Martin Smith is strategy director of London creative agency and production company Twelve.
Desert Island Ads
Maureen Lipman – BT
Togetherness, in a phone call, even if you only live three minutes down the road. Now we sit, alone and wait for two blue ticks or a read receipt to make us feel cared for.
Bob Hoskin, BT – ‘Good To Talk’
See above. Insightful, gently persuasive and timeless. A 2019 remake would need Danny Dyer though.
#PhonesAreGood – Three Mobile
In your face, Maureen and Bob and the “we’re all doomed” brigade. A riot of colour and fun, that makes you feel good about looking at your phone every teh seconds. And a timely reminder that there’s more good than bad in there.
Life’s For Sharing – T Mobile
Here’s another reason why mobile is a force for good. When flashmobs were a thing, you weren’t quite sure whether to smile or cringe, but it’s hard not to feel good about this celebration of positivity. There’s a timeless truth about mobile technology here as well: people love sharing.
‘Stay because you want to stay’ – GiffGaff
I don’t much like poem ads, there seem to be so many of them and they’re usually quite cheesy. I enjoy GiffGaff’s directness, though – it sticks it to the man nice and simply and makes me think they might actually be different, which is hard in this category.
‘Ask more of your phone’ – Google Pixel 2
Packs so much in that it makes you dizzy, in a sort of irresistibly good way. Partly it’s the pace, partly the styling and partly the well-observed funny touches. I mainly love because it makes me feel stupid for all the times I’ve told clients the brand is more important than the product.
Unleash – Apple iPhone X
For anyone who’s ever projected a daydream onto what’s happening on the train, in the meeting, in the checkout queue or anywhere. So, everyone then? Great observation of how everything is interesting with mobile, brilliantly brought to life.
Lord of the ringtones – Orange Film Board
These ads do so many things brilliantly. They use a negative, to say something positive (how many brands are prepared to do that?). They use subtlety to take a high-ground position, rather than ramming a trumped-up purpose down your throat. Their use of humour and celebrity cameos is just ace. I found myself wondering why they’re not used any more.. maybe people have become so resistant to being told what not to do, that they just stopped working?
Fair go bro – Virgin Mobile Australia
Doug Pitt: who knew? This is great, cheeky fun and really well put together. But am I the only one who kept watching it and wondering if it was actually Brad? And am I sad for googling Doug and looking up his Wikipedia entry?
Motorola – Hello Moto
Vintage mobile bonkersness from the 90s. Who needs a strategy when you’ve got a brand name, a slogan and peak category hysteria? Quite possibly the last time “let’s get this into the vernacular” was in any way realistic.