Laurence Green & Lovisa Silburn: this Autumn's best TV ads

A view from Laurence Green, executive partner and Lovisa Silburn, creative director, MullenLowe London

Laurence Green: It’s good to see that normal advertising service seems to have been resumed before whatever this year’s Christmas season has to throw at us. The five commercials shortlisted this month are all proper productions, a welcome relief from zoomvertising.

Lovisa Silburn: There’s also a strong theme across them of how we are stronger together, something that has become even more important in the last year. Lloyds is there by our side, O2 helps us stay connected, Bloom and Wild and McDonald’s underpin relationships rather than just flog flowers and burgers. (And Alexa of course is now one of the family also.)

LG: And maybe that’s what Christmas in adland will look like: low key celebrations of togetherness rather than the fire-breathing blockbusters of yesteryear. Until then: enjoy some polished Autumn advertising fayre from five brands that understand the role they’re playing in the real world and know what they’re doing with their advertising.

Who will the Thinkbox Academy vote for?  And who gets your vote? Tweet us @ThinkboxTV using #Thinkboxes and view all the previous winners at

The Thinkboxes shortlist - September/October 2020

1. Amazon Alexa 'Ironing'

Two contrasting worlds - the everyday and the epic - collide in this spot in which a pair of elvish warriors are seemingly repeatedly commanded to re-enact a death scene by a chap doing his ironing. The reveal - that our ironer is watching the death scene in a film - playfully brings to life the fact the message that Alex can help you do and achieve almost anything, just with your voice.

Agency: Droga5  Creative team: David Kolbusz, Shelley Smoler, Jonathan Thake, Ethan Bennett Production company: Biscuit Filmworks Director: Andreas Nilsson

2. Bloom & Wild "Care Wildly"

This launch film for tech flower-delivery brand Bloom & Wild eschews any overly-sentimental category tropes and injects boldness and exhilaration into the act of caring for one another. Focusing on the sender of flowers rather than the recipient, we're shown an emotional timeline of a sibling relationship, right up to the point of one deciding what the message to her sister should say.

Agency: Other Client: Bloom & Wild Production company: Academy Films Director: Jack Driscoll

3. Lloyds Bank 'Forever Forwards'

Lloyds Bank's iconic black horse gallops alongside the people and businesses of Britain as they move forward, reflecting the bank's own commitment to support them into the future. With the backing of "We've only just begun," this is a stirring celebration of the characteristics of a nation always evolving.

Agency: Adam & Eve/DDB  Creative team: Ben Tollett, James Gillham, Graham Cappi  Client: Richard Warren Production company: Rogue Director: Sam Brown

4. McDonald's 'The Gift'

In this 60-second ad, a young boy receives his Mum's old car from his parents on his birthday. We follow his journey from embarrassment in front of his mates to a McDonald’s Drive-thru where he realises the freedom the car gives him and buys some McDonald's for his Mum in appreciation. The takeaway: little acts of kindness mean more than ever in this challenging year

Agency: Leo Burnett London   Creative team: Chaka Sobhani, Mark Elwood, Pete Heyes, Gareth Butters  Client: Hannah Pain Production company: Pulse Films Director: 32

5. O2 'You & Me'

Despite most of us relying on it for so many things in our lives, we never actually see our phone network. Until now, that is - if you're with O2. Meet Bubl, the O2 network personified in a little blue robot, who is with you through thick and thin.

Agency: VCCP  Creative team: David Masterman, Pip Bishop, Chris Hodgkiss Client: Simon Valcarcel  Production company: Independent. Post - MPC Director: Gary Freedman

The Thinkboxes, in association with Campaign, are the only bi-monthly awards that celebrate the UK’s world-beating TV ad creativity, in all its forms. They’re judged by the Thinkbox Academy – 200 advertising and marketing luminaries who have been involved in award-winning creative work for TV.

Want to see more great work? Head to the Thinkboxes hub

Thinkbox is the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, in all its forms. Its shareholders are Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Warner Media and UKTV. Thinkbox works with the marketing community with a single ambition: to help advertisers get the best out of today’s TV.

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