Promoted
Thinkbox

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #30: Dave Henderson on Heineken, Honda and The Sunday Times

Dave Henderson, Chief Creative Officer at Mullen Lowe London, reveals three great ads he admires but had nothing to do with.

Henderson started as a copywriter at DDB, before moving to Grey, RKCR/Y&R, Saatchi & Saatchi, and back to DDB. He is now CCO at MullenLowe London.

Henderson has created several award winning TV ads for brands including Land Rover, Virgin Mobile, The Times, Toyota, Carlsberg, Budweiser, Virgin Media, Harvey Nichols and Volkswagen.

In 2015 Henderson organized the Executive Creative Directors Council for creative leaders at the top 50 agencies, and established creative directors at start-ups, as a forum for idea sharing. ECDC has the full support of all the major agencies and the IPA.

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

Dave's choices

Heineken "Water in Majorca"

This 1985 Heineken ad, created by Lowe Howard-Spink, is a twist on the famous ‘My Fair Lady’ scene in which Eliza Doolittle tries again and again to enunciate "The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain".

The ad was directed by Paul Weiland and starred Sylvestra Le Touzel and Bryan Pringle. It was ranked at number 9 in Campaign’s 2008 "Top 10 Funniest TV Ads of All Time" and number 29 in Channel 4's "100 Greatest TV Ads" in 2000.

Sir John Hegarty’s said of the ad: "I genuinely think that, 500 years from now, anthropologists wishing to understand the British in the latter part of the 20th century will just play this commercial. Our obsession with class, language and self-deprecating humour are all supremely expressed. And all in 60 seconds."

Honda "Cog"

This 2003 Honda campaign was devised by Wieden &Kennedy London, by executive creative directors Tony Davidson and Kim Papworth. Filming was directed by Antoine Bardou-Jacquet at Partizan Midi Minuit, on a budget of £1million and over a 7-month production.

The final cut of "Cog" contains two continuous sixty-second shots taken from a technocrane, stitched together in post-production. Four days of filming were required to get these two shots, two days for each minute-long section. It required little post-production work as computer-generated imagery was kept to the absolute minimum.

The full version of the ad was broadcast only a handful of times, but it is regarded as one of the most ground-breaking commercials of the 2000s, and received more awards than any commercial in history.

The Sunday Times "Icons"

The Sunday Times and Grey London wanted to bring to life some of the most iconic moments in art, music and film, by filming one continuous take without any digital interference. Creative director, Nils Leonard, said that the key to the success of the ad was in reconstructing these moments meticulously.

The ad was filmed after one day of prelighting and rehearsal. A particularly tricky camera angle at the moment of the Creation of Adam, was overcome when the camera man was able to tilt the camera to a 45 degree angle manually.

It won the Young Director Award for Best Broadcast Commercial, a D&AD Silver for Best Art Direction and four Creative Circle Golds for Best Direction, Best Cinematography, Best production Design and Best use of Music.

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

More from the 3 Great Ads series

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #45: Micky Tudor on Miller, Stella Artois and The Independent

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #45: Micky Tudor on Miller, Stella Artois and The Independent

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #44: Ali Hanan on Dove, IKEA and Levi's

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #44: Ali Hanan on Dove, IKEA and Levi's

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #43: David Kolbusz on Skittles, Honda... and one that never aired

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #43: David Kolbusz on Skittles, Honda... and one that never aired

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #42: Becky McOwen-Banks on Maltesers, Boddingtons and Ministry of Sound

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #42: Becky McOwen-Banks on Maltesers, Boddingtons and Ministry of Sound

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #41: Ana and Hermeti Balarin on Sport England, Levi's and Boots

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #41: Ana and Hermeti Balarin on Sport England, Levi's and Boots

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #40: Anna Carpen on National Dairy Council, Levi's and H&M

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #40: Anna Carpen on National Dairy Council, Levi's and H&M

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #39: Mark Elwood on John Smith's, Skoda and Channel 4

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #39: Mark Elwood on John Smith's, Skoda and Channel 4

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #38: Adrian Rossi on Castlemaine XXXX, BT and Levi's

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #38: Adrian Rossi on Castlemaine XXXX, BT and Levi's

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #37: Al Young on Finish, Carlton Draught and IKEA

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #37: Al Young on Finish, Carlton Draught and IKEA

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #36: Peter Souter on Land Rover, The Guardian and Yellow Pages

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #36: Peter Souter on Land Rover, The Guardian and Yellow Pages

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #35: Remco Graham on British Heart Foundation, IKEA and Crest

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #35: Remco Graham on British Heart Foundation, IKEA and Crest

