Mark Izatt is director of creative at Cream.
Chanel N°5 with Nicole Kidman 2004
This is an ad from a different time – it’s high budget, high camp, melodramatic, and a visual feast. Made by Baz Luhrmann, it came at the end of an era when great film directors were being hired by brands – others come to mind by David Lynch, and Chanel afterwards worked with Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Perfume ads get ridiculed by some, but I believe in giving them their due for translating the feeling of a scent into audio-visual storytelling. I grew up with this one, and Nicole’s zealous delivery of ‘I’m a dancer – I love to dance’ is burned into my mind.
Guinness GB – Welcome Back 2021
It’s important for ads to have emotional resonance, and this lovely Guinness ad shows that we can do this in a way that doesn’t feel exploitative. It’s simple, short and sweet, and a masterclass in using distinctive brand visuals to memorable effect. It plumbed a longing we all felt after lockdown 2 in the UK, to get back to socialising and togetherness.
Jurassic World – Waterloo Station takeover 2015
Advertising for movies has the fantastic objective of being as entertaining as possible (see Barbie). I remember when Jurassic World took over London Waterloo station, transforming it into the monorail terminal from the movie, with the feeling you were arriving at the park itself. Although making use of fairly standard OOH and experiential spaces, it was immersive and great fun – appealing to kids who’ve never seen the original trilogy, and those of us who have a lifelong connection to the franchise.
Apple – iPod 2003
I remember the iPod ads so well – with their silhouettes, bright colours, and white products. Like the Guinness example, this highlights the iconic look of a product and takes it to an extreme. At the time, a white wire hanging from your ears was incredible aspirational, partly thanks to these being all over television and taking a bold approach which was starkly different to anything else before it.
Playstation – Mental Wealth 1999
Chris Cunningham, who worked on some of my favourite music videos by artists like Bjork and Madonna, is behind this Playstation ad. Back when the console represented what the new millennium had in store, they worked on brave and strange creatives. This embodies an approach to advertising which we barely see now – unflinchingly bizarre, and therefore memorable. It’s a sophisticated, conceptual translation of Playstation’s brand values, and a risk which paid off.