He set up ZAK Media Group, a London-based collection of digital and marketing agencies including Bambino, Drink and Wolfpack, with Joanna Davies in 2012.
Desert Island Ads
Just bloody clever. How do I get you a loan? Obviously someone in the creative team had an inspired moment around the track and then they managed to keep it simple. The mantra is “don’t overthink it, make it memorable”. For a very low cost, which probably released more budget into the media buy, Satsuma Loans came up with a great little film of high quality. Goes to show, you don’t need bells and whistles. Just a good idea to get behind.
Kia entered the US car market with a reasonably standard, “everyone who doesn’t drive a Kia is a hamster on a wheel” ad. Then it changed agency and we got this beauty. Suddenly, hamsters represented something else, something with a lighter touch. Humour, irreverence. And by association, so did the Kia Soul, sort of. Fantastic way to not drop an idea, but turn it on its head and breathe new life into it from a very creative agency and a brave client who believed in them.
Audi R8 V10
What a sound. Great simple visuals, again cost effective production. How do we get around the fact we can’t show our car tearing around a track? Stick it on a rolling road and turn the volume up to 11. That ought to do it. And it did.
Johnnie Walker – The Gentleman’s Wager
What a beautifully put together film. Aspirational to pretty much anyone. Who wouldn’t want to have so few cares in the world that they can afford to bet the boat on a dance or a song? A great story with a restrained, light touch, insightful casting and wonderful production values.
Maxell High Fidelity
A classic what you see is what we’ll give you ad. Way ahead of its time, this would work great in the brevity of Instagram, Vines or pre-rolls and stings. Lovely little touch with the glass, and has that iconic, 80s feel to it.
Labour isn’t working – best copyline
Whatever your political allegiance, the copyline is undeniably one of the greats. One of Saatchi’s best ever ads at the height of their powers. Really captures the zeitgeist of 1978, and was influential in the downfall of Callaghan’s Labour government.
Call of Duty – Randall Higgins
A filmed live action ad for a video game, this ad totally blurs the lines between gaming and reality and taps into the immersive nature of the Call of Duty series. Great casting and a hubristic script, production values that match the game itself, clever little touches referencing the history of the series and all delivered in a voyeuristic way. Love it.
Wrigley – Dog Breath
If you’ve ever woken up with dog breath then you’ll realise just how good this ad is. Cracking little piece of insight followed all the way through to execution.Tight targeting and good production. Only one problem with this ad… the legion of Daily Mail reading, Mary Whitehouse fans that complained.
VW Diesel – Bollocks
Another wonderful piece of insight followed all the way through. A moment, strung out and played backwards to reveal the gag at the end. Of the many many excellent VW ads (what a client it must be), this is my absolute favourite. They just don’t make them like this anymore.
Bentley – The Finger
I really want to believe this ad isn’t a spoof. I really want to believe the chairman of Bentley has flipped the bird to BMW, Audi and Subaru after their round of public manhood measuring. That Bentley would have some fun without undermining its luxury sportscar status. That it would seize the right moment to loosen it cravat. But it probably wouldn’t. Which is right. But advertising is all about selling a dream right?