3 great ads I had nothing to do with #13: Billy Faithfull and Ross Neil on Nike, Supernoodles and The AA

Billy Faithfull and Ross Neil, creative directors at WCRS, reveal three great ads they admire but had nothing to do with.

Billy Faithfull and Ross Neil started working together after forging careers in fine art and brand design respectively, having originally met at art school. Over the following ten years the pair worked at Mother and HHCL, and spent two years as creative directors of News Interntaional’s titles The Sun and The News of The World. After a further seven years at WCRS they were made creative directors in 2011.

Faithfull and Neil’s work includes campaigns for BMW, 118 118, Captain Birds Eye, Food Standards Agency, Weetabix, MINI, Warburtons, Betfair, RAF, The Royal Navy & Royal Marines. During their time at WCRS they’ve built an innovative creative department and overseen a number of new business wins.

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Billy and Ross's choices

Nike "Jogger"

'Jogger', part of Nike's 'Find your greatness' campaign during the 2012 London Olympics, was written by Caleb Jensen at W&K Portland and art directed Aramis Israel. It was produced by Park Pictures.

Nike showcased sporty "Londoners" from around the world, including East London in South Africa and Little London in Jamaica, to expound the London Olympic theme. Nike tried to differentiate itself from Adidas, official sponsors of the London Olympics, by featuring amateur athletes as opposed to professional athletes.

The campaign consisted of minute-long videos, featuring "everyday athletes" from all over the world12-year-old Nathan Sorrell, from London Ohio, starred in this ad, which is also narrated by Tom Hardy. 

Supernoodles "Face/off"

A hilarious spoof of the musical 'West Side Story' complete with frenzied soundtrack by Moulin Rouge's Steve Sidwell.

It's a great script from Mother, featuring fat-bellied Supernoodles and his mates doing battle with the wimpish Salad gang. The agency cleverly avoids a crackdown by the watchdog in that there are no real punches, just ridiculous dance moves.

The ad was directed by Frederik Bond, with creative direction from Robert Saville and Mark Waites of Mother, and produced by Harry Nash.

The AA "The 4th emergency service"

Liz Whiston at HHCL created this 1998 ad, which was directed by David Garfath and produced by Weilands.

By 1993 the breakdown market had become increasingly competitive, new entrants were carving out niche positions for themselves and the AA faced a renewed challenge from an invigorated RAC. Consumer insight revealed that for many people breaking down was an emergency situation. In this environment the AA was viewed in a similar way to the Fire, Police and Ambulance Services.

Thus 'The 4th Emergency Service' was born, deploying a real life tone of voice with the emphasis on safety and professionalism. The positioning was that of a market leader, setting standards, leading innovation and motivating people to join and remain AA members.

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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