BMB CCO Matt Lever picks his Desert Island Ads

Desert Island Ads

I was going to theme all of my selections here around sugary baked goods, ice cream brands and mousse manufacturers. Then just in the nick of time I realised it was ‘desert island ads’ not ‘dessert island ads’. So I’ll go with a selection of work that would keep me entertained while I work on my tan and build up the courage to start eating the flesh of the people who didn’t survive the plane crash.

First up, we’ve got a Superbowl spot from Career Builder. Listing the reasons you might want to change jobs doesn’t sound particularly entertaining on paper, but the peerlessly brilliant execution of this spot ‘won the superbowl’ and also a slew of awards including a yellow pencil at D&AD. Perhaps the most interesting thing I’ve heard about this ad, is that its funniest moment, when the English-gent sounding, glasses-wearing koala takes a fist to the grill, wasn’t actually written with the eyewear or accent – those touches were written in before the shoot, to allay client fears about potential complaints about animal cruelty. Which is a good reminder that sometimes restrictions can be a godsend for creativity.

Career Builder

I’d be buoyed by that on the island as I picked the sand from my underwear. Next up, we have the first of two spots on my list from director David Shane (to be honest, I could have just put a link to his showreel and that would’ve done a good job). Landrover Defenders are safe. Nice simple brief. Here is a commercial that takes that message and dramatises it in a brilliantly funny way. Our seemingly French (anti) hero, Jean-Luc, realises that he must reveal to his girlfriend that he is in fact a pathological liar. But rather than telling her right there on the pavement, he walks her back to the car and delivers the potentially dangerous news from the confines of his 4×4. That’s because with a Landrover Defender, “you’ll feel safe inside”. It’s incredibly well-written and beautifully captured. Also worth googling is the ‘swords’ execution. Which is equally ridiculous and funny.

Landrover “you’ll feel safe inside”

“Why aren’t planes made of the same material as Land Rover Defenders”, I’d be thinking as I stared at the wreckage. Not for long though, because my attention would soon turn to the rumbling in my stomach. But if you can’t get your hands on a nice filling meal, why not watch a television advert about one? So I’d take a look at this spot for Ragu, which parodies kitsch 1970s jingle-tastic advertising, in a way that naughtily encourages parents to give their kids a delicious, pasta-y dinner. Very funny, brilliant endline.

Ragu “Kid”

After watching that I’d be peckish. The Captain’s thigh will be looking appetising and I’ll need something to take my mind off the cannibalistic thoughts swirling around my head. A good movie would do it. But in the absence of high-speed internet, streaming services, an electrical supply (quite how I’m watching these ads I’m not sure – saved on a conveniently charged and undamaged tablet???) or a TV, I’d have to watch this classic from Stella Artois. This is a triumphant reveal ad, that uses epic French language film storytelling to remind viewers that Stella is “Reassuringly Expensive”, from the funniest UK copywriter of his generation, Paul Silburn.

Stella “Hero’s Return”

Finally, we’ve got the second spot from David Shane. This time it’s for Snickers and it’s a brilliantly funny, dead simple, non-celebrity take on “you’re not yourself when you’re hungry”. You think “little pinch” is the big joke, until Siri turns up a few seconds later. 30 seconds of brilliant comedy. Every frame is wrung out for maximum comic effect.

Snickers “Recovery Room”

Matt Lever is CCO of London agency BMB.

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