Piers Guilar of Seven Brands picks his Desert Island Ads

Piers Guilar is global director of strategy for international brand agency Seven Brands. He has also worked at Saatchi & Saatchi, Interbrand and Siegel+Gale. He has led projects for Harley-Davidson, Camelot, Barclays, Orange, McLaren, Rothschild, Guinness, Statoil and Nokia.


Desert Island Ads

My Desert Island ads are not your run-of-the-mill, expensive LA post-production, Cannes-winning examples. Rather they are relevant to and effective where brands are exploring the opportunity of an untapped billion new customers in emerging markets. This is my beat, so, naturally, here is an unusually global perspective that will hopefully interest, entertain and surprise those of you unfamiliar with the creativity of ads in these markets.

United Arab Emirates

Pril – Meet the One Drop Bottle

Fed up with Fairy copying their claim about one drop washing so many dishes, Pril decided to push things further by creating a packaging miracle of a ‘one drop bottle’ wash. They put this on shelves next to Fairy to drive trial and supported it with social media about size. Lovely lateral thinking in the UAE to wash their hands with a copy-catting competitor.


Glo – Data plan

At the other end of the spectrum, one of a hilarious set of ads from GLO showing the benefit of their data services to their customers in comedic fashion.

United Arab Emirates

Dubai Expo 2020

Done with no budget. Imagine if there was.

Saudi Arabia

Nissan – #shedrives

Nissan hired unexpected driving instructors for women worried about taking up the opportunity to drive for the first time. Not only warm and lovely, it helped show them the acceptance of the upcoming opening of the law was not just judicial. Warm and lovely, I am feeling emotional..


Turkish Airlines – widen your world

Talks about the incredible nature of humans and is a call to action to get out and do more, which is bang on brand for an airline.


Mamae Bebe – Optical illusion

Quite a harsh-hitting print ad campaign. Demonstrates one of the issues of being engrossed with social media platforms.


MTN – Space

Emotional, lovely ad.

Airtel – #bringbackourstars

Pollution in India is so bad that kids cannot see the stars the parents once did. Airtel used drones with smartphones and lights to mimic the stars so kids could finally see them in the sky.

Under Armour – I will (Michael Phelps)

I want to end with a classic ad I personally love. It’s cinematic and emotional with a really great line at the end.

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