Leon has spent most of his advertising life at WCRS. He started there as a copywriter soon after the agency started and, after leaving and rejoining a couple of times, is now the Executive Creative Director.
He is much better at watching other people make brilliant TV ads than he was at writing them himself and is proud to have overseen a stream of brilliant and almost wilfully diverse work pour out of WCRS over the years for BMW, Orange, Sky, 118 118, Mini, Prudential, First Direct and 3 Mobile, to name but a handful.
His favourite campaigns are the ones which brought equal glory for the people who made them and the people who paid for them.
Carling Black Label "Dambusters"
"Dambusters" is a spoof of the 1955 film. This short ad features a German sentry turn goalkeeper during an air raid. Created by WCRS, this ad from SABMiller for the Carling Black Label brand was released in 1990. The ad was filmed at Pinewood Studios in London. It won three silvers, a gold and a black pencil at D&AD, and scooped Film Gold at Cannes Lions advertising festival the year it was made.
The line "I bet he drinks Carling Black Label", also used in an earlier 1984 ad for the brand, had originally been intended for use in a milk advertisement, but had been rejected.
Ronseal "Does exactly what it says on the tin"
Despite initially "bombing" in focus groups, Ronseal's "does exactly what it says on the tin" strapline has become a part of language and secured the brand its position as market leader. The line, initiated in 1994 has been the cornerstone of Ronseal advertising since.
The ad was created by agency HHCL and has been spoofed across advertising and media since its launch. The ad was directed by Andy Wilson, with the iconic line created originally by Liz Whiston and Dave Shelton of the advertising agency.
John Lewis "The Long Wait"
John Lewis' highly emotional Christmas TV ad, created by Adam & Eve, won the last Thinkboxes awards of 2011. The retailer wanted to continue its tradition of releasing a big television ad that would touch and inspire the nation.
A version of the classic and compelling track 'Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want', originally by The Smiths, is used on the ad, performed by singer-songwriter Slow Moving Millie.
"The ad was rooted in a truth about what really matters at Christmas and that resonated with our core audience," says Craig Inglis, director of marketing at John Lewis. "Our challenge is to build on the success of this and other campaigns by continuing to be true to who we are, but to keep doing so in a fresh and innovative way."
As soon as the ad was launched it created a huge buzz in mainstream media and on social networking sites. The ad was directed by Dougal Wilson and was produced by Blink.
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.