TV’s spring shoots

The Thinkbox Academy will vote for the Thinkboxes Award winner from these five TV spots

A view from Academy Member

Lucas Peon, chief creative officer, The Gate

In this round up, we see heartstrings plucked and funny bones tickled. I’m all smiles and tears. It’s good to see comedy back in play, and evidence of how great insights can stand the test of time.

Marmite presents yet another example of how great ideas can be executed over and over while remaining fresh and surprising. This time, an introduction of the brand to our youngest audience. Great way again of demonstrating the divide between haters and lovers even before they’re born. Love the comedy timings.

With Tesco Mobile, the idea of being helpful is a perfect fit for Lassie. And the shopping trolley anthropomorphised will have everyone smiling. Claiming to be the helpful network and connecting mobile to the supermarket is a clear out-take. Makes people notice. Leaves them wanting to learn more. Good combination.

IKEA presents a clever way to bring the crib factor to the everyday, through a slick execution, showing a slice of life of modern day living. Staying so precisely faithful to the original style of celebrity cribs was a great choice. From the start, you wonder who it is, then you realise it could just be your cool neighbour.

Hats off to the FREENOW execution. Escaping the humdrum of monotony with the promise of effortless movement through more exciting places. Visually terrific. Good move, considering the competition in the category.

Time helps. It helps tell a story. It helps build emotion. It helps lower guards in the audience. Time, when used well, allows you to create powerful stories. This ad for Vanish is a good example and those who watch the Vanish ad to the end won’t forget it. It’ll make something change in them. That’s the power of time well used.

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 - March/April 2023


In this animated spot for transport app FREENOW, a woman breaks free of a repetitive loop to explore a buzzing city – represented by a spinning zoetrope – using different moves of transport, such as e-scooters and e-bikes. The end result is a colourful and dynamic celebration of the wide array of different experiences a city has to offer.

BMB Creative team: Matt Lever, chief creative officer; Jordan Down, creative director; Will Marsden, creative director; Joe Lovett, senior creative; Jack Snell, senior creative Client: Claire Walsh, global head of brand & content Production company: ETC Director: Dean Robinson

2. IKEA: "Show Off Your Savvy"

A man takes the audience on a tour of his home to show off his savvy in this new spot for IKEA that’s all about the new bragging rights – not how flashy your home is, but how clever, cost effective and brilliant you make it. Forget bling-y cars, this house tour moves from sofas and energy saving light bulbs through beds that grow with your child to dozens of iconic IKEA blue and yellow bags.

Agency: Mother Creative team: n/a Client: Kemi Anthony, marketing communication manager, UK&Ireland Production company: Division Director: Sanjay De Silva

3. Marmite: "Marmite Baby Scan"

A documentary-style film shows expectant couples finding out a key detail about their soon-to-be born baby: whether it is a lover or hater of Marmite. Inspired by research showing unborn children in the womb can taste what their pregnant mother has eaten, the tongue-in-cheek film is supported by outdoor and print ads – all showing scan of babies in the womb either smiling or pulling a disgusted expression.

Agency: adam&eveDDB Creative team: Frances Leach, Christopher Bowsher, Ant Nelson, Mike Sutherland, Richard Brim Client: Shannon Lennon-Smith, marketing manager Production company: Biscuit Filmworks Director: James Rouse

4. Tesco Mobile: "Welcome to the Helpful Network"

A man trapped in a well is rescued by a helpful Tesco trolley in this surreal ad for Tesco Mobile when he is eventually pulled to safety clinging onto a rope made of a sausages. And it’s all set to the tune of Glenn Frey’s The Heat is On. The entertaining metaphor shows that Tesco Mobile offers more help than you’d expect from a network.

Agency: BBH Creative team: Uche Ezugwu, Neil Clarke, Jay Phillips Client: Zea Westwick, comms planning & campaigns lead Production company: Stink Films Director: Traktor

5. Vanish: "Me, My Autism & I"

The gender gap in autism is powerfully demonstrated in this powerful spot for stain removal brand Vanish, which was developed with support from Ambitious About Autism and won Channel 4’s annual Diversity in Advertising Award. Girls are 3x less likely to receive an autism diagnosis than boys. In this spot, a mini docudrama, the story of one autistic girl and the visceral importance of her hoodie (and so the value of helping it last longer) is told to familiarise and normalise life around girls and younger people with autism.

Agency: Havas London Creative team: Hollie Iles, Elliot Harris, Vicki Maguire, Sasha Midgley, Aly Marx-Blackwell Client: Cigdem Kurtulus, managing director, Reckitt, UK&Ireland Production company: Smuggler Director: Tom Hooper

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 are judged by the Thinkbox Academy – advertising and marketing luminaries who have been involved in award-winning creative work for TV.


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