LBB’s Hannah Baines kindly asked me to write my own list of ads for High Five, and my mind drew a blank. It felt like I had never seen one in my life. Good advertisements are hard to come by, especially given that everyone has different opinions about what makes things 'good' in the first place. So when I first started writing this, I decided to go with projects that I deemed memorable. After some thinking - and soul searching - I compiled this list from the ads I could distinctly remember, specifically ones that I remembered were good. Isn’t being memorable the most important success metric of an ad? I think so, so here's the list...
Bose - 'Alive'
Agency: Grey London
Director: Miles Jay
Post: Absolute x Company 3
Editorial: WORK London
No words, all visuals, and time to feel it through. This ad is only four shots and then the product shot at the end. A quiet contemplative piece that reminds us what matters. By Canadian director Miles Jay, this piece proves the power of storytelling lies in the possibility of human connection. We see this kid and we know exactly what he is going through by seeing subtle hints to his situation, and we can only imagine what exactly is going through his head. All we know is that he is going through pure bliss (brought to him by Bose).
Nike - 'Woo Go!' ft. ATARASHII GAKKOU
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Tokyo
Production: AOI Pro
Director: Mackenzie Sheppard
And now for something completely different, I saw this one months ago (not to brag, but it was before all of the awards and recognition) and it is the opposite of a quiet, contemplative piece. It’s a jam-packed cleverly choreographed ball of energy that is masterfully contained within. This Nike Juku branded music video featuring ATARASHII GAKKOU by (another Canadian!) director Mackenzie Sheppard is one of the best things I have ever seen. Hard to describe what goes on in it because of the sheer amount of stuff, so you better just watch it.
Burberry - 'Open Spaces'
Production: Riff Raff Films
Editorial: Final Cut London
It’s simple really - a fashion film with no plot, with dancers dressed to the nines, flying atop wheat fields while scored with a melancholic song. Eye-watering.
Hotels.com - 'Family Beach Hotel'
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Director: Los Perez
A dating app, but for hotels. A brilliant way of revitalising an industry that seems old school because of the advent of the internet, and uses some tongue-in-cheek humour to bring the industry to today’s consumers. We hear the VO of the anthropomorphised hotel talking about who they are, but more importantly, who they are looking for in the same way someone looking for love would do. It’s a simple yet effective way of becoming a memorable piece, with all of the legwork happening in the conception stage.
Cerveza Victoria - 'Cempasúchil: The Taste of Reunion'
Agency: Ogilvy Mexico
Production: Media.Monks Mexico
Director: Salomon Ligthelm
This piece centred around Day of the Dead brings the magical realism of the tradition and makes it a treat for the senses. Gorgeous direction by Salomon Ligthelm, and beautiful cinematography by Diego Garcia, compliments the beauty of this established tradition by using comments from real people to paint a picture of the meaning of connection with those that are with us, and those that are not. My favourite part of this is that it all feels grounded - even when the people are being sucked by beams of light - and that realistic feeling propels the piece into something intimate and special. My eyes were not dry by the end.