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

Mark Elwood, joint ECD and founding partner at 101, reveals three great ads he admires but had nothing to do with

Mark Elwood started his career as a graphic designer, before he moved agency side in 1990 at Leo Burnett. Over the last 10 years has been head of design at JWT, Euro RSCG and AMV BBDO, where he was promoted to board director. In 2003, Mark started a seven-year spell at Fallon London, starting as head of art, and being promoted to partner and creative director. Fallon was Campaign’s agency of the year in 2006 and 2007.

In 2011 Mark co-founded 101, where he is currently joint executive creative director with Augusto Sola.

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Mark's choices

John Smith's "Ball Skills"

During the World Cup in 2002, TBWA London created a standout ad. The success of the ad relied on a simple phrase, delivered perfectly by comedian Peter Kay. "'ave it", was swiftly adopted by the nation, fuelled by World Cup fever. There was barely a person in the country unfamiliar with the ad’s strapline, contributing to an estimated £1 million worth of publicity.

The ad won D&AD Silver Award in 2003 for TV & Cinema Advertising, as well as a Gold Lion in the Alcoholic Drinks category.

Skoda "Factory Tour"

Fallon confronted the image crisis Skoda was suffering by using self-deprecating humour to get consumers to re-think the product. Skoda became the only UK car brand to increase its sales that year.

The spot won Skoda the supreme Grand Prix 'winner of winners' award in the Chartered Institute of Marketing Effectiveness Awards.

Channel 4  "We're The Superhumans"

How did Channel 4 follow-up 2012’s multi-award winning ‘Meet The Superhumans’ – the spot that helped transform perceptions of the Paralympics? ‘We’re The Superhumans’ celebrated not just athletes, but also disabled non-athletes. Featuring more than 140 disabled people, the film, directed by Dougal Wilson and filmed over 12 days, celebrated the abilities of "everyday" people with a range of disabilities.

It was the most shared Rio 2016 ad, and won the second ever Art Directors Club of Europe Creative Distinction Award.

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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