The Director's Director

Advertising relies on new talent as well as established names to direct ads. Stuart Douglas, Traktor and Ivan Zacharias say which newcomer has impressed them most with their work.


Stuart Douglas of is inspired by Richard Anthony at Method Films. Douglas, who directed the recent batch of Waitrose commercials, made his name with the likes of "give blood" for the National Blood Service, "World Cup of fans" for Coca-Cola, "metro" for Nike and "kill your speed" for the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

Which of his ads caught your attention?

I first saw his stuff while judging D&AD. It was a commercial for the Big Issue Foundation called "How to rip off the British public".

What's the best work he's done?

His work for Nurofen Migraine Pain set in a forest populated by wolves (titled "wolves").

What is it about his work that you admire?

Although the conservative lobby police obviously took over at the end, the build-up material (to Anthony's Nurofen work) was really invigorating, energetic and interestingly shot.

I also saw some footage for a Flora commercial that he shot in New Zealand.

Again, there seemed to be an original opinion at work in the material.

How would you characterise his style?

I don't know the guy but I can appreciate his irreverent approach - stimulating because I understand the constraints within which he has to work (as do we all). The ability to use mixed media unashamedly and some anarchic cutting is refreshing.

What career advice would you give him?

I would always like to say to any new director, wherever possible, stand by what you believe, because there will be many times when you won't be able to. The few you win are tiny, yet sweet, victories.


Ivan Zacharias singles out his Stink directing stablemates Bacon.

"Tunnel", a brutal account of the Marines' training programme, "doctor" for Stella Artois and "born free" for Land Rover highlight Zacharias' colourful career to date. He recently picked up a gold at the British TV Advertising Awards for "everyday" for Honda.

Which of their ads caught your attention?

I saw their reel when they arrived at Stink and I loved everything they've done instantly. That's quite unusual.

What's the best work they've done?

I like their Tuborg commercial called "beard" very much. It's beautifully executed, funny and surreal. Also an ad for Vattenfall is really nicely done. Very good storytelling and editing.

What is it about their work you admire?

Attention to every detail. You can feel that everything is very well thought through. Usually comedy is shot in an lacklustre way, but not theirs. They can combine humour with beautiful cinematography and effective editing.

How would you characterise their style?

Very good taste and a brilliant sense of humour. I'm jealous.

What career advice would you give them?

Keep going.


Partizan's wacky directing collective Traktor have taken a shine to Happy at Arden Sutherland-Dodd. Traktor were the world's most awarded directors in 2000 and 2001 for ads including Nike, Kiss FM and MTV, introducing us to the Jukka Brothers. Recent work includes Levi's "car" and Nike "angry chicken".

Which of their ads caught your attention?

The naughty smelly dog ("hair of the dog" for Wrigley's Xcite).

What's the best work they've done?

Apart from making some unique ads and a great music video, their best work is putting the slippery Happy stickers everywhere. We have spotted them on the travelator at JFK, at TGI Friday's Heathrow and outside our office in Los Angeles (admit it, you monkeys).

What is it about their work that you admire?

This may sound contrived, but their stuff makes us ... happy. What else should you do in these lopsided times, but entertain people by showing that you care intensely and by putting in the hours?

How would you characterise their style?

They wear loose-fitting cotton and an abundance of mid-priced hair product.

What career advice would you give them?

There is always a bit of soap left under the crinkly bits when you shower.

Beware of build-up.

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