Former Bacardi exec Gary Bonsels of Wasserman picks his Desert Island drink Ads

The drinks category has produced some of adland’s most famous and here Wasserman Experience’s Gary Bonsels, who describes himself as a frustrated cocktail bartender at heart, picks a selection of classics.

Bonsels is a group account director at Wasserman and before that was commercial and activation manager at Bacardi. At Wasserman he works on Bacardi, Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire and St Germain.




Desert Island Ads


‘Old Lions’ by Carlsberg

What’s not to like? Insightful, relevant, funny and brilliantly directed. Everything looks and feels completely natural, from Sir Bobby’s team talk to Peter Reid’s crunching tackle – a great example of sponsorship done well. Probably my favourite ad of all time.

‘Swimmer’ by Guinness

One of those iconic ads that stick out but was somewhat overshadowed by the ‘surfer’ released shortly after this. This ad was actually the start of the ‘Good things’ campaign which produced so many great spots and even though I rarely drink Guinness, I will forever remember that it takes 119.5 seconds to pour the perfect pint thanks to Marco and his swimming. Nice agency story behind it too; AMV BBDO’s first crack at the task after winning the account from O&M – the pressure was on and they delivered.

‘Somersby store’ by Somersby Cider

Well produced satire at the height of the ridiculous Apple store frenzy in 2013; this never really received the recognition I thought it should. It’s made it all the better for the perfect casting of the Scouser saying ’32 pip’ but there is perhaps one too many puns.

‘Last Orders’ by Stella Artois

Another late 90’s work of art by Jonathan Glazer before Stella Artois started getting customer and brand marketing totally misaligned in the early 2000s – still claiming to be ‘Reassuringly Expensive’ but heavily discounting in grocery. Simple, beautifully shot with one key brand message cleverly delivered. Why can’t all ads be like this?

‘Ave it’ by John Smiths featuring Peter Kay

I still hear ‘Ave it’ on the football pitch every few months and still think it every time I smash the ball out of play, something that is becoming more regular in my 30’s. The first in a great series by John Smith’s that was followed by the ‘Curry House’ and the ‘Bomber’ which are close, but not quite as No Nonsense as the original.

‘Athlete’ by Boddington’s

At the time this was a parody on Pirelli’s campaigns, but still works perfectly as a standalone ad after all these years containing just two lines of really well-crafted copy. If I’m ever served a pint with too much head on it I fully expect someone in the pub to ask if I want a flake in it – that itself makes it a classic.

‘Wassup’ by Budweiser

For me, this is brand pop culture at its finest with a phrase that bridged generational gaps. So successful in fact that they’ve essentially tried to copy this formula for the Bud Light launch with ‘Dilly Dilly.’

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