3 great ads I had nothing to do with #14: Ian Armstrong on John Lewis, Carling and Lurpak

Ian Armstrong, global marketing communications director at Jaguar, reveals three great ads he admires but had nothing to do with.

After a variety of operational and marketing roles in the FMCG sector, Ian moved to Honda to lead the UK Communications team, developing the company’s communications strategy and overseeing some of the nation’s favourite campaigns including ‘Hate Something, Change Something’ and ‘Impossible Dream’. After six and a half years he moved to the European team to work on central marketing operations, becoming Head of European Marketing for Cars, Motorcycles and Power Equipment.

In 2012 Ian moved to Jaguar Land Rover to become Jaguar’s global communications director where his knack of commissioning great advertising continues, including the celebrated British Villains ad staring Sir Ben Kingsley, Mark Strong and Tom Hiddleston.

In addition to his many professional successes, Ian is also a Fellow of the Marketing Society, an Exec Council member of ISBA and a judge for various industry awards.

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Ian's choices

John Lewis "Always a woman"

This campaign reinforces the idea that John Lewis has made a lifelong commitment to give great quality, fair prices and excellent service to its customers. Fyfe Dangerfield, of the band 'The Guillemots,' sings Billy Joel's 'Always a woman'. 

Nine actresses played the lead role throughout the course of the ad, which ran for six weeks. It was produced by Adam & Eve and cost £6 million. Filming was shot by director Dougal Wilson, with executive producer James Bland, producer Matt Fone, and director of photography Dan Landin. John Lewis experienced a 39.7 percent leap in sales after the release of this ad.

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.

Lurpak Cook’s Range "Adventure awaits"

Lurpak's ad, which introduces the brand's Cook's Range, won a FAB gold and a FABUOUS grand prix plate at the Food and Beverage Creative Excellence Awards in May 2014. Editor, Joe Guest, won the gold award for Best Edit and Dougal Wilson won best director. The ad also won best edit at the LIA Awards and the Grand Prix at The Ciclope Festival.

Richard Arscott, MD of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, said, "It does a great job of carrying the brand’s value yet embracing the "new frontier" of Cook’s Range products with its space theme."

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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