The Thinkboxes Awards for TV ad creativity: Shortlist March/April

Babies crawling on the ceiling, lakes of milk, a diligent young gardener, adventurous cooks and the emergency services all feature in the March/April Thinkboxes awards for TV creativity.

Anchor Cheddar 'The glorious nothing days'

Anchor Cheddar: 'the glorious nothing days'

This is a celebration of those days when nothing is planned and the family can make the most of being together. Narrated by Peter Capaldi, it’s a montage of mischief and mayhem.

Of course, the perfect meal on days like this is cheese on toast. The brief was to show the role Anchor can play for mums and dads who want to show they care through the food they provide – and the ad used real families to engage with the audience by capturing moments of emotional authenticity.

Creative agency CHI & Partners Creative team Matt Searle, Sarah Levitt Client Louise Goodyear Production company Somesuch & Co Director Kim Gehrig

Cravendale 'Barry the Biscuit Boy'

Cravendale: 'Barry the biscuit boy'

More trademark wackiness from Cravendale as a biscuit boy named Barry goes for a dip in a lake of Cravendale milk.

Despite being warned by his mum not to swim for too long, he loses himself in the lake’s milky bliss – and, on emerging, he is horrified as his soggy biscuit head falls apart.

Could this be the end? No. He staggers home, where Mum and Dad bake him a new head. And then they teach him about even more enjoyable uses of milk by giving him a glass of Cravendale to drink, thus illustrating its deliciousness.

Creative agency Wieden & Kennedy Creative team Sam Heath, Max Batten, Ben Shaffery Client Harriet O’Regan Production company Blink Directors Andrew Thomas Huang, Joseph Mann

Lurpak 'Adventure awaits'

Lurpak: 'adventure awaits'

Evocative of 2001: A Space Odyssey and with a voiceover borrowing rhetorical tricks from motivational speeches, this spot is firmly in the recent tradition of epic Lurpak ads.

Shot in close-up from unusual angles, ingredients become almost alien or morph into disorientating topographies – and cooking becomes a matter of high-tech adventure, complete with pyrotechnics and close encounters with rogue "space debris".

Ultimately, the spot celebrates the adventures that may lie in preparing every meal.

Creative agency Wieden & Kennedy Creative team Dan Norris, Ray Shaughnessy, Sam Heath, Freddie Powell, Hollie Walker Client Laurence Fischer Production company Blink Director Dougal Wilson

Vodafone 'The call'

Vodafone: 'the call'

The brief was to highlight the dependability of Vodafone’s network in a cinematic yet realistic portrayal of an emergency-services call-out.

Footage shows a fireman at work; the narration is supplied by our hero’s wife, who explains that, even after 27 years of married life, she still wants him to phone or text to say he’s OK.

As the drama climaxes, we’re told that 77 per cent of those in the emergency services use Vodafone.

That aim was to disrupt the trivialisation of the field and give a new seriousness to the Vodafone brand.

Creative agency Grey London Creative team Christopher Keatinge, Dan Bennett Client Jeremy Ellis Production company Sonny Director Fredrik Bond

Waitrose 'When you own something, you care a little more'

Waitrose: 'when you own something, you care a little more'In this spot, we see a boy lovingly tending a single carrot plant through hail and shine, impatient to harvest it as soon as it’s (just about) ready.

Though it looks rather puny alone in its roasting tin, he cooks the carrot before presenting it for approval at the family dinner table – and he’s as proud as punch as they savour its taste.

It’s a reminder that we lavish attention on the things we own – and, by analogy, that’s why the Waitrose ownership structure delivers customer benefits.

Creative agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty London Creative team Martha Riley, Richard Glendenning Clients Rupert Thomas, Rupert Ellwood, Joanne Massey, Libby Langridge Production company Park Pictures Director Tom Tagholm

A view from Academy Member...

Danny Brooke-Taylor, Founding Partner, Lucky Generals

There are some wonderfully natural moments in these ads.

There’s the moment the young lad manically wafts away the biting midges in the Waitrose commercial.

Or the moment the egg takes a giant leap on to the floury lunar landscape for Lurpak.

But it’s the moment in the Anchor Cheddar ad, where a baby crawls across the ceiling, that really got me. I must stress that this is a very different baby to the one that crawls across the ceiling in Trainspotting. This is a cute one that giggles.

And the bloke has just had bubbly cheese on toast, not a massive cold-turkey meltdown.

But it’s a lovely touch because, somehow, the whole pretence of the ad is put on hold.

It’s only brief but it just feels really "real".

Not cheesy at all, ironically.

This is one Thinkbox Academy member’s view.  What do you think? You can view these brilliant ads at

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.

The Thinkboxes are judged by the 250-plus Academy members.

Thinkbox is the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, in all its forms. Its shareholders are Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Media Innovations 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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