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

Ali Hanan, founder of Creative Equals, reveals three great ads she admires but had nothing to do with

Ali has 15 years’ working across some of the world’s biggest brands, including Nike, Dulux, Philips, Carlsberg and Bacardi. She has worked at agencies including Ogilvy One, AKQA and R/GA.

Creative Equals believe aims to tackle a lack of diversity in the creative industries, working across all aspects of creative to change the ratio.

Ali says "I want to see fair representation of women in senior creative roles in the advertising industry. If so few women are making the media, is it any wonder that a very particular view of females is being perpetuated? We need to see a balance at the top of the creative industries, so that a wider representation of voices can be projected."

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Ali's choices

IKEA "There's no bed like home"

Filmed in Johannesburg, this 2014 ad was part of Ikea’s ‘The Wonderful Everyday’ campaign by Mother.

It pushes the strapline "There’s no bed like home" with a dreamlike sequence that shows a woman falling through the sky from bed to bed, before waking up next to her sleeping partner and dog. The sequence is set to a reading from Act 4 of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, voiced by Prunella Scales.

Creatives Diego Cardoso de Oliveira and Caio Gainnella said that "As the idea developed, it got a little more ambitious and we decided it could become more of a brand film showing not just Ikea products, but all the beds you sleep in at different times in your life." 

Dove "Evolution"

This spot from 2006 was part of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, by the creative team at Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, to encourage a positive body image. It reveals how easily the media can manipulate our perception of beauty, by showing a time-lapse Photoshop journey from real to retouched beauty.

The advert won two Cannes Lions Grand Prix awards and an Epica D'Or, and the exposure generated by the spot has been estimated to be worth over $150 million.

Levi's "Launderette"

This 1985 commercial, promoting the re-launch of Levi’s classic 501s shrink-to-fit jeans, was a breakthrough revival for the brand that, at the time, was thought to be old-fashioned.

John Hegarty and Barbara Nokes of BBH, recreated a 50s Americana launderette which presented Levi’s 501s as a retro 50s alternative to 80s punk. Teen idol Nick Kamen strips down to his boxers in the ad, helping to increase sales of Levi’s by 800% within a year.

The use of the iconic hit I Heard It Through The Grapevine was an early example of effective integrated marketing, sparking the re-release of the original, which entered the charts again, and the 501 logo to appear on the record sleeve.

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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