Mike Nicholson of Brave picks his Desert Island Ads

Mike Nicholson is ECD of independent London creative agency Brave. His CV is packed with London’s top agencies – AMV BBDO, adam&eveDDB, M&C Saatchi and Wieden+Kennedy and he has also done stints at digital agency Toaster and The&Partnership in Canada. He was named the number one creative from England in the 2009 Gunn Report.


Desert Island Ads

Brave ideas are the safest thing to do. Standing out over blending in. Getting shared not forgotten. Now more than ever, we need to work with clients to make braver ideas that stand out and compete in an ever-expanding media landscape. Here are ten ideas, where fortune favoured the brave.

Dollar Shave Club –Our Blades Are F***ing Great

Having the balls to tell it how it is lands ten per cent of the market in three years.

REI – #OptOutside

REI turned Black Friday gold by getting folks not shop in their stores.

Dunlop – Tested for the unexpected

Using S&M to sell rubber, this brilliantly bold product demonstration changed the whole ad industry.

ALS – Ice Bucket Challenge

Having the courage to act can create a movement.

Apple – The crazy ones

Backing the dream, not the product, sells the product.

ETrade – Monkey

Having the audacity to blow two million dollars on a clapping monkey wins the Super Bowl.

Mark Ecko – Air Force One tag

Getting a celebrity endorsement from the President without asking him puts you on the map.

Burger King – Subservient chicken.

How take an existing tagline and subvert it for online glory.

American Express – Small Business Saturday

By inventing a national event, American Express grew market share globally.

Tourism Queensland – Best job in the world

Selling a destination by doing a job ad was a bold, brilliant move.

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