3 great ads I had nothing to do with #10: Sally Abbott on Specsavers, Robinsons and Heinz

Sally Abbott, global marketing director at Weetabix, reveals the three ad campaigns she admires but had nothing to do with.

Sally studied Modern Languages at Sheffield University before beginning her career in marketing at Unilever. She joined the company as a graduate in 1990 and was soon posted to John West Foods Limited as assistant brand manager.

In 1994 Sally joined Kraft Foods and worked on brands including Angel Delight, Dairylea, Philadelphia cream cheese and Kenco coffee. After spending some time in the sales department at Kraft she was appointed marketing director for chocolate in the UK and Toblerone in the EU.

She joined Weetabix Limited in October 2008 as marketing director to help build breakfast cereal brands including Weetabix and Alpen. Sally’s role expanded its reach globally earlier this year following the acquisition of Weetabix by the Chinese Food Group Bright.

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Sally's choices

Specsavers "Shuttle"

Specsavers features poorly sighted astronauts landing at the wrong airport to push it's "should have gone to Specsavers" strapline.

Graham Daldry, Specsavers Creative's creative director, said: "This ad boldly goes where no eyesight joke has been before. It has visual scale, a strong mislead and has been superbly directed by Jeff Stark, with great production values."

The ad was directed by Another Film Company's Jeff Stark. MEC was the media agency. The creative director and copywriter on the ad was Graham Daldry, and the deputy creative director and art director was Steve Loftus.

Robinsons "Pals"

This ad by BBH was created by Matt Moreland, Chris Clarke, Sarah Hardcastle and Elliott Shiels, and directed by Si & Ad through Academy. The soundtrack is July by Youth Lagoon. The ad ends with a twist where the boy's pal turns out to be his dad.

Clues to this twist come throughout the ad, when one boy throws rocks further than the other, teases him about girls and even plays Darth Vader when they are fighting with sticks. "Subtlety was key," said the creatives. "We created lots of carefully orchestrated clues … that we wanted people not to pick up on the first time around".

Heinz "Bottle"

The June 2009 Thinkboxes winner is a simple, yet effective, idea, which reminds consumers of the vital part that Heinz Tomato Ketchup plays at meal times.

The ad, entitled ‘Bottle’ and created by ad agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, is notable because the one thing that is absent throughout is the product itself.In the ad, we see people from various generations patting, squeezing and scraping sauce from an invisible bottle, adding the final touch to different types of food. The aim of the spot is to demonstrate how strong the Heinz brand is through not showing the product at all.

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.

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