Creative Social pick their Desert Island Ads

Creative Social, the global collective of creative directors, is due to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Conceived in 2004 by co-founders Daniele Fiandaca and Mark Chalmers, Creative Social has developed into a growing platform that allows members of the communications industry to debate and share their experiences, knowledge and advice. To celebrate this special landmark, ten of its members have taken a look back and selected their favourite ads from the last decade.



Abi Ellis, DigitasLBi


I love words. And these words are bloody brilliant. I mean, who doesn’t want to win a kangaroo? Before the world wide inter web was even a glint in Tim Berners-Lee’s eye, Howard Gossage was hunched over a typewriter, writing truly interactive ads. This dude was a boat-rocking maverick, who belly-laughed in the face of any pseudo-scientific approach to advertising. Instead, he just asked himself “what’s interesting?” This ad is so lateral; it gives me a crick in the neck.


Emmanuel Saccoccoini, Unit9
Fallon London, Cadbury’s Drumming Gorilla

I like my advertising to be equal measures of entertainment and pop culture, with a twist of humour, all served on a cheap budget. That’s why my desert island ad has to be Fallon London’s work for Cadbury’s. A gorilla playing the drums along to Phil Collins’ ‘In The Air Tonight’; genius.


Patrick Gardner, Perfect Fools
Nike+ and Apple


Still to this day it’s the definitive example of advertising as product and product as advertising. Nike+ made early and daring use of emerging technologies to put action behind Nike’s famous words ‘Just Do It’, giving the Nike faithful the tools to do it with – and keep doing it every day. The products inspired by the original Nike+ have become an important part of the Nike business in their own right, and it doesn’t surprise me how often this case keeps coming up, now many years down the line. It’s definitely in the wish-we-had-done-that category.


Wesley ter Haar, Media Monks
Biertje! from Heineken

After mulling it over and almost going for something vague to show my ‘hipster creative cred’, I went for a spot that coined a simple phrase that has started many of my favourite nights; “Biertje?” (“small beer?” in your local vernacular). This is Heineken before it became obsessed with the “man of the world”, when they were just looking for “gezelligheid” – that’s the Dutch version of the Craic, by the way.


Lars Bastholm, Rosetta
Nike Presto

I was working on the digital side of the Nike account back in 2002, when Wieden + Kennedy made this ad for Nike Presto. It felt off brand in terms of the silliness of it all, but it is wonderfully entertaining and stands up to repeated viewing without losing any of its absurd charm. I remember begging Nike for permission to do something fun online in the same tone of voice, but sadly got shot down.


Ben Cooper, Innovation Director M&C Saatchi
Nike Chalkbot

My desert island ad would have to be Nike’s ‘Chalkbot’, simply because it merges digital and physical around a uniting thought of hope for cancer sufferers and survivors. It’s an audacious idea executed beautifully with heart at the centre.


Pablo Marques, Co-founder, Creative Director, Wilderness
Speaking Exchange, CNA and FCB Brasil

In my eyes, this is the holy grail of what we do. I don’t remember being as jealous of something this badly. It does good for the world, it does good for the brand and it does good for the “users” of the brand. Normally hitting one of those is great, hitting all three with such grace is remarkable.


Ted Persson, co-founder, Great Works
The Milko Music Machine, Farfar


Released in 2000, the idea was simple and the execution was genius – you could create a music video with a stop motion animated cow mascot. The level of ambition and attention to detail rivalled one of the best TV commercials and you could play with it for hours. I remember when I saw it for the first time on my computer. I couldn’t stop playing with it, and I felt both happy for Farfar, proud of the medium I spent all my time awake supporting, and envious at the same time.


Liz Sivell
Ghetto Freakout , Crispin, Porter + Bogusky

Life is full of things that are too serious, so I just have to thank Crispin, Porter + Bogusky for putting a smile on my face. ’Ghetto Freakout’, an R-rated take on the Burger King campaign ‘Whopper Freakout’, is simple yet effective; believe in your product, take it away from the consumer and let them do the talking. ‘Have it your way’ – well not this time!


Pete Petrella, Partner, Black Book London
Six Journeys, Agency Republic

There are plenty of ads I could choose that make me smile, but that would be too easy. Instead I’m singling out the work that the great folk at Agency Republic created for Mercedes when they first won the account way back when. Their Six Journeys work still stands up as an outstanding and memorable piece of interactive story telling that I’d have loved to have been a part of.

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