101’s Mark Elwood picks his Desert Island Ads

unnamedMark Elwood is a founding partner and creative director at 101, whose clients include GAME, Innocent, Scottish Widows, Tango, and Vauxhall.

He was previously head of design at JWT and Euro RSCG, head of design and board director at AMV BBDO and partner and creative director at Fallon. His work has been a diverse mix of packaging for cider brands, naming a beer, award-winning book covers for Orion Publishing, membership packs for TATE and a redesign of all ten BBC radio network logos.


Desert Island Ads

Hmmm. Difficult this task. You’d think it would be easy to pick your ten Desert Island Ads… but when you start to think about it, there are so many good adverts to choose from. You could fill this column with the late John Webster’s showreel or Tom Carty and Walter Campbell’s, then there’s Rich Flintham (who sits opposite me), ‘Balls’ ‘Cake’ ‘Gorilla’ wow the pressure. Well I’m just going to let today decide, watch some old classics, some new contenders and pick. Would the list change tomorrow? Definitely.


Helmut Krone: The Book

Helmut Krone defined modern art direction for print advertising, simple as that. His book Helmut Krone. The book. still sits within grabbing distance of my desk, part for pleasure, always for inspiration. I found out about him as a 17 year old typesetting apprentice and I’m still amazed at his relevance today. His work for VW, AVIS, Porsche and Audi is peerless in my mind.


Nike: 1966

What an amazing poster this is… art direction by the brilliant Andy McKay, with the perfect headline too. I remember hearing him talk about it, ‘tightening the type to make it American and using the Nazi colour scheme of red black and white.’ This made for powerful propaganda at the time and signalled the birth of Nike as a Superbrand in the UK.


Merrydown Cider

No logo, no packshot, no real, deep and meaningful examination of the brand, what’s not to love? This campaign was the best excuse to shop for photographic and illustrative talent for as long as I can remember. Mick Marston, Giles Revell, Gary Taxali, Sara Fanelli, Gary Baseman, Jeff Fisher… the list is as endless as the campaign is timeless.


Nike: Good vs Evil

The start of the dynasty of great Nike football advertising, looks a little jaded now but a classic nonetheless. Even the footballers acting performances aren’t half bad, Cantona and Maldini particularly stand out and Ronaldo was thin Ronaldo…


Radio 1 Extra

I love this ad, it’s ridiculously under-rated as a piece of advertising film. Idea, sound design and edit in perfect harmony. 13 years old, and still feels fresh to me. It’s the only film of Rich and Andy’s I’ll put in but there could be many more…


Honda: The Other Side
‘Cog,’ ‘Grrr,’ ‘Impossible dream,’ yep all could have made it into my top ten but just to be different and because its a very very clever idea, beautifully shot, lets have this one. (Full interactive film here).


John West: Bear Fight

Just plain funny that’s all, brilliantly shot, I’d need a good laugh on my desert island and this makes me laugh everytime. It’s the ‘Ali’ shuffle that does it…


Thinkbox: Harvey and the Rabbit

Adam Buxton’s lyrics on the ‘Friends’ soundtrack makes this ad for me. The direction is great and it does its job to remind advertisers of the continuing power and effectiveness of TV over and over again. It’s also my family’s favourite ad, my daughter Florence loves this and that’s good enough reason for it to make the grade.


John Smiths: Monster

This is a great series of adverts, I liked this one today… could have easily been ‘ave it’ or ‘any girl in the world’… all brilliantly written and directed, with great performances.


Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

The blueprint of how to re-launch an ‘old man’s’ product in a new and totally original way… great TV and great digital, a brilliant campaign. Am I allowed to take all of it with me?

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