Life in the raw isn't entirely absent this month - for instance, in a harrowing film from Barnardo's, portraying a girl in a seemingly unbreakable nightmare cycle of hopelessness - but the dominant theme is, perhaps unsurprisingly, Christmas.
Even the road safety work on show here comes in that most traditional of forms - the country house whodunnit. And there's a spectrum of festive cheer on show, from Secret Santa at the office and celebrity charades to the warm glow of hearth and home with good stuff to eat. There are also visits to India and the French Riviera. Everyone can view and academy members can vote on the ads at www.thinkbox.tv/thethinkboxes. BAILEYS - Music to your lips
The brief from Rob Ward at Diageo was to relaunch the Baileys brand as "the ultimate lusciousness" to a younger female audience. The solution, devised by a JWT creative team of Bruno Xavier, Ronnie Vlcek, Adam Scholes and Hugh Todd, was to feature women's mouths in close-up with the line: "Listen to your lips." The result is a surreal and compelling spot directed by Maria & Marco at Psyop, in which spot-lit globules of Baileys drip in slow-motion on to expectant and heavily made-up lips, splashing and bursting into further showers of sensuously creamy droplets.
BARNARDO'S - Break the cycle
Directed by Jeff Labbe, this film communicates the tireless commitment of Barnardo's to some of the country's most vulnerable young people. It depicts several scenes involving one girl. First, she mugs someone and ends up in a cell. Next, she returns home to a violent father, is shown struggling at school and, finally, is seen shooting up. The ad, created by Dominic Goldman, Nick Allsop and Simon Veksner at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, then shows these scenes again and again with faster cuts to emphasise the cycle the girl is locked into. The client team at Barnardo's is Diana Tickell and Collette Collins.
BOOTS - Secret Santa
Vicki Steel at Boots wanted a Christmas ad to remind consumers that, no matter who they're looking to please, Boots will have that perfect something - and the showcase for this is the annual office Secret Santa tradition. From the man in accounts to the girl on reception, it shows that there's an ideal gift for anyone whose name you might pull out - no matter how young, old or hairy they might be. The ad, created by Mother and directed by Ulf Johansson, was shot in a real office building. It sets up typical inter-office relationships that people can relate to - and get a few gift-giving tips from.
DUREX - Play O
In recent years, Durex has shifted its positioning in the market to embrace an increasing emphasis on products designed to help you get the best out of your sex life. Its new product, Play O, is a gel that promises to increase a woman's desire, enabling her to have the most intense orgasm of her life. The brief issued by Alicia Ortega at Durex to a creative team of Federica Ariagno, Edoardo Aliata and Paolo Maccarini at McCann Erickson Milan was to launch the Durex Play O product to the UK market. The director was Jesper Wachtmeister.
HSBC - Policeman
Devised by a creative team across JWT's London and Curitiba offices, including Ricardo Marques, Antonio Rogoski and Axel Chaldecott, working to Heather McCracken at HSBC, this latest brand campaign execution features a hectic day in the life of a policeman in a bustling Indian city. While he is something of a lovable authoritarian at work, he's comfortable about letting his children run wild when he gets home. It illustrates the point that what's important to us varies depending on the circumstance - an understanding of which helps HSBC provide a better service. It was directed by Vince Squibb.
MARKS & SPENCER - Christmas
Working to Steve Sharp at M&S, the Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R creative team of Pip Bishop and Chris Hodgkiss draws on a great Christmas tradition - the home movie. It shows the M&S girls and their friends Take That filming themselves in the run-up to Christmas and over the day itself. Sometimes they seem aware of the camera, sometimes they don't. Set in warm and homely surroundings, it seeks to portray the kind of Christmas we all dream of, enjoying the sorts of magical moments that make this time of year so special. The director was Dawn Shadforth.
STELLA ARTOIS 4% - Triple Filtered
Mother has used 60s French Riviera-style imagery in its first work for Stella Artois 4%. Directed by Fredrik Bond, the ad pays homage to French cinema comedy, showing a young man escaping an awkward situation. He survives a fall from cliff-top poolside, lands on his feet, fully clothed - thanks to the clothesline that has helped break his fall - and is able to stroll into the nearest bar. Thus, he can order a beer and toast his adversary, who's not far behind. The clients at InBev include Ligia Goncalves and Adam Oakley.
TOSHIBA - Timesculpture
This claims to be the world's first film using "Timesculpture" technology - an evolution on "bullet time" techniques made famous by films such as The Matrix. Rather than using a 3-D rotation of a still image, it processes moving images taken from 200 Toshiba HD camcorders. The campaign is to promote Toshiba's "upscaling" technology that allows its new LCD TVs to present standard-definition broadcast content in near high-definition quality. It was devised by Andy Amadeo at Grey London and directed by Mitch Stratten. The client at Toshiba is Matt McDowell.
TRANSPORT FOR LONDON - Whodunnit?
The WCRS creatives Kit Dayaram and Tom Spicer were challenged by Chris MacLeod at Transport for London to find a way of showing how easy it is for cyclists to be missed - the ultimate aim is to encourage both cyclists and motorists to be more cautious on the road. The outcome was this country house whodunnit scene, directed by Chris Palmer, in which a number of deliberate continuity errors are slipped in. These are then revealed to the audience at the end to demonstrate just how easy it is to miss things. And in a traffic situation that obviously includes cyclists.
WAITROSE - Christmas
Created by Ken Hoggins and Jeremy Carr at Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, working to Gillian Connor at Waitrose, this film, directed by Stuart Rideout, makes a big play on the anticipation people feel about their journey home at Christmas. Classily shot and instantly evocative, it features vignettes of people heading home from all points of the compass, intercut with a range of Waitrose Christmas food. The campaign is designed to emphasise the quality of Waitrose Christmas food. As the pay-off has it: "At Christmas, there's only one place to be."
- The Thinkboxes are held in partnership with Haymarket Brand Media, parent company of Campaign and Marketing. These monthly, free-to-enter awards cover all forms of TV advertising creativity including spots, idents, ad-funded programming, interactive TV, internet and mobile TV ads. Up to ten shortlisted entries will be featured each month in Campaign. They will be judged by the members of the Thinkbox Creative Academy and the winner will be featured in Marketing. Intrigued? Of course you are. For rules and more information, go to www.thinkbox.tv/thethinkboxes.