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3 great ads I had nothing to do with #27: Trevor Robinson on Guinness, Maxell and Levi's

Trevor Robinson OBE, founder and executive creative director at Quiet Storm, reveals three great ads he admires but had nothing to do with.

Trevor has been responsible for some of this era's most talked about and innovative advertising. At HHCL & Partners, Trevor created the multi award winning Orange Tango campaign, along with Apple Tango, Martini, Golden Wonder Pots and more recently Haribo. It was during this time that Trevor first started directing his own work.

In 1995 he set up Quiet Storm, the first agency to write, direct and produce its own work under one roof. Both Trevor and Quiet Storm have won multiple awards for their work and contribution to the industry.

Trevor has also been recognised in influencer lists including Debretts 500, Campaign A List and Drum Top 100 Adverati (where he was number 4 in 2014).

Trevor is renowned for his contribution to society and for encouraging future talent. He has chaired the IPA's Ethnic Diversity Forum and, notably, he set up 'Create Not Hate' to tackle gun crime that encourages disenfranchised young people into advertising and creative projects.

He received an OBE for his charity work and services to advertising.

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Trevor's choices

Guinness "surfer"

Launched in 1999, the iconic "surfer" ad by AMV BBDO was part of a Diageo campaign to promote Guinness in the UK. 

The 60-second long commercial, directed by Jonathan Glazer, focuses on a Polynesian surfer successfully tackling a gigantic wave.

Set to the strains of Leftfield, the ad draws inspiration from Herman Melville's Moby Dick and Walter Crane's 1893 painting Neptune's Horses. It went on to win more awards than any other commercial in 1999 – including Clio Awards, D&AD Awards and Cannes Lions.

Maxell "me ears are alight"

Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury made light of the difficulties of understanding pop lyrics in its multi award-winning spot for Hitachi’s Maxell tapes brand – a bold move, since ads for music media tend to make much of the product’s audio fidelity.

The ad won a Cannes Lion Film Grand Prix in 1990.

Levi’s "odyssey"

"Odyssey" spotlights Levi's Engineered Jeans and is one of the most spectacular showcases yet devised by the company's longtime agency BBH.

The agency went to acclaimed director Jonathan Glazer to develop and realise the project and to Framestore to provide the visual effects expertise necessary to support this ambitious vision.

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.

Want to watch more great work? Head to the 3 Great Ads hub

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