Cheil UK’s Matt Pye picks his Desert Island Ads

Unknown4-183x160Matt Pye (left) started his career as a grad trainee at Lowe Howard-Spink in 1994 when it was recognised widely as one of the most creative agencies around. A passion for great work was drummed into him from day one and has remained ever since. He’s now COO of Cheil UK, one of the fastest growing shops in the UK, and one of the most creatively awarded agencies during 2013.


I arrived at Lowe Howard-Spink as a grad trainee in 1994. This one was created by Lowes shortly after I arrived. I loved it. Like all young boys, I dreamed of being a footballer. This spot had a narrative quality that makes it as brilliant to watch today as it did when I first saw it.


Daryl Fielding hired me into that grad position at Lowes. In doing so she opened up access to world of brilliant ads, some from Lowes, others from the Cannes / D+AD archives I suddenly had access to.

One of my favourite ever print ads was on a wall in the reception at Lowes. At the time, the agency was doing some genius TV spots for Stella Artois, but these four words summed up the campaign brilliantly.


Heineken too was benefitting from Lowes’s then-masterful creative. This one pre-dated my time, and I know was chosen by Sir John Hegarty a while ago, but that how it is with outstanding work – it’s easy to spot and if I’m on a desert Island I couldn’t leave this one behind: ‘Water in Majorca’.


One of the best parts of my grad programme was being forced to spend a day watching reels from years gone by (that was a proper grad training course). The insight behind this spot made me appreciate that behind most great ideas lies a brutal simplicity of thought.


I left LH-S in 1999. My personal highlight was being the account man on this Malibu spot – from white stilettos to Caribbean heritage in 40 seconds. I worked with a brilliant planner called Chris Chalk on this one. He joined me at Cheil last summer and remains one of the best planning brains of his generation.


I’m an optimist. There’s a World Cup around the corner. I wasn’t born in 1966, but it was indeed a great year for English football. And I do love a good poster.
US sports manufacturer Nike ranks the bi


I love it when ads get talked about by the nation – it makes me proud of our industry. Every Christmas there’s much anticipation around the John Lewis ads. There have been many great ones, but none greater than this in my humble opinion. Brilliant insight, wonderfully executed – it makes me look forward to Christmas even though it’s May.


We won Gold at Cannes last year for our “We are David Bailey” campaign for Samsung NX Cameras. I love it. But I’m not going to put it in the mix as that just wouldn’t seem right.

(Why be modest Matt? – my choice, ed).

What I will take with me is the standout campaign from Cannes 2013, ‘Dumb Ways To Die.’ I first discovered this when my two kids started singing the song. They then started playing the game. Eventually I discovered the film. A modern, agile idea for the modern agile consumer.


Talking of Cannes, the final two ads I’d take to my desert island are two which I fully expect to be recognised on the beach from of La Croissete in June. Volvo and Van Damme is a brilliant product demo (for both parties actually). If I need to buy a truck in years to come I’m sure this spot will have an influence on my purchase intent.


And finally… I love a Guinness. I love a Guinness archive reel. This spot would cheer me up even on the loneliest desert island – “Master of my fate, captain of my soul”

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