Campaign Promotion: The thinkboxes shortlist for July/August 2009

A view from ... Paul Brazier.

Advertising has been hit hard by the recession. So you might expect the current, sombre mood to be reflected in the work. But, based on this sample, the opposite seems to be happening. Everything here is unfailingly upbeat and all the better for it.

Budweiser: great team, great director and the guys who wrote the music weren't bad either. The Hula Hoops DJ is a sweet little idea. Samsung practises what it preaches and explains the virtues of impatience in breathless fashion. The Virgin Media ad is a tale well-told by a director at the top of his game.

And then there's Orange RockCorps. Bit of history here - we were due to present exactly the same idea to one of our clients until this ad broke. But I have to say they've done a lovely job with it. Like all these ads, I'm staying positive.

- Paul Brazier, executive creative director, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO This is one Thinkbox Academy member's view. What do you think? You can view the ads and Academy members can vote by going to www.thinkbox.tv/thethinkboxes


This film seamlessly weaves together a mosaic of tracking shots from an elevated train passing through a stylised American cityscape - and it adds up to a playful take on the counting game that is the Beatles song Altogether Now, rendered in a cover version by The Hours. The game here is to spot the numbers (and words and letters) as they flash by on the buildings and in the street below - there are some nice visual puns and cute ideas (like the fleeting appearance of a tiny model biplane towing a streamer message) used to illustrate the lyrics of the song, ending in a shot of a building-sized mural of the Budweiser label. The brief was to show that great things happen when we get together, whether it's over a pint with mates or, as this spot exemplifies, on a much grander scale, embodying Budweiser's renewed sense of hope and optimism.

Creative agency: DDB London

Creative team: Dave Henderson, Richard Denney

Client: Garbhan O'Bric

Production company: Gorgeous

Director: Chris Palmer


This execution in the latest Hula Hoops campaign features a clever little vignette of "hand acting" - it features a young man sitting at a train table, listening to music and performing a DJ set featuring his hand as the DJ and two Hula Hoops as the decks. Some Hula Hoops also stand in for the frames of the DJ's cool shades. As an inspector arrives to check his ticket, the young man pops the Hula Hoops into his mouth - and as the inspector passes on, a disdainful look on his face, the young man then dips into the Hula Hoops packet once more to set up his fingers for another performance. The strategic brief was to remind people that Hula Hoops are fun to eat by showcasing how the unique and playful shape of Hula Hoops can take you to another place. As the endline has it: "Hula Hoops - in a hole world of their own."

Creative agency: Publicis

Creative team: Gary Turner, Jamie Marshall

Client: Phil Pick

Production company: Coy!

Director: Mark Denton


This campaign aims to celebrate the collective achievement of the 2009 Orange RockCorps volunteers, each of whom gave up four hours of their time to help at local community projects, transforming them for the better. The creative is set against a gradually regenerating urban backdrop. A diverse cast of 16- to 24-year-olds were arranged to create an effect similar to a flick-book. Using a manual morphing technique, the sequence shows one person morphing into another through gradual, incremental changes in their appearance. The hard work of these volunteers is reflected by surroundings shown in a constant state of transformation. Each participant was given a ticket to a spectacular gig (one in London, another in Manchester) in exchange for their time. The Orange RockCorps scheme is one of the centrepiece activities demonstrating the "Together we can do more" Orange brand vision.

Creative agency: Fallon

Creative team: Sam Walker, Joe De Souza

Client: Spencer McHugh

Production company: Blink

Director: Dougal Wilson


The brief here was to showcase how Samsung's new touchscreen phone, the Jet, is ideally suited to impatient young people and their fast-paced lifestyles. The spot opens with a montage of people playing out time dismally - for instance, at an airport or a bus stop or nodding off in a dull office environment - while a fast-paced voiceover, threatening any minute to cut to the chase, acknowledges the boredom of waiting. The action then explodes as we follow a group of people living for the moment, running through fields, ransacking a supermarket, storming a hotel and ripping each other's clothes off, to promote the notion that impatience is a virtue. Shot by the director behind the promos for Channel 4's Skins, this campaign aims to break the mould of traditional advertising in this category as the company looks to drive a step-change in consumer perceptions of the brand.

Creative agency: Grey London

Creative team: Grey London

Client: Mikah Martin-Cruz

Production company: Moxie Pictures

Director: Neil Gorringe


This film is a dream-like wondrous trip (and the chorus of the backing track, "I could be the Alice to your Wonderland", courtesy of Slow Moving Millie, underscores this theme) through the backlot of a Hollywood studio. Special effects abound as our movie-loving Alice begins her exploration - for instance, the giant ogre that peers through the gap in hangar-like soundstage doors as she passes. Having been enthralled by the sumptuous treat that is the costume and wardrobe storehouse, she is startled yet intrigued when she runs into a huge orang-utan on a chatshow set. Following it as it races off, she witnesses a police car chase and a cavalry march past before finally being party to a close encounter of the third-ish kind. The brief was to bring to life the Virgin promise of always providing more. As the pay-off line has it: "Discover a world of entertainment with Virgin TV."

Creative agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R

Creative team: Mark Roalfe, Gethin Stout

Client: Ashley Stockwell

Production company: Rattling Stick

Director: Ringan Ledwidge

- Thinkbox is the television marketing body for the main UK commercial broadcasters Channel 4, Five, GMTV, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Media Innovations and Viacom Brand Solutions. It works with the UK marketing community with a single ambition: to help customers get the best out of television.

The Thinkboxes are monthly, free-to-enter awards covering all forms of TV advertising creativity. Shortlisted entries are featured in Campaign, judged by members of the Thinkbox Creative Academy and the winner is showcased in Marketing. Find out more at www.thinkbox.tv/thethinkboxes