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3 great ads I had nothing to do with #2: Craig Inglis on Robinsons, Volkswagen and Stella Artois

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Craig Inglis, marketing director, John Lewis, reveals the three ad campaigns he admires but had nothing to do with.

Craig joined John Lewis in March 2008, where he has presided over an overhaul of the retailer’s marketing strategy and a number of high-profile campaigns including the much talked-about "Never Knowingly Undersold" re-launch last year.

The brand has gone on from strength to strength under his tenure, winning the Marketing Society’s Brand of the Year for 2010 & 2011 and the Grand Prix at the 2012 IPA Effectiveness Awards.  

Craig has been responsible for the much celebrated series of emotional TV ads behind this business success, including; "the long wait", "always a woman" and "the feeling". He is also the current Marketing Society’s Marketer of the Year.

He started his career in 1992 as a marketing graduate trainee at Thomson Holidays, leading to a role as a Product Manager. After a year travelling the world, Craig joined Virgin in 1997 as a Product Manager in their fledgling rail business and, after launching, he rose to become Sales & Marketing Director of Virgin Trains. In that role, in 2006, he picked up his first IPA Effectiveness Award for Virgin Trains' "return of the train", a great TV ad that used footage from classic films featuring trains, such as 'The Railway Children', 'The Lady Vanishes', 'Some Like It Hot' and 'North By Northwest’.

Want to watch more great work? Head to the 3 Great Ads hub

Craig's choices

Robinsons "Imagine"

Robinsons relationship with the Wimbledon Tennis Championships goes back to the 1930s when Eric Smedley-Hodgson first mixed barley crystals with fresh lemon and sugar to serve to the players. Robinsons wanted to emphasise this heritage, "reclaim consumers' hearts and minds" and make the brand stand out from other Wimbledon sponsors.

The Wimbledon campaign was developed at BBH, London, by executive creative director Nick Gill, copywriter Daniel Schaefer, art director Szymon Rose and agency TV producer Ben Davies. The ad was directed by Benito Montorio and produced by Jimmy Bland from Blink Productions.

It won Gold and Silver awards at the 2010 British Arrows.

Volkswagen Polo "Father/daughter"

This heart-warming TV ad positions the Volkswagen Polo as the small but tough car you can trust to protect your loved ones, as well as a car that will make you feel safe.

Rod McLeod, head of marketing at Volkswagen, said: "As well as reinforcing all of the 'small but tough' qualities that people love about the Polo, we thought it was important to tell a story which drew people in emotionally and which viewers could connect with."

Framestore’s colourist Simon Bourne crafted a grade for each scene that takes viewers through an 18-year journey by using the grade to further enhance these heart-warming scenes with soft hues and contrast.

Executive creative director Jeremy Craigen worked on the ad with copywriter Tom Chancellor and art director Luke Flynn. The ad was directed Thirtytwo, Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern, for DDB London and produced by Pulse. The music was specially recorded for the ad by music production company Sniffy Dog.

Stella Artois "Ice-skating priests"

Jonathan Glazer marked his third outing as the director of the Stella Artois ads with an epic two-minute spot. The ad was written and art directed by Vince Squibb for Lowe London with the agency producer Sarah Hallett.

Jonathan Glazer, is also known for his work with Guinness ("surfer", "dreamer" and "swimblack") directed the spot via production company Academy Films with producer Simon Cooper and director of photography was Dan Landin.

The ad was filmed in Poland in black and white. It was "graded" by Moving Picture Company‘s Mark Gethin to give it a 1920s' look.

The main actor is Polish star Zbigniew Zamachowski, famous for his role in the ‘Three Colours’ Trilogy. The music for the Stella Artois Ice Skating Priests ad is 'Hungarian Rhapsody Number 2'  by Liszt.

About this series

In this series of short films, leading Thinkbox Creative Academy members have the tricky task of selecting just three TV ads that have inspired them: brilliant commercials, old and new, that they admire but had nothing to do with.

The idea is not only to explore some of our greatest ads in the company of people who know a thing or two about making them, but also because of the proven link between creativity and effectiveness encourage the advertising industry to even greater heights.

About The Thinkboxes

The Thinkboxes are the first awards to celebrate the UK's world-beating TV ad creativity, in all its forms, at regular way-points throughout the year.

Created in association with Haymarket Brand Media (Campaign, Marketing and Brand Republic), these bi-monthly awards are judged by the Thinkbox Creative Academy; made up of over 200 advertising luminaries.

We hope you enjoy the films.

Want to watch more great work? Head to the 3 Great Ads hub


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