High Five: January

January 9, 2014 / High Five

By Alex Reeves

The best ads this month are have an “up and at ‘em” attitude.

Cynics beware: our pick of the month’s best advertising is a bit enthusiastic this time around. We have a fresh new 2014 ahead of us and these brands are keen that we seize the day and spend make a change this year. Watch them all. You’ll be pumped up and ready to rock. It’ll be weeks before the pessimism and general malaise sets back in.

Brand: Cancer Research UK
Title: One Day
Production Company: Stink
Director: Yann Demange
Production Company Producer: Molly Pope
Ad Agency: AMV BBDO
Art Director: Jim Hilson
Copywriter: Toby Allen
Agency Producers: Verity Elvin, Claire Toms
Editing Company: Marshall Street
Editor: Patrick Ryan
Sound Company: Factory
Post Production Company: The Mill

Cancer Research UK – One Day

You really have to admire Cancer Research UK for choosing an uplifting tone over a depressing one. While charity advertising is often driven by desperation for funds, this has a confidence to it. Yann Demange carefully weaves an intimate narrative with imagery of research. It’s clever – not too sentimental but not too cold either. And you have to love that no-nonsense voiceover, bravely taking the “give us your fucking money” tactic.


Brand: Innocent
Title: Chain of Good
Production Company: Hungry Man
Director: Max Joseph
Production Company Producer: Jack Beardsley
Ad Agency: 101
Creative Director: Richard Flintham
Creatives: Erik Hedman, Ryan Delehanty
Agency Producer: Rachel Bishop
Editing Company: Work
Editor: Anne Perri
Sound: Factory
Post Production Company: Electric Theatre Collective

Innocent – Chain of Good

We’ve been keeping a keen eye on Max Joseph since he signed to Hungry Man last year and this exactly the sort of thing we were hoping he’d do next. Socially responsible without getting on its high horse, it’s a fun little adventure. It’s also well observed. Most of the time, we’re not looking to end poverty in our lunch hours. Like Mark, we just want a tasty smoothie and Innocent aren’t afraid to admit that.


Brand: The Sun
Title: Get Holiday Ready
Production Company: Moxie Pictures
Director: MJ Delaney
Production Company Producer: Dominic Delaney
Director of Photography: James Friend
Ad Agency: Grey
Creative Director: Dave Monk
Creative: Adam Chiappe
Agency Producer: Debbie Impett
Editing Company: Tenthree
Editor: Rebecca Luff
Sound Company: GCRS
Post Production Companies: Finish, Glassworks

The Sun – Get Holiday Ready

This commercial combines two strangely endearing features: middle aged men in budgie smugglers and the ‘80s stadium rock. And who are we to argue with those? Building on her reputation for thoroughly British comedy, MJ Delaney brings her A-game to this ad. Starting with a good script, she squeezes every drop of comedy out of it with good casting and performances, setting the bar for the number of visual gags you can fit into a minute.


Brand: Thomson
Title: Simon the Ogre
Production Company: Sonny London
Director: Fredrik Bond
Production Company Producer: Sara Cummins
Ad Agency: Beattie McGuinness Bungay
Creative Director: Gav McGrath
Art Director: Dan Bennett
Copywriter: Christopher Keatinge
Agency Producers: Gemma Fergie, James Bolton
Editing Company: Marshall Street
Sound Company: 750mph
Post Production Company: Realise

Thomson – Simon the Ogre

This idea is a bit silly, and many people will find it a little on the sugary side, but you can tell that everyone who worked on it is at the top of their game, making an excellent piece of film and, ultimately, pulling it off. It’s rare that a family brand like Thomson manages to put out something this original, but January is the Super Bowl for the package-holiday-ists, so they might as well go big now or not at all.


Brand: Virgin Active
Title: Don’t Just