1. James Rouse
Professionally, Outsider’s Rouse has probably never had a better year. The highlight must be Marmite’s blockbuster spot "Love it. Hate it. Just don’t forget it" – he even helped secure the services of Michael Buerk as the narrator for the ad by writing a letter to the presenter. Rouse was on top form for Volkswagen too, directing the superbly low-key "think blue" spot, and also for Freesat, shooting the charming "us humans".
2. Simon Ratigan
HLA’s Ratigan appears to have hit his stride in 2013. He directed Total Greek Yoghurt’s ancient-looking "nineteen twenty thirteen" and the Army’s "step up", shot entirely from the perspective of a soldier’s shoes. His biggest triumph was Eurostar, however. Ratigan, who learned his trade not at art school but on the job, was given free rein with his camera on the shoot and created a unique-looking spot that made sure the brand stood out in its sector.
3. Tim Godsall
Godsall, who is represented by Biscuit Filmworks, once again got to flex his funny bone, directing the follow-up to the Southern Comfort smash "whatever’s comfortable". In fact, the majority of his year was spent following up his own successes, with "fireman" for Lynx and "own the weekend" for The Guardian and The Observer. Tango was the exception that proved the rule, and "argh!" did a fine job introducing a new generation to the drink’s off-the-wall style after a five-year TV ad hiatus.
4. Si & Ad
If you want to inject your ad with a bit of charm, go to Academy’s Si & Ad. Last year, the pair charmed our socks off with "Harvey and Rabbit" for Thinkbox. This year, it was "date night" for TalkTalk and "pals" for Robinsons. The TalkTalk spot also gave the pair a chance to show off their craft, bringing to life two cartoon characters that interact seamlessly with their surroundings.
5. Dougal Wilson
While Wilson might not have been as prolific as in previous years, the Blink director remains at the top of his game. There was no John Lewis Christmas ad to crown his year (unlike in 2011 and 2012), but Wilson still got to show his craft in Three’s "the pony" and John Lewis Insurance’s "things matter". He also produced a dramatic ad for St John Ambulance and an innovative interactive film for the charity Business in the Community, which made good use of technology while retaining a simple yet affecting message.
6. Tom Tagholm
How do you follow up something like Channel 4’s "meet the superhumans" for the Paralympics? Well, if you’re Tagholm, formerly of Blink, you get your head down and direct some ads that, without bringing down the house like "meet the superhumans" did, ooze quality. His "symmetry" spot for Marie Curie was restrained and moving, while Anchor’s "life of our kitchen" was warm and well-shot. Tagholm is building a CV to envy.
7. Ed Morris
It’s only Morris’ first year at Rattling Stick and already he’s on the list of the top directors. But Morris is known for moving quickly – he devised a Cannes Lion-winning piece of work in his second week on placement back in his previous life as an agency creative. Highlights from 2013 include the Department for Transport’s heart attack-inducing "#publooshocker". What’s not to like?
8. Andy McLeod
Rattling Stick’s McLeod has one of the most diverse reels on the list this year. It moves from the disturbing "dead man talking" for Transport for London to the fast-moving and irreverent Paddy Power spots, "taser" and "ball of shame". He even shot a spot for the dog-food brand Cesar that could melt hearts.
9. Benito Montorio
Montorio is the second Blink director on Campaign’s top-ten list this year. He earned his place directing a spot for Barclays that thanked Premier League football fans for their dedication. The ad expertly captured the grandeur and scale of match day while deftly handling the stories of individual fans. Staying with sport, an ad that Montorio directed for Robinsons in 2009 was updated and re-aired after Andy Murray became the first British male to win at Wimbledon since Fred Perry.
10. Smith & Foulkes
It was another strong year for the Oscar-nominated (for the 2008 animated short This Way Up) Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes. Most of that was down to the stunning and intricate "hands" spot for Honda, which was released in the summer and received industry-wide plaudits. The pair, who are represented by Nexus Productions, also had creative director credits on the animation for Bombay Sapphire’s "imagination distilled".