Feature

Campaign Promotion: The thinkboxes shortlist for June 2009 - A view from ... Dave Buonaguidi

The Heinz ad stands out for me for many reasons.

It's beautifully directed.

It's got a lovely soundtrack.

It has brilliant casting.

There is a subtlety and charm that is often missing from lots of other TV ads.

But the thing I like about it most is that it's true.

For me, it makes a massive difference, and this is what gives it its cultural relevance.

Everyone in Britain can relate to it.

We often ask potential clients how they think the public might react if they were told the business had gone bust.

Would they miss it?

Would they be happy?

Would they give a fuck either way?

Heinz is one of the few brands that I think the people of Britain would die for.

This ad says it, but without having to say it.

No other sauce could do it.

- Dave Buonaguidi, creative director and partner, Karmarama

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

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

HEINZ - TOMATO KETCHUP BOTTLE

A neat and rather unique trick has been pulled off here. Although it has been used throughout, the one item conspicuously missing from this Heinz Tomato Ketchup ad is the Heinz Tomato Ketchup bottle itself. The idea, of course, is that the product is so iconic and so irreplaceable that you don't have to see it to know what it is. We see different people from across the generations (old-age pensioners in a cafe, children still in their school uniforms at home having dinner, the guests at a barbecue) patting, squeezing and scraping sauce from an invisible bottle on to various delicious meals - and the imprint of the bottle on their hands is cleverly rendered through CGI. Observing the way in which people add this final touch to their meals, and looking at the meals themselves, we are left in no doubt that it could only be Heinz Tomato Ketchup.

Creative agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
Creative team: Martin Loraine, Steve Jones
Clients: Adrian Mooney, Michael Docherty
Production company: Blink Productions
Director: Dougal Wilson

PHONES4U - PING PONG

This campaign, the first courtesy of Adam & Eve since it won the account earlier this year, marks a new departure for the brand. Gone is the geeky hand sign and the cast of weird characters - and although the new approach still has maverick and challenging elements, it now seeks to target a young, tech-savvy audience through the pastiche of infamous YouTube videos. The company's new marketing philosophy is that Phones4U will only let people buy phones in their stores if they have more than 50 numbers on their phone. So this campaign, spanning TV, press, radio and online, introduces the strapline "great deals 4 popular people" and shows us various characters (such as the Ping Pong artiste in this ad), asking us to speculate on whether or not they have 50 friends. Thus the big "yes" and "no" stickers that feature in the print, digital and outdoor work as well as on the TV commercials.

Creative agency: Adam & Eve
Creative team: Sidney Rogers, Harry Bugden
Clients: Casper Nelson, Russell Braterman
Production company: Blink Productions
Director: Ben Wheatley

ROBINSONS - IMAGINE

For the centrepiece of this year's tournament activity, Robinsons chose to highlight its long-running sponsorship of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships ("part of Wimbledon since 1935") while seeking to build anticipation by speculating that 2009 could see a British player take the trophy. We focus on members of the British public - from young to old and across the ethnic spectrum, in urban terraces and high-rises to more rural settings - as they watch a crucial match point rally. As the tension mounts, their faces become transfixed by the action unfolding on screen, thrusting us right to the heart of the mounting excitement - and these shots are intercut with panoramas of deserted streets as the nation sits glued to its TV screens. Scenes of elation then follow when our tennis hero seals the point. A British champion? "It will happen again and we'll be part of it," the pay-off line promises.

Creative agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Creative team: Daniel Schafer, Szymon Rose
Client: Lesley Davey
Production company: Blink Productions
Director: Benito Montorio

STRONGBOW - LAST PUSH

This ad is the main thrust of a move to reposition the cider brand to target working-class "grafters". In a scene that borrows more than a little from the rousing pre-battle rhetoric found in the likes of Braveheart, a leader figure passes through a group of tired-looking welders, scaffolders and railway workers, raising their spirits with a motivational speech - and he asks his men to picture their first refreshing pint of the day after their hours of hard work. Then, as the camera pulls back to reveal the true extent of this vast army, they charge toward the image of a pint of Strongbow, which glows like a distant beacon. The campaign seeks to tap into a national feeling that, against a backdrop of the banking crisis and the scandal over MPs' expenses, there are a lot of people out there who are working hard but not getting the credit they deserve.

Creative agency: St Luke's
Creative team: Alan Young, Julian Vizard, Enrique Reija, Borja Alvarez,
Tim Collins
Client: Fiona Seath
Production company: Outsider
Director: James Rouse

VIRGIN MEDIA - FANTASTIC JOURNEY

In Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R's second commercial for Virgin Media, the agency develops a "powerful stuff" theme and further distances the brand from its recent celebrity-laden heritage. This spot strikes out in a new direction, dramatising the benefits of Virgin Media's mobile phone service - specifically, the power of the internet to transform your world. Featuring the track Into Dust by the US indie rock band Mazzy Star, the film opens with a man boarding a train. As he sits down and pulls his mobile out of his pocket, he imagines he is whisked away to be with friends and loved ones and is immersed in a world of music, film and gaming. The brief was to engage people on an emotional level and show them just how much the mobile internet can bring to them, from social media and music to film clips and games, all for less than the price of a packet of crisps.

Creative agency: RKCR/Y&R
Creative team: Mark Roalfe, Ted Heath, Paul Angus
Client: Ashley Stockwell
Production company: Rogue Films
Director: Sam Brown

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