THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Best tactical ads

1. The Number 118 118

BT's "public notice ad" suggesting its new directory enquires service was the official one caused stir enough but, provoking rows galore, was the spoof by The Number who got in on the action by running their own Public Notice ad a day later telling people that "BT isn't the only number ... thank goodness".

Creative: WCRS

Media planning: Naked Communications

Media buying: OMD

2. Veno

The trial of the coughing major, who cheated his way into winning the top prize on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? only to have to return the cash when his scam was later exposed, inspired the press ads for Veno's cough mixture, which fitted brilliantly alongside editorial about the trial.

Creative: Grey

Media planning and buying: MediaCom

3. Burger King

One of the most talked about popular events this year was David Blaine's starvation-in-a-box and Burger King jumped at the opportunity to get the idea in its ads. The existing strapline "Got the urge? Get to Burger King" appeared next to a shot of Blaine's empty Perspex box.

Creative: Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners

Media planning and buying: Carat

4. Hamlet

Hamlet used its last advertising opportunity for a highly topical spoof on M&C Saatchi's congestion charge ads. Cdp-transvissully put a spin on Hamlet's traditional happiness message with a complete copy of the Transport for London creative.

Creative: Cdp-transvissully

Media planning and buying: Walker Media

5. Sanatogen

Sanatogen wished Tony Blair a happy 50th birthday with ads tying its product up with the PM's big day. Press ads reading "Looking good at 50, Happy 50th Birthday, (any place in the cabinet?)" were noticed by Blair who gave the campaign an extra bit of PR by mentioning it in interviews.

Creative: Bates UK

Media planning and buying: MediaCom

6. EasyMoney

Stelios' Easy empire moved fast to create an ad in the Financial Times for the easy credit card. The ad shows Stelios advising Barclay's chief executive, Matt Barrett, to cut up his Barclaycard in favour of the easyMoney card. This came in the wake of Barrett's scathing comments about extortionate interest rates on many credit cards.

Creative: In-house

Media planning and buying: PHD

7. Red Bull

Red Bull aligned its "gives you wings" creative idea with various events this year, most notably Felix Baumgartner's death-defying flight across the English Channel in July. With the great public interest and vast media coverage of the flight, Red Bull secured lots of column inches and linked itself with a truly aspirational event.

Client: Red Bull

Media planning and buying: Kastner & Partners and Red Bull marketing


8. McCain chips

A one-off press ad by TBWA\London linked its "chin up" campaign for McCain chips with the grounding of Concorde. The ad simply shows the nose of the world's most well-known aircraft with the "chin up" strapline.

Creative: TBWA\London

Media planning and buying: Compass PHD

9. Flash

Another Blaine-esque tactical ad creeps into the top ten, this time for Flash. The ad shows Blaine's girlfriend cleaning his box after an anti-Blaine egg-throwing session and carries the line: "If only everything in life was as quick."

Creative: Grey

Media planning and buying: MediaCom

10. Ford Mondeo

Beckham's high profile has made him the focus of various tactical campaigns this year. Press ads for Mondeo, after Beckham and Ferguson's dressing-room spat, let Mondeo further its safety strategy while neatly incorporating the row through a picture of Fergie finding refuge from Beckham's wife in the car.

Creative: Ogilvy & Mather

Media planning and buying: MindShare


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