10 Billy Boyd Cape
Boyd Cape started shooting as a teenager, going on to fi lm and photograph musicians such as FKA Twigs and Pussy Riot. He impressed this year with his fi rst ad for Pride in London which features LGBT+ people singing lines from Over the Rainbow. His intimate portraits of them as they struggle to fi nd acceptance made him one to watch.
9 Raine Allen-Miller
Allen-Miller is still early on in her career, but she makes this list for being one of the most sought-after emerging talents in advertising. Her work this year included spots for E45, Asos and Secret. She was nominated by several creative chiefs to be part of a Campaign feature on British creativity’s future leaders. Allen-Miller is developing a unique voice.
8 Kim Gehrig
Even when lured away from advertising, Gehrig grabbed creative leaders’ attention with the music video for R&B legend Chaka Khan’s track Like Sugar, a frenetic dance sequence inspired by looped GIFs. She also directed Lurpak’s stylish "Smooth" ad, which zoomed in on the small details of a rushed morning, from the chopping of a tomato to a swoop of eyeliner.
7 Ian Pons Jewell
Pons Jewell infuses his work with playful energy, most notably this year in Three’s "Phones are good". The ad subverted the idea that phones are ruining society, by reimagining historic moments, such as the Titanic disaster, as if smartphones had existed. For Argos, he turned his hand to a mischievous "Christmas fool" that wreaks havoc on festive preparations. Pons Jewell has previously said he never intended to make it in advertising, but it is to the industry’s benefi t that he has.
6 Steve Rogers
Rogers brought to life the tagline of Amazon Prime Video’s campaign, "Great shows stay with you", in a hilarious series of ads that follow people transformed by TV binges. From a couple who reignite their passion while watching the steamy series Outlander to a meek woman who learns to stand up for herself like Vikings’ warrior queen, each spot was entertainment befitting of the streaming platform it promotes.
The Department for Education’s teacher recruitment campaign is filled with acutely observed moments such as a girl nervously tucking her foot under a chair leg. Directors 32, a collective of Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace, kept this film from veering into schmaltz with a beautifully told story about the difference teachers make. They also oversaw a fine remake of the BBC’s "Perfect day", starring young voices who share their unfiltered lives.
4 James Rouse
Rouse is adept at comedy, such as his Waitrose Christmas ads about characters speeding through festive traditions to get to their tasty treats. But he was also behind the International Committee of the Red Cross’ devastating "Hope" film, in which a father rushes his daughter to hospital in a war zone. The common denominator is Rouse’s talent for directing actors. "If you don’t believe the actors, everything else falls apart," he said at Ciclope Festival.
3 Seb Edwards
Edwards’ cinematic eye has made him one of the most in-demand commercial directors, so it is no wonder that he won the biggest job in British advertising: John Lewis’ Christmas film, which this year raised the stakes with a starring role from Elton John. Edwards paid loving tribute to the music legend, coaxing from him a stirring performance, as the ad travelled back through time to tell the story of a gift that changed the singer’s life.
2 Dougal Wilson
Wilson, a perennial fixture on this list, imbues his films with warmth and charm. In 2018 he showed off his knack for creating memorable characters with Ikea’s "Ghosts", about colourful spooks that gatecrash a dull house party, and in his continuing collaboration with Adam & Eve/DDB and John Lewis. The latter’s first joint campaign with Waitrose, in which kids perform Bohemian Rhapsody, was full of heart.
The four Frenchmen who make up Megaforce – Léo Berne, Charles Brisgand, Clément Gallet and Raphaël Rodriguez – live up to their collective’s name. The quartet brought their provocative style to Nike’s barnstorming "Nothing beats a Londoner", a feat of inventive camerawork and storytelling. They struck comedic gold with Heineken’s Champions League spot about football fans missing key match moments, and took a new aural approach for BBC Sounds’ launch ad.