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High Five: Favourites from a Gen X Creative

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From compellingly lickable Tootsie Pops to people whistling on horseback, ECD at Dotted Line, Jonathan Goldberg, reflects on an eclectic array of campaigns that gave him a perfect punch of nostalgia

High Five: Favourites from a Gen X Creative

This is a small selection of ads that influenced me, both as a kid and looking back as a senior ad person. In a world of 'activations' and 'adlobs', it’s important to be reminded that a simple turn-of-phrase, catchy jingle or just saying something no-one else has the guts to say or do can make all the difference for our clients. Simple fun ideas always win...



Tootsie Pops - 'How Many Licks Does It Take to Get to the Tootsie Roll Centre of a Tootsie Pop?'

Agency: Doner

How many licks does it take? This ad just gave me a mission that involves candy. The real question is how many Tootsie Pops did I eat trying to answer this question?



Urban Outfitters - Slant Magazine

Agency: In-house at Urban Outfitters

The brief: what if we throw away our traditional ad budget and take an old idea, a newsprint advertising circular like grocery stores use, fill it with amazing design and editorial content, and have all the 'ads' be for our store and products. Although short-lived, Slant was both a fantastic piece of contemporary design, literature and art, and an ingenious way to sell products to a generation notoriously allergic to traditional marketing. Kind of an OK Cola exercise without the bad aftertaste.



Irish Spring - 'Clean as a Whistle'

Agency: Y&R

These spots have it all: the lead role, a.k.a. 'the target' is often a man (very rare in the cosmetics category), there’s whistling, and perhaps the best advertising art direction idea of the last century - cutting the soap down its side with a pocketknife in every commercial.



Benetton - 'Pieta in the United Colours of Benetton'

Agency: In-house at Benetton


Before retargeting, programmatic, analytics and SEO, social and even before mobile phones, Benetton Group built a literal fashion empire selling oversized, overpriced sweaters by doing one thing really well: telling people what they believed in as a brand in an exigent way.



Wrangler - 'Yellow Brick Road: Whatever You Ride'

Agency: AMV BBDO
Production: Academy
Director: Jonathan Glazer

This is perhaps the ultimate Gen X spot, shot by the legendary Jonathan Glazer. Moody, cinematic, arresting and dripping with adventure, this feels squarely like a thumb in the eye from Glazer to his previous client, Levi’s, which really seems more suited for this level of artistry and daring. For all of its on-the-nose Gen X predictability, I just can’t shake loving this every time I see it.

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Dotted Line, Wed, 23 Nov 2022 12:30:03 GMT