From September 2003 to April 2006, he was was vice-president of creative at Modem Media and in April 2006, he became creative director at LBi London. He has served on many awards juries and Tweets regularly.
Uniqlock by Projector Tokyo was something I thought was brilliant because of its mix of simplicity and depth. Time, as imagined by Uniqlo. But manifested as a digital clock which was mesmerising, shareable, universal and captured numerous visual connotations of the products. It still stands up as a very intriguing piece of work today.
I remember when I first saw this film from JEH United. I very much liked how the storyline jumped about in a sporadic way, knitted together by distinctive Thai humour, but most of all I enjoyed the fact that it was a completely unpredictable highlight in a very predictable category. I particularly like the editing, the storyline, the pseudo-earnestness of the shop assistant, the gloriously silly soundtrack and the general mish-mash of mentalness.
Captures the ethos of a company, and its founder, in one short film that got all the people who mattered talking. Using iconic symbolism it does a fine job of transcending mere advertising and triggering debate on a higher level.
Canal+ Bear is one of those commercials that the more you watch it, the better it gets. It’s truly an epic piece of work and the production values are superb. The script, the editing, the soundtrack are all sublime. Best of all is the idea – there’s a delicious moment at the end of the ad when the bear is watching the TV, when it all resolves and the lateral thinking leaves you with a smile.
Everyone knows ‘Beware the voices’ is a great insight that anchored a great campaign, but the reason this one is in my top ten is the execution. The casting is inspired, ‘Clarke of Clarke & Co’ particularly, and it just feels so believable. The dreamlike quality of the film is treated just right, and deftly brings the viewer into the conscience of our hapless conference-goer. I particularly enjoy the crazed laughter at the end. It goes so well with a nice cup of tea.
I do like the Skittles stuff, but the one that really takes the biscuit for me is the one with the singing rabbit. The whole thing perfectly captures the impulsive craving for a sugary kick, emphasising it via this clever ‘swap’ conceit. One of the best things about the singing rabbit is its demented voice. I think it is very talented and, installed in the National Opera House, could sell out for months on end. I would pay good money to go and watch it, and I’d definitely buy some Skittles to eat whilst I sat in the stalls, roaring ‘Encore! Encore!’ every two minutes.
Decode – Bing & Jay-Z
Decode for Bing and Jay-Z is a textbook integrated campaign. The most interesting thing for me is the confluence between Bing’s search and maps functionality and the cultural relevance of Jay-Z’s autobiography. This campaign proves that literally anything can be a ‘touchpoint’ but, crucially, this notion is carried out with complete relevance and integrity and never, ever lapses into presumptuousness.
The power of anticipation is a powerful thing, as Guinness has always proved. But I’d like to put forward what I think is an even more intriguing expression of the power of keeping the pace restrained, and thus keeping the viewer more hooked, with this charming film.
American agencies are so good at capturing those slices of truth in everyday life. I particularly like this FedEx one as it feels like everything about the truism has been boiled down so that the only thing remaining to add is the viewer’s belly laugh. The implicit message in this ad, to me, is that FedEx is sharp, alert and extremely astute. I would feel happy trusting an urgent shipment with this company.
Guide dogs for the Blind Association
I’d include this press ad because I think it’s just about the most succinct, persuasive piece of copy that I’ve ever read. It’s vivid, honest and there’s absolutely no superfluous words clouding the issue.
It’s been well documented by the writer Jeff Stark that the ad didn’t succeed in raising as much money as one featuring cuddly-looking dogs might have done. But, for copywriting craft, it doesn’t get better than this.
NO SURGEON IN THE WORLD CAN HELP
THIS BLIND MAN SEE. BUT A DOG CAN.
Try going blind.
Walk to the corner of the street with your eyes closed.
Post a letter with your eyes closed.
Buy a loaf of bread with your eyes closed.
Discover how the simplest of things become a nightmare with your eyes closed.
Now walk to the corner of the street and post a cheque with your eyes wide open.