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

Ben Priest, Founding Partner and Chief Creative Officer at adam&eveDDB, reveals three great ads he admires but had nothing to do with.

Ben Priest’s career spans 25 years, including time at Ogilvy & Mather, CDP, Lowe Howard-Spink, TBWA and Rainey Kelly. In 2008, he teamed with James Murphy, David Golding and Jon Forsyth to open Adam&Eve, which sold to Omnicom in 2012 and became Adam&EveDDB.

He has enjoyed creative success with clients including John Lewis, Save the Children and Wrangler. Adam&EveDDB’s campaign for Harvey Nichols, "Sorry I Spent It on Myself," took home four Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity last year, helping it earn the title of Agency of the Year.

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Ben's choices

Tango "Slap"

Trevor Robinson OBE was the art director for this iconic 1992 ad, with the small agency Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury. The brief was simple: make Tango famous.

At a time when adverts were slick, well-scripted and had big budgets, Robinson and copywriter Al Young were keen to stand out, and their idea developed quickly. The original plan to have the orange man kick the Tango drinker on the behind was denied by the advertising authority at the time… the Tango slap was born.

The public, if not the industry, received it with great acclaim. As kids started injuring themselves ‘tangoing’ each other, it was banned and rewritten, but the hype it created and the fondness with which people remember the ad makes it one of the most successful of its time.

It has been credited as the original piece of viral marketing and pioneer of what would later become known as guerilla advertising.

Levi's "Creek"

This classic BBH commercial from 1994 was shot by Vaughan & Anthea. ‘Creek’ combined beautifully shot black and white photography with an unexpected soundtrack by Scottish rock band Stiltskin.

Ever since Bartle Bogle Hegarty created ‘Launderette’, its first breakthrough spot for the brand, it’s ads have transformed the image of Levis as old-fashioned into a market leader. This ad takes us back to the brands origins in 1850s America and is the firm favourite of John Hegarty and Nigel Bogle.

It won a 1994 Gold Lion and the D&AD awards for Best Direction and Best Commercial.

Lynx "Sporty girl"

This 2012 ad is one of five films for the Axe Shower gel range, a series that shows different types of girlfriends and how to keep them happy. Shot by the award-winning Canadian director, Tim Godsall, with creative agency BBH, the ad is a stylish combination of slow motion action combined with a witty voiceover.

The ad coincided with the 2012 Olympics, and played off the revamped interest in sport that was sweeping the nation. Lynx Brand Manager, Kavi Tolani, said: "whilst participation in sports programmes have increased, so to has the desirability of sporty girls amongst guys. …our latest addition to the Lynx shower gel range has been created to give guys the competitive edge in these situations."

The campaign won gold awards at both the Andy's and British Arrows in 2013, and Silver at Cannes.

About this series

In this series of short films, leading Thinkbox 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 Campaign, these bi-monthly awards are judged by the Thinkbox 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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