s the Big Bad Wolf.