Advertising Archive

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.”

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

  25. 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.

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    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.

  27. 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.

  28. List

    There has been a lot of discussion about brand stories recently, but it’s important to differentiate between vaguely extrapolated marketing gimmicks and genuine humdingers of revolution and exile, fire and earthquakes. BACARDÍ boasts a heritage that includes an astonishing array of interesting tales, and they’ve drawn on this rich reserve to create their very own graphic novel.

  29. List

    There was a time when it was all about fitting in, running with the in-crowd and following the masses. But over recent years we’ve all come to realise that it’s much more interesting to dare to be different and that weird and unusual can be so much more exciting.

  30. Main

    The word “sumptuous” shouldn’t be thrown around willy nilly, but in the context of a new Johnnie Walker whisky ad featuring Jude Law lounging on what could be the world’s most expensive antique boat, lolling about on the sapphire Mediterranean, it’s totally acceptable. You may well have seen the Johnnie Walker ad in collaboration with Mr Porter going around the web last week, a 6-minute visual feast that is infused with style and money and a Talented Mr Ripley-vibe. Tom Cockram, a photographer we hold very dear to our hearts, has put all the behind-the-scenes shots from this ad that was directed by Jake Scott up on his site, and I’m tempted to say that I’m enjoying these even more than the ad itself.

  31. Ifvlist

    Do I love this ad campaign more because it’s French? Probably. It’d be super cool from anywhere though. Intermarché – a big supermarket chain in France – decided it was time to save an endangered species from the rubbish bin; ugly duckling fruit and veg. In the UK a whopping 40% of greens don’t reach our shelves simply for being a bit unfortunate looking and globally we waste $750 billion worth of food each year. Ouch.

  32. List

    If you watched any of this year’s World Cup you’ll most likely have noticed all the players strutting about in pairs of weightless neon boots. If, like me, you don’t really pay attention to that kind of thing, then you may not have known what they were. Luckily this stunning spot from ManvsMachine grabbed my attention for long enough to inform me that they were Nike’s latest Mercurial Superfly boot, capable of eviscerating a giant marble army of footballing warriors with their superhuman speed. But more important than my education in high-performance footwear was my appreciation of the phenomenal skill of Mike Alderson and his team at ManvsMachine whose ability to turn pure fiction into a believable, 3D-rendered reality is nothing short of breathtaking.

  33. List

    Remember the Speedo-clad old dude strolling casually through beach-bronzed beautiful people in Wieden + Kennedy’s hugely popular Southern Comfort spot a few years back? Course you do (and it’s still worth a watch in case you were wondering). Anyway Young Gun is the latest spot in the campaign and we think it’s another winner. If you’ve ever stood incandescent with rage as a barman holds up the entire queue showing off their “moves,” then you’ll enjoy this.

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    You and I dear reader look at a beret and see what? A GCSE textbook staple; an affectation, an effortless shorthand stereotype (often teamed up with a stripey Breton top and a string of onions)? But directorial team Tenis looked at a beret and realised it could be repurposed into a perfect record player. This charming short spot has been released to promote the new collaboration between peSeta and Marc Jacobs, although the espadrilles themselves don’t make an appearance until quite late in the day.

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    According to the new Stella Artois campaign, “There are no rules,” and “Continuity is clearly overrated.” These mysterious instructions actually come from the great Wim Wenders, who stars in the new Stella promotional short titled Wim Wenders’ Rules of Cinema Perfection.

  36. List

    This advertising world descended on Cannes last week for the annual sun-kissed celebration of some of the best work created during the past 12 months. With multiple winners across the 16 categories you’d be forgiven for struggling to keep up with who won what, but the excellent official winners’ website is the best place to get acquainted with the big picture. Here we’ve picked out a few examples of winners that caught our eye; some bits we’d championed on the site before and some we came across for the first time via the Lions.

  37. List

    Whenever Tom Darracott and Carl Burgess join forces the results are spectacular. The two directors and digital specialists are experts at creating polished 3D-generated worlds that feel part computer game, part hyper-real dream – every element a slightly altered version of a recognisable, real-world object. Even when they’re advertising clothes the pair produce unconventional results that delight and disorientate your eyes with their effortless surrealism. Their latest campaign for Loft is no exception, showing the brand’s brightly coloured collection folding itself into a state of geometric order.

  38. List

    Parties thrown to celebrate getting your first period aren’t really a thing, but if they were then uterus piñatas, “pin the pad on the period”, bobbing for ovaries and vagicians should be 100% obligatory. Created by the same absolute geniuses who dreamed up Camp Gyno last time around, Jamie T. McCelland and Pete Marquis, this brilliant advert for monthly sanitary care packages by Hello Flo is just as hilarious as the last one, but with more one-liners – see “your Grandpa is bobbing for ovaries like a champ!” – than you can shake a big, unadvertisable sanitary towel at. I’ll stop now for fear of ruining the fun, but this might be the best advert we’ve seen this year.

  39. List_15.03.01

    I heard recently about something called the arc of expectation which writers and comedians use to build up their ideas. For its latest campaign, Volkswagen UK is disrupting this arc in sumptuous cinematic style. Launched to promote the car giant’s longstanding support of independent UK cinemas, Made for Real Life by adam&eveDBB takes iconic blockbuster movie moments and shows what would actually happen if the high tech VW safety systems came into play. This Speed homage is the first of three films to be released over the coming months [N.B. The second in the series, Explosion is now available below!] and its slick production values ensures the neat central idea is played to maximum effect. Great work all round.

  40. List

    Last week I saw the photographer Jess Bonham give an excellent talk about her work, during which she showed this project for Kenzo which I had never come across before. Collaborating with long-term partner in creative crime Anna Lomax, she created this series of GIFs to mark the launch of the brand’s Resort 2014 edition in association with New Era. Playful and visually arresting, it’s rare to see the GIF used so neatly in a commercial context and is proof positive of why you should trust creatives of Jess’ and Anna’s calibre to deliver the goods.