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3 great ads I had nothing to do with #21: Brian Cooper on Apple, Levi's and Volkswagen

Brian Cooper, creative partner, Dare, reveals three great ads he admires but had nothing to do with.

A hybrid creative, Cooper has enjoyed a career spanning BBH, McCann-Erickson and Mother. He was ECD at Ogilvy, had a spell as Apple’s Creative Director and has spent a few highly successful years at Dare.

He has both above the line and digital expertise, having worked with Philips and Coca-Cola. For Philips he launched a new global brand, Innovation + You, and developed fully integrated brand campaigns for Coca-Cola, including the ‘Reasons To Believe in a Better World’, Coke’s biggest campaign in Europe in 2014.

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Brian's choices

Apple "1984"

"1984" introduced us to the Apple Macintosh personal computer. Directed by Ridley Scott, it alludes to George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and its infamous Big Brother.

The ad was imagined by Steve Hayden, Brent Thomas and Lee Clow at Chiat\Day, and produced by Fairbanks Films.

$3.5m worth of Macintoshes were sold after the commercial ran and it has subsequently been added to the The Clio Awards Hall of Fame, and come top of Advertising Age’s list of 50 greatest commercials.

Levi's "Flat Eric"

Flat Eric was the yellow puppet created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty for Levi's commercials for Sta-Prest One Crease Denim Clothing. He rides with his friend Angel (Phillipe Petit) around California, bopping to the "dirty house" tune, Flat Beat. His ads revived the "cool" image of Levi Strauss.

Directed by Quentin Dupieux through Partizan Midi Minuit, the campaign was meant to be a one-off, but public demand compelled Levi’s and BBH to bring Eric back.

At the Campaign Media Awards, Motive won best use of new media, best international campaign and Campaign’s Campaign of the Year. At the British Television Advertising Awards, it won a gold, silver and two bronze arrows, and in Cannes the television work picked up two gold lions.

VW "The force"

Created by Deutsch Advertising Inc by Creative Director’s Eric Springer and Michael Kadin, this advert, promoting Volkswagen’s Passat, features a young boy dressed adorably as Darth Vadar.

His reaction to discovering that he can start the Volkswagen family car, which in fact his dad is secretly operating using a remote control, makes this advert such a winner.

Produced by Lucasfilm, the ad appeared on YouTube the week before its TV debut in February 2011. The ad was directed by Lance Acord. It was the most shared ad online but received a further 162.9 million views when it launched during the Super bowl.

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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