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3 great ads I had nothing to do with #7: Jeremy Ellis on Hamlet, Budweiser and The British Heart Foundation

Jeremy Ellis, marketing director, TUI UK & Ireland, reveals the three ad campaigns he admires but had nothing to do with.

Jeremy joined TUI UK as a graduate trainee in 1991, working first as a product planner and later heading up the very first product development team within Thomson Tour Operations.

He then moved into CRM, customer experience and innovation, establishing Thomson's award-winning eCRM programme. In 2010, Jeremy became head of marketing, creating two critically-acclaimed TV campaigns, creating distinct brand propositions for the Thomson and First Choice brands. Jeremy was promoted to marketing director in December 2011.

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Jeremy's choices

Hamlet "Photobooth"

"Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet" was the catchy phrase at the heart of a long-running TV campaign for Hamlet Cigars, which came to an end when all tobacco advertising on television was banned in 1991.

In this film, Gregor Fisher - in the guise of his 'Baldy Man' character from TV's Naked Video - makes a disastrous attempt at using a photo-booth. It’s a master-class in studied anticipation and, amongst all the creative that presented Hamlet as the perfect antidote for tough times, this particular spot lives longest in the memory.

The ad was awarded the accolade of eighth-greatest television ad of all time by Channel 4 and Campaign named it as one of the top 10 funniest commercials of all time. Created by agency Collett Dickinson Pearce, the ad was directed by Graham Rose and art directed by Garry Horner. It was written by Philip Differ and Rowan Dean.

Budweiser "Whassup?"

Based on a short film, "True", by Charles Stone III, this ad for Budweiser rocketed the "whassup?" catchphrase into popular culture and found itself parodied in a number of Hollywood blockbusters.

The ad, created by DDB Chicago for Anheuser-Busch Companies was also directed by Stone. After auditioning 80 hopefuls, he decided to film his friends instead: actor Paul Williams, bouncer Scott Brooks, and filmmaker Fred Thomas.

The campaign attracted a more youthful audience and was not only an industry award winner (with a Cannes Lions Grand Prix award in 2000 and a Grand Clio award under its belt), but also a pop-culture phenomenon, even in countries where Budweiser wasn’t sold. In May 2006, the campaign was welcomed into the Clio Hall of Fame.

British Heart Foundation "CPR"

Created by Grey London for the British Heart Foundation, this charismatic ad features hard man Vinnie Jones demonstrating 'hands-only CPR' to the rhythm of the Bee Gee's hit 'Staying Alive', which we discover is the perfect tempo for chest compressions.

Jones has spoken of his pride after learning at 28 lives had been saved thanks to people having seen and understood this quirky health campaign. A follow up ad was made, featuring one of the 28 – one he’d "made earlier".

The ad was given a grade by visual effects specialists, The Mill, to give the spot a moody look in keeping with the genre of classic, British gangster films. It was written by Vicki Maguire and directed by Wayne McClammy.

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.

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