Nick Baughan of Maxus picks his Desert Island Ads

nick-large-website_2014Nick Baughan is CEO of Maxus UK, WPP’s newest major media agency. He began his career at Total Media before joining WPP, initially at Mediaedge:CIA and then at Mindshare where he became business director. He joined Maxus in 2012, becoming MD and then CEO in October 2014.


Desert Island Ads

As a media man, I am terribly flattered to be asked to do this. I have of course tried to pick work that highlights both the medium and the message but what all these ads have in common for me is their impact. Some are simply creatively impactful, others have impacted society and some have just affected me as an individual; all of them achieved their goal (apart from number six on the list) and in a world where it is ever more important to prove our collective worth I can’t think of a better list than this:


Sussex Road Safety – Embrace life – Alexander Commercials Middlesex

The only ad that’s caused me to well up deserves a place and this is the Sussex road safety ‘Embrace Life.’ Living proof, if you ever needed it, that no matter what the provenance good content will spread itself


Blackcurrant Tango – St George – HHCL

Without a doubt my favourite TV ad of all time, courtesy of HHCL. The ad coincided with my own French exchange so had a particularly special resonance for me.


Fiat 500 – Motherhood – Rubber Republic

One of ours, courtesy of Rubber Republic. Too narrow for broadcast TV, this was seeded to new mums only and gives real depth of insight into a ‘special’ period in life.


Coke Life – Parenting – Santo Buenos Aires

At risk of coming across as saccharine this Coke Life ad from Argentina takes a more broadcast route to the joys of parenthood and comes complete with a beautifully synchronised version of ‘To Love Somebody.’ The planners reading will have noticed the appearance of the Fiat 500 in the opening frame…


Reagan campaign – Morning in America – Hal Riney & Partners

I love the focus of political advertising and this is one Lynton Crosby would be proud of. Economical with words and an unbelievable clarity of message.


Not flash just Gordon – Saatchi & Saatchi UK

Less successful than ‘Morning in America’ but politically closer to home and everything a poster should be. Simple, clever and thought-provoking (albeit ultimately ineffective)



Adnams – Beer from the Coast – Campbell Doyle Dye

This lived in press and outdoor as well as in-pub. Just beautiful art direction that is effortlessly evocative of everything I want out of a pint of Adnams (and the coast)



Amex – Small Business Saturday – Crispin Porter + Bogusky

One from the US and what might politely be a called a ‘total communications programme’. The best example of letting your audience create your campaign for you.


Dollar Shave Club

Another one from the States proving you can do e-commerce and calls to action with class. This not only made a success of Dollar Shave Club but also helped create the ‘direct replenishment’ category in the US.


Nike – Nike Grid – Wieden & Kennedy, AKQA & Mindshare

Not the most famous of Nike’s work but using phone boxes as the basis for turning London into a game board was a beautiful example of old media powering new.

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