3 great ads I had nothing to do with #5: Vicki Maguire on Nike, The Guardian and Honda

Vicki Maguire, deputy executive creative director, Grey London, reveals three great ads she admires but has nothing to do with

Originally intent on a career in fashion, Vicki’s career plans changed when she found out that she couldn’t draw. Instead, her mentor Paul Smith encouraged her to write her ideas down, eventually leading her to advertising. 

Over the following 15 years Vicki worked for agencies across the globe, including Ogilvy, Mojo Sydney, Strawberry Frog, Perfect Fools Amsterdam and Wieden + Kennedy, and is now deputy executive creative director at Grey London.

Since being at Grey she has won more than 35 major awards for her campaign for the ‘Hands only CPR’ campaign, featuring Vinnie Jones, as well as a British Comedy Awards Jester for the Angina Monologues campaign, both for the British Heart Foundation. She’s also been named Advertising’s Woman of Tomorrow by the IPA.

Outside of advertising she owns and runs Suck and Chew, a vintage sweetshop in London’s Columbia Road market.

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Vicki's choices

Nike "Parklife"

Nike’s Parklife ad is centred on Blur’s single of the same name, which became popular at football matches in the 1990’s and is now renowned as a "football anthem". The ad was created by Tony Malcolm and directed by Jonathan Glazer at TBWA Simons Palmer.

Beginning with a voiceover of a woman exclaiming "football, football, football, I get nothing but football morning noon and night", the ad features a number of famous footballers, including Eric Cantona and David Seaman, playing football on a pitch in Hackney Marshes in the style of a Sunday morning league. With the song playing throughout the ad, the final scene ends on a half eaten half-time orange quarter, with the Swoosh and the tagline ‘Just Do It’.

Guardian "Point of view"

The ad, a grainy black and white silent film, shows the same scene from three different perspectives. The voice over explains that separate points of view can give different impressions of an event, "but it’s only when you get the full picture, you can truly understand what’s going on." At the time of the ad, the Guardian was one of the only newspapers that gave a view independent of its proprietors’.

Copywritten by Frank Budgen and directed by John Webster of BMP in 1986, the ad won a gold Lion at Cannes and has topped favourite advertisement polls ever since, including campaign’s 2003 survey.

Honda "Grrr"

Grrr, created by Weiden + Kennedy for Honda, is an animated 90-second film. Garrison Keiller sings a song with the lyrics ‘Hate something, change something, make something better’, and a new, silent and clean diesel engine is created. The ad ends with the flowers and trees forming the Honda logo and the words "Diesel i-CTDi", and the screen fades to white and Honda’s "The Power of Dreams" tagline appears.

The ad was written by Kim Papworth, Richard Russell, Michael Russoff and Sean Thompson, won a number of awards including,  Best Commercial Grand Award, Best TV Commercial Grand Award, Automotive Gold World Medal and Best Original Music/Lyrics Gold World Medal at the New York Festival  2006 The Winners.

About this series

In this series of short films, leading Thinkbox Creative 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 Haymarket Brand Media (Campaign, Marketing and Brand Republic), these bi-monthly awards are judged by the Thinkbox Creative 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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