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #34: Alistair Macrow on PG Tips, Ronseal and John Lewis

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #34: Alistair Macrow on PG Tips, Ronseal and John Lewis

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #33: Chaka Sobhani on Levi's, Volkswagen and Three

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #33: Chaka Sobhani on Levi's, Volkswagen and Three

3 great ads I had nothing to do with: Nina Bibby on Evian, John Lewis and Guinness

3 great ads I had nothing to do with: Nina Bibby on Evian, John Lewis and Guinness

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #31: Ben Priest on Tango, Lynx and Levi's

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #31: Ben Priest on Tango, Lynx and Levi's

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #30: Dave Henderson on Heineken, Honda and The Sunday Times

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #30: Dave Henderson on Heineken, Honda and The Sunday Times

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #29: Debs Gerrard on John West, Skittles and Guinness

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #29: Debs Gerrard on John West, Skittles and Guinness

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #28: Rosie Arnold on Polaroid, Chipotle and Cadbury

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #28: Rosie Arnold on Polaroid, Chipotle and Cadbury

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

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

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #26: Paul Weiland on Marmite, Volkswagen and PlayStation

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #26: Paul Weiland on Marmite, Volkswagen and PlayStation

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #25: Matt Davis on Reebok, Heineken and Barnados

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #25: Matt Davis on Reebok, Heineken and Barnados

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #24: Elspeth Lynn on Sony Bravia, Sport England and The Independent

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #24: Elspeth Lynn on Sony Bravia, Sport England and The Independent

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #23: Stuart Outhwaite on Milk Marketing Board, John Smith's and McDonald's

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #23: Stuart Outhwaite on Milk Marketing Board, John Smith's and McDonald's

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #22: Robert Campbell on The BBC, Dunlop and Nike

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #22: Robert Campbell on The BBC, Dunlop and Nike

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

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

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #20: Catherine Kehoe on Virgin, Channel 4 and T-Mobile

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #20: Catherine Kehoe on Virgin, Channel 4 and T-Mobile

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #19: John Townshend on Honda, Levi's and Wall's

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #19: John Townshend on Honda, Levi's and Wall's

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #18: Kate Stanners on The Guardian, Guinness and Nike

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #18: Kate Stanners on The Guardian, Guinness and Nike

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #17: Russell Ramsey on Nike, Lurpak and Skoda

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #17: Russell Ramsey on Nike, Lurpak and Skoda

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #16: Abigail Comber on Lurpak, Maltesers and Sony Bravia

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #16: Abigail Comber on Lurpak, Maltesers and Sony Bravia

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #15: Darren Bailes on Kia-ora, Volvo and Levi's

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #15: Darren Bailes on Kia-ora, Volvo and Levi's

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

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

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

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

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #12: Danny Brooke-Taylor on Southern Comfort, Reebok and Dr Pepper

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #12: Danny Brooke-Taylor on Southern Comfort, Reebok and Dr Pepper

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #11: Gerry Human on Orange, Harvey Nichol's and John Smith's

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #11: Gerry Human on Orange, Harvey Nichol's and John Smith's

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

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

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #9: Caitlin Ryan on British Airways, Teacher Training Association and John Lewis

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #9: Caitlin Ryan on British Airways, Teacher Training Association and John Lewis

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #8: Elizabeth Fagan on Egg Marketing Board, Thinkbox and Carlsberg

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #8: Elizabeth Fagan on Egg Marketing Board, Thinkbox and Carlsberg

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #7: Jeremy Ellis on Hamlet, Budweiser and The British Heart Foundation

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #7: Jeremy Ellis on Hamlet, Budweiser and The British Heart Foundation

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #6: Ben Tollett & Emer Stamp on Tango, Lynx and the NSPCC

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #6: Ben Tollett & Emer Stamp on Tango, Lynx and the NSPCC

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #5: Vicki Maguire on Nike, The Guardian and Honda

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #5: Vicki Maguire on Nike, The Guardian and Honda

3 great ads I had nothing to do with # 4: Leon Jaume on Carling, Ronseal and John Lewis

3 great ads I had nothing to do with # 4: Leon Jaume on Carling, Ronseal and John Lewis

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #3: Justin Tindall on Stella Artois, Volkswagen and Match.com

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #3: Justin Tindall on Stella Artois, Volkswagen and Match.com

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #2: Craig Inglis on Robinsons, Volkswagen and Stella Artois

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #2: Craig Inglis on Robinsons, Volkswagen and Stella Artois

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #1: Nick Gill on Cresta, Levi's and Channel 4

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #1: Nick Gill on Cresta, Levi's and Channel 4