A view from Academy Member
Tim Riley, creative partner, AMV BBDO
I’m watching these ads during my lunch break on a busy day at the office. How nice to be able to write a sentence like that again. Let’s hope it lasts this time.
DFS ads used to feature lots of shots of sofas accompanied by a rapid-fire VO. You never wanted to see them again. The new DFS ad features lots of sofas accompanied by a rapid-fire VO and I could happily watch it again and again. Well done Pablo and director Freddie Powell.
If Peter Jackson’s eight-hour Beatles documentary wasn’t enough to make you sign up to Disney +, this spot has another go. It could have been just another content montage, but with the help of a decent budget, Leo Burnett has created a minor epic.
The latest Savills ad is a 60” rom-com, with the Hugh Grant role taken by four-bedroom Georgian house. In the wrong hands this could’ve fallen through, but it’s been executed with so much love that it wins you over.
The Virgin Media ad tells the tale of a newbie skater, encouraged to persist by the new friends she meets under the Westway - with a little help from Virgin Media. Heart-warming stuff. Though their experience of Virgin broadband is clearly better than ours, up the road in NW6.
When you’ve created something as successful as The Greatest Showman, what do you do next? In a surprise move, director Michael Gracey has shot the new ad for Wren Kitchens. An undeniable coup for Tribal Worldwide. The cast includes eight kitchens, ten delivery trucks, a Border Collie and a suspension bridge. “Holy Cow!” sings Sammy Davis Jr. on the soundtrack, and it’s hard to disagree.
Who will the Thinkbox Academy vote for? And who gets your vote? Tweet us @ThinkboxTV using #Thinkboxes and view all the previous winners at www.thinkbox.tv/thethinkboxes
The Thinkboxes shortlist – January/February 2022
1. DFS “What’s Your Thing?”
The DFS sale has become a bit of a meme in recent years, always offering the latest discount, deal or special offer to buy a sofa on credit. In a refreshing twist, the furniture retailer has changed tactics and declares itself really interested in your style, or in their words: “What’s Your Thing?” There’s a wonderful meshing of different personal styles, clever use of forced perspective, and jumping between vibrant colours to muted to full black and white. This is by far the most fun we’ve seen from a DFS ad in some time and we’d love to see even more of their thing going forwards.
Agency: Pablo Creative team: Dan Watts, Chris Bovill, John Allison, Freddie Powell, Tom Corcoran Client: James Brewer Production company: Drool Productions Ltd Director: Freddie Powell
2. Disney+ “Stories You'd Expect + Stories You Wouldn't”
This creative montage showcases the variety of shows and films, both old and new, that can be found on Disney+. While a simple premise, the execution is smooth as we fluidly transition through various apartments to see zombies drooling over The Walking Dead, a family rushing to watch The Simpsons only to make a “couch gag” of their own, and a Kingsman agent reminding us in a few swift movements why “manners maketh man.”
Agency: Leo Burnett Creative team: Ben Mooge, Drew Davies, Angus Crombie Client: Daphne Philippou Production company: Prodco Director: Ian Pons Jewell
3. Savills “A Savills love story”
There’s no truer love than that of a woman and her house, and who are we to judge? As South-Facing-Garden-House and Lady-at-Station declare their love for each other, one can’t help but be caught up in the wonderful whimsy of the moment. A fun spin on classic rom coms that manages to achieve just the right level of corny.
Agency: isobel Creative team: Rob Fletcher Client: Ali Parkhouse and Victoria Bennett Production company: Hobby Film/Kraken Films Ltd Director: Oskar Bard
4. Virgin Media “We’re better, connected – Skatergirl”
Learning a new skill is never easy and with the huge surge in skating popularity during lockdown, it comes as no surprise that Aamira wants to try her hand at it. Unsurprisingly, she doesn’t start off as a natural Tony Hawk and heads home. The ad takes a sinister turn as we see someone has recorded her various falls throughout the day and creates scenes reminiscent of cyberbullying. Thankfully, this doesn’t last long as a cute message reminds us this “Happens to Everyone”. She soon makes fast friends and by the end of the ad is skating like the best of them. It’s so refreshing at this time to see ads that focus on connections without mentioning webcams or how isolating the pandemic has been. Thanks Virgin!
Agency: adam&eveDDB Creative team: Edward Usher, Xander Hart, Paul Knott, Tim Vance. Client: Sophie Buxton Production company: Stink Director: Fridman Sisters
5. Wren Kitchens “The Greatest Showrooms”
In 2018, The Greatest Showman dazzled audiences and critics alike with its sensational score and creative choreography to deliver an experience reminiscent of classic MGM musicals. Four years on, director Michael Gracey Rewrites the Stars to deliver a dynamic ad for Wren Kitchens. We join our two leads as they swing, tango and charleston their way through the magical world of designer kitchens. All the while, Sammy Davis Jr’s If They Could See Me Now gives a high jazzy energy and builds to a spectacular crescendo. At the end we’re left wondering, is there anything Gracey can’t bring pizzazz to?
Agency: Tribal Worldwide Creative team: Stuart O’ Neill, Victoria Buchanan, Dave Jennings, Tristan Poulter, Dave Sullivan Client: Richard Walker Production company: Partizan / The Mill / Outpost Director: Michael Gracey
The Thinkboxes, in association with Campaign, are the only bi-monthly awards that celebrate the UK’s world-beating TV ad creativity, in all its forms. They are judged by the Thinkbox Academy – advertising and marketing luminaries who have been involved in award-winning creative work for TV.
Thinkbox is the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, in all its forms. Its shareholders are Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media and UKTV. Thinkbox works with the marketing community with a single ambition: to help advertisers get the best out of today’s TV.