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

Becky McOwen-Banks, creative director at FCB Inferno, reveals three great ads she admires but had nothing to do with


Becky is a creative director with FCB Inferno, and is recognised for cross discipline thinking. She is an advocate for industry change, spearheading initiatives including the pilot of The Girlhood programme within FCB Inferno, leading the Girl Effect (Rwanda), partnering the launch of Creative Equals and speaking at TEDx. McOwen champions the need for greater diversity in the search for better creative work.

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Becky's choices

Maltesers "Theo's dog"

This 2016 ad was part of AMV BBDO’s campaign for Maltesers selected by Channel 4 to champion diversity. The Channel 4 initiative gave away £1m of its commercial air time to help improve representation of disability in TV advertising. The ads continue on the "gossip break" ads already being produced by Mars and AMVBBDO without missing a beat – this time told by disabled people.

Cat Collins, strategy partner at AMV BBDO, explained in a statement: "Rather than creating distance by putting disabled people on a pedestal, we believed we could achieve more by showing disabled people simply as… people."

Boddingtons "Stay in the Sun"

This 1994 ad by BBH was in the highly successful series for Boddingtons Bitter, "the cream of Manchester." What initially looks like a spot for sun cream is in fact an ad for the other cream that lets you stay in the sun forever - Boddingtons. TV presenter and model Melanie Sykes is the star of the ad.

Ministry of Sound "Use your vote"

Before the 1997 UK General Election, the Ministry of Sound launched a campaign designed to encourage young people to vote. The ads showed real-life, unscripted bigots ranting about single mothers crippling the welfare state, immigrants wasting NHS resources and, as in this ad, homosexuals.

The campaign by DDB London won a Yellow Pencil for TV & Cinema Advertising at the 1997 D&AD Awards.

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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