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

Peter Souter, chairman at TBWA/UK, reveals three great ads he admires but had nothing to do with

Peter Souter is the chairman at TBWA/UK, and is a writer for theatre and radio. He wrote the screenplay for ITV’s drama ‘Married Single Other."

Souter began his advertising career as a copywriter at AMVBBDO in 1991, and became deputy creative director in 1995, then executive creative director in 1997. In 2005 he worked on the 'Make Poverty History' campaign, which is the work he is most proud of. Souter has also been the president of D&AD.

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Peter's choices

Yellow Pages "JR Hartley" 

This 1983 ad for the Yellow Pages. ­– David Abbott’s debut work for Yellow Pages – contained his trademark charm.

Previously Yellow Pages was perceived as a directory used mainly for emergency needs, but the memorable character of J R Hartley, acted by Norman Lumsden, and the pleasing twist at the end of the ad, did a lot to change these perceptions.

In Britain's 2000 "Greatest TV Ads" poll, the advertisement was voted in the top 15. The author Michael Russell wrote the bestseller Fly Fishing, Memories of Angling Days, by J. R. Hartley in 1991, and used the pseudonym again with two more bestsellers, J.R. Hartley Casts Again-More Memories of Angling Days (1992) and Golfing by J. Hartley (1995).

Land Rover "Liar"

Young & Rubicam's 2011 ad was part of the "You'll feel safe inside" campaign for Land Rover. Land Rover pushed a lighter side of the brand in this campaign, focusing on the idea that their drivers feel safer in their model than other cars (even when stationary).

In the campaign, which included two other ads, people pluck up the courage to deliver bad news once safely inside their Land Rover, even the pathological liar as he fesses up to his girlfriend.

Directed by director David Shane, with global executive creative director Kerry Keenan, ‘Liar’ won a Gold Cube for Advertising (broadcast craft and copywriting) at the 91st Art Directors Club Awards.

The Guardian "Points of view"

The director Paul Weiland cites the Guardian's 1986 "points of view" commercial as the best he ever made. Gerry Farrell, former creative director at The Leith Agency said "There has to be a Best- Ever British Ad. This is it."

Shot in black and white and with no soundtrack, the voiceover was performed by BBC newsreader, Charles Nove, and the ad was written Frank Budges.

It embodies the Guardian’s reputation as a newspaper striving for objectivity, and also warns of the dangers of bias.

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.

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