18 Feet & Rising’s Matt Keon picks his Desert Island Ads

0-5Matt Keon is ECD and a co-founder of 18 Feet & Rising. Formerly a creative director at BMF Sydney and Fallon London, his work includes award-winning campaigns for Cadbury, Budweiser, the BBC and the Tate. Matt was part of a breakaway with two other Fallon senior executives to form start-up 18 Feet & Rising. It has since become the fastest growing creative independent in London with a client list including Nationwide, the National Trust and Nandos. 


Blackcurrant Tango

A breath of fresh air amongst a sea of generic cola ads. One of the more sophisticated examples of the fact that irreverence can win and win big. This commercial engages the public’s imagination in a number of ways, not least having a common enemy – the French. Ray Gardner turns a complaint into a speech and a speech into a masterpiece of spoken word. A lot of great advertising is about associations and this is packed with loads of them.

Best Buy  Twelp Force

Someone at Bain or McKinsey would probably have told Best Buy to reduce costs, fire staff and consolidate their businesses to increase buying power while at the same time reduce ad spend. What I like about this piece of work is that the agency tried to solve an actual consumer issue.  This is a much referenced, much admired and much copied idea. That alone says it’s worth looking at and reserving a place for in any hall of fame.


Freud would have a lot to say about the overwhelming act of transference in this masterpiece. From the same agency as Twelp Force (CP+B) comes an idea so brilliantly simple and emotional. It talks to people on a human level about something we didn’t think could feel that human. This ad has stayed with me over many years.


Still one of the funniest, extremely well written commercials that manages to weave in product information in a beautiful way. Probably the best example of a hard brief cracked in a genuinely funny real life way.

Nike Chalkbot

Brands are always looking for better connections with people. What better way for fans than to be right along side their heroes. Literally.  This proves that within advertising we can and should still be innovators.

The Truth Anti-smoking

The first campaign that, for me, nailed what an idea should be in a rapidly changing landscape. Take a beautiful strategy (if you are going to take rebellion away from kids by asking them to stop smoking, you have to replace it) and go deep into culture without trying too hard. It plays on tensions, norms and realities in an innovative fashion. The creative executions are bold and appropriately full of attack. The work would still get talked about today. In fact it is.

I feel like a Tooheys

It’s said that we largely make decisions in the limbic part of our brain. And jingles are a great way to ignite the limbic. There aren’t enough jingles these days. I grew up on this long campaignable idea and it still makes for an exciting display.

Pink Air Howard Gossage


How do you sell a generic commodity? With your imagination.

A wonderful left turn by one of the very best pioneers of our time. Howard Gossage.

Old Spice

The revival of this brand started well before this execution, but this execution is pure joy. Talked about. Tweeted about. Deep into culture. Mimicked. Understands the relationship the brand has with its people. Engaging. A joy to watch over and over again.

VW Darth Vader

What may seem very simple and obvious is actually very sophisticated emotionally. This commercial taps powerfully into the personal life of parents and their child and the intimate gameplay that occurs while at the same time allowing a role for the product that fits with the idea.

Cadbury Gorilla

I couldn’t write this list without mentioning Gorilla. Gorilla has to be mentioned in any top list for a number of reasons. Contextually it punctured not only the industry but also the minds of the general population. It, along with Sony ‘Balls,’ were both defining pieces of film for their time and generation. Advertising needed it. Cadbury needed it. The world needed it. It moved us all forward. It’s the surprise we all needed in a time of predictability.

Apple 1984

It only ran once but has been talked about probably over a million times.





Against the status quo.








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