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3 great ads I had nothing to do with #9: Caitlin Ryan on British Airways, Teacher Training Association and John Lewis

Caitlin Ryan, outgoing ECD Proximity and incoming Group ECD of Karmarama, chooses three great TV ads she admires but had nothing to do with.

Caitlin moved to the UK in 1993 for what was supposed to be a 2-year stint. She joined Proximity (BHWG) and in 2005 became the Executive Creative Director.

Under her Creative Directorship the agency has won more national and international awards than any other direct agency in the UK. She is regularly listed as one of the top 3 Direct Creative Directors in Campaign, because of her ‘passion for the work’. She puts every bit of the agency’s creative success down to the very talented and dedicated team she is lucky enough to have around her.

Caitlin judges regularly and in 2012 represented UK at Cannes on the Direct Jury, was Chair of Direct for Campaign Bigs and spokesperson for the industry. She sits on the Proximity Worldwide Creative Board, the DMA Awards Committee and is a member of WACL through which she is hoping to help more women stay and thrive in the UK creative industries.

She is also joint owner of two of London’s most popular and awarded cafés; Lantana in Fitzrovia and Salvation Jane in Shoreditch. She is about to take on the position of Group Executive Creative Director at Karmarama.

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Caitlin's choices

British Airways "Face"

A cast of thousands helped produce British Airway's 'face' campaign in 1989. It took sweeping landscape scenes, scores of extras and fitted them to an opera inspired soundtrack. Actors move in formation to create a face image before a voiceover reveals that every year the airline brings 24 million people together.

The ad was produced by Saatchi & Saatchi with filming taking place in Utah. A recent Channel 4 show ranked the ad 62 in its '100 Greatest TV Ads' list.

Teacher Training Association "Talking Heads"

Featuring Joanna Lumley, Terence Conran and Tony Blair, this spot from the Teacher Training Association names favourite teachers and reminds viewers: "No one forgets a good teacher." Famous faces line up to name check a teacher they feel helped them get to where they are today.

The brief handed to agency Delaney Fletcher Bozell, was to 'elevate the status of teaching as a profession'. Drawing attention to the important role teachers play in shaping our future generation is a simple but powerful message.

John Lewis "Always a woman"

This campaign reinforces the idea that John Lewis has made a lifelong commitment to give great quality, fair prices and excellent service to its customers. Fyfe Dangerfield, of the band 'The Guillemots,' sings Billy Joel's 'Always a woman'. 

Nine actresses played the lead role throughout the course of the ad, which ran for six weeks. It was produced by Adam & Eve and cost £6 million. Filming was shot by director Dougal Wilson, with executive producer James Bland, producer Matt Fone, and director of photography Dan Landin. John Lewis experienced a 39.7 percent leap in sales after the release of this ad.

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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