Global CCO at Wunderman Thompson, Bas Korsten, talks us through five of his all-time favourite ads that each exhibits great ambition in their own way
I’ve tried to look at this selection through a lens of inspiration, to the pieces that have inspired me most throughout my career and how have they done so - because they inspire in different ways. From beautiful execution and incredible production value to razor sharp insights that truly resonate, they’ve all been created with the level of imagination all creatives aspire to. I love the notion that inspiration gets you from apathy to possibility, and these pieces have all done so. Without further ado, I hope you’re as inspired by looking at my High Five as I was choosing them...
Sony Bravia - 'Balls'
Agency: Fallon London
Director: Nicolai Fuglsig
There’s a reason why this one has been chosen by so many as one of the best ads ever made - it’s mesmerising. It’s such a simple premise (colour like no other) that’s brought to life in a beautiful - and massive - way. While the production was a huge ordeal, it’s been executed so well; the film feels fluent and effortless which is the beauty of it. Between the music, lighting, editing, acting of the frog jumping from the drain and the effects, they were able to bring everything together in such a beautifully orchestrated way. When I saw this for the first time, I was wracking my brain trying to imagine how they had sold this idea. How they were able to convince the client to do something like that, which, when presented as just the idea, you don’t have a lot to go on, makes it worthy of one of the top spots.
Fisher Price - 'Anti-Slip Roller Skates'
This 1968 ad was one of the ones that made me fall in love with advertising. Because this ad did something I hadn’t seen before - it played solely on suggestion. Instead of showing other kids who had fallen over, they showed one child with a very smug look on his face. It doesn’t even show the product. The best print ads are where the ‘big thinking’ happens in the audience’s head so they can finish the idea themselves which makes it so much more powerful...and engrained in your brain.
Fox Regional Sports: 'Turkey'
Agency: Cliff Freeman and Partners
Production: Partizan NY
This is my favourite ‘funny’ campaign of all time. I remember being so jealous when this came out. It’s built on such a great insight and the execution is hilarious. I call it ‘being nonsensical with a straight face’, or in the words of the great George Costanza, ‘it’s not a lie, if you believe it’s the truth’. The series of spots - which show different regional sports across the world that don’t make any sense - make a very valid point: people just don’t care about local sports happening around the world, they care about sports that happen near them.
Tide - 'It’s a Tide Ad'
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi NY
Similar to Sony Bravia's 'Balls', it’s the simplicity of the idea in combination with the grandeur of the execution that makes this one stand out. Saatchi & Saatchi went all out in the execution, getting in references about all the ads we’d come to know and love: famous beer ads, perfume ads, insurance, jewellery and beverage spots - which we all know is hard to do given all of the restrictions. The greatest ad hack ever. Plus, what it did from a business perspective is unparalleled. It’s such a basic premise but it’s been brought to life in such an extravagant and powerful way to say: ‘every ad is a #TideAd’.
Unilever - 'Degree Inclusive'
Agency: Wunderman Thompson Argentina
Director: Martin Donozo
Audio: Post Porta
Studio Music: Perra Santa
Product Design: SOUR Studio
My final choice is a different type of project - a different type of inspiration. The previous examples are all ads, and this is a product that will really change people’s lives. If you see how much it has done for inclusive design, both for Unilever and other brands around the world, you realise it has been a catalyst for change. That’s why I want it in my top five, because the project inspired a multitude of brands to understand how through inclusive design, they can help create a fairer and more inclusive world for all.