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High Five: Rob Reilly



From the complexities of fixing gender inequality to chicken flamed rockets, global CCO at WPP, Rob Reilly, commemorates five extraordinary pieces of advertising

High Five: Rob Reilly

When I was a kid, I used to tell people that I wanted to be a game show host when I grew up. It seemed like a fun job to keep the show going, and in the end, somebody always won. In some ways, that is what a great creative director does when it comes to making ideas that the press writes about and the world loves, shares and spreads. I guess I wound up right where I thought I would...

Harry’s Bread - 'Little Girl'

Agency: TBWA\Paris

I remember seeing this ad while judging the Clio awards in Palm Springs a while back with the late, great Tony Guilisano. He worked for the Clios and was a champion of all creative people and loved the work. During that judging session, one print ad stood out as an example of a simple, pointed brief that led to a magically simple execution. And it wasn’t done for Nike or Apple - it was done for a small bread company to communicate how superiorly soft their bread was. NICE AND SOFT. Damn.

KFC - 'KFC Hot and Spicy'

Agency: Ogilvy Hong Kong
Photography: Illusion

This Ogilvy campaign just killed me the moment I saw it, and it's not because I love fried chicken...who doesn’t!? It’s because I know how hard it is to communicate a product feature that you can’t see. Add some mind-melting craft to this recipe of advertising genius and you probably have the most iconic fast food print work of all time.

Dunlop Tires - 'Tested for the Unexpected'

Agency: AMV BBDO
Director: Tony Kaye

David Ogilvy was once asked if he would ever suspend a man upside-down to sell something. His answer was something like: "If it was to sell pockets that didn’t let change fall out, he would absolutely do it." When you work hard to land on a fresh, pointed strategy, it allows the creative people to go away and get properly crazy. Tony Kaye directed this glorious vision of all the unexpected things a driver might experience when out on the road and how Dunlop is the tire you need no matter what. And I’m giving The Velvet Underground a slash on this one.

State Street Global Advisors - 'Fearless Girl'

Agency: McCann New York
Production: Traction Creative New York
Music: JSM Music

I have told the story of 'Fearless Girl' a lot over the last few years, but it's hard for me to make any list and not include it. Maybe it is because she started as a way to promote a financial company’s commitment to fixing gender inequality on Wall Street and ended up as the global symbol of female empowerment - hopefully for generations to come. Reach for ideas that can impact the world well beyond the years you will be on it. That’s a nice brief for young creatives.

Reddit - 'Superb Owl'

Agency: R/GA California

Arguably the most disruptive five seconds in Super Bowl history brings home my High Five. This wasn’t a Super Bowl ad at all. It was the most supreme hack ever, executed on the world’s largest marketing stage. The Super Bowl is our Academy Awards night and R/GA and Reddit blew it up and made us all question what the hell we were doing. Reddit is all about passionate communities coming together. Hopefully this atom-bomb idea has inspired us all to constantly reimagine what we do on the big game and everywhere else our brands need to shine.

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WPP, Wed, 11 May 2022 11:30:05 GMT