As the magical vaccines take hold and we begin to emerge from the global pandemic, it’s so exciting to see that we’re still capable of making brilliant creative work. Having run my own creative agency Creature for a decade now, I know that creative opportunities come in all shapes and sizes, so my High Five selection covers a range of budgets, brands and areas of culture, and I think they show that you don’t need a big budget to make great work, but when the money is there, you can make something spectacular.
Gaspard Augé / Ed Bangers Record Company - 'Escapades' Album Launch
Production: Object & Animal
Director: Filip Nilsson
Post: AFX Creative
While I’ve not seen any of it on the telly, Ed Bangers' launch of Gaspard Auge’s solo album 'Escapades
' has been wonderful. Predominantly made up of snippets from various upcoming promos and the graphic design of Thomas Jumin, the ‘brand world’ that has been imagined as the backdrop for this album is incredible. From the Knight-on-a-Segway riding through an abandoned town of castles, through 'Star Wars'-esque typography to the violin-playing Mongolian warrior on horseback, I love everything about how this album has been teased into the world. It’s not advertising in the traditional sense. It’s much more interesting than that...
SPOKE - 'Jack the Mannequin'
Agency: Mother London
Post: WORK Editorial London
Sound: Wave Studios
Music: Adelphoi Music
There’s an awful lot of this sort of brief kicking around in adland these days as fledgling brands take their first tentative steps into proper broadcast advertising. With minimal production budgets and inevitably quick turnaround times, these are challenging things to get right, but when you do, they can be really fun. This charming little film for Spoke has a very funny conceit at the heart of it with Jack the not-so-standard mannequin talking about his life, work and the fact that he has a massive 29” thigh. The crash test dummy, penalty 'save' and voiceover really made me laugh. Which is pretty impressive for a faceless inanimate collection of white limbs and plastic.
BBC x Tokyo 2020 Olympics - 'Let’s Go There'
Agency: BBC Creative
Production: Nexus Studios
Post / VFX: The Mill
I actually saw this on the telly and it instantly captured my attention. Brilliantly inventive from the opening frame(s), I thought it did a fantastic job of bringing to life the wonderfully vibrant world of Tokyo. In the film, we journey through a series of really fresh and distinctive vignettes showing the impact of Olympic sports within the world of Japanese culture. It would have been so easy to take a misstep here and drift into cliche, but the team over at BBC towers have navigated this one perfectly. Another great sporting promo from the Beeb. Gold medals all round.
ITV - 'The Phone Call'
Agency: Uncommon London
Post: Electric Theatre Collective
Music & Sound: Wave Studios
They say that you should try and make advertising that tastes like the product, and in this example here, I think the team have done just that. What we see is reality queen Fearne McCann (no, me neither) doing her level best to kill Richie Campbell with a helicopter gunship as he talks on the phone to a director about his next potential role. The filmmaking is exactly what you’d expect from an A-list director like Tom Hooper and the performances of the actors are such fun to watch amongst the explosions, ducking and diving. Fearne’s exasperated shriek at the end is the perfect sign off as she ultimately fails to realise her murderous ends.
Ocado - 'There’s An Ocado Just for You'
Agency: St Luke’s
The brand ad for Ocado really is a thing of beauty. It’s mass, it’s fun, it’s got a catchy song and a ton of wonderful visuals delivered by the excellent Dom and Nic. I love ads like this. The ones that aren’t afraid to say that they’re an ad and that dramatise a product or service truth in a memorable and distinctive way. I love the ice-cream van on stilts, I love the fishing boat cruising through the estate, and I love the cheery delivery driver (they always are in my experience). I love it so much that I’m prepared to forgive the fact that I recently had an order cancelled because some of their robots were having a high-speed threesome in my local fulfilment centre and set it on fire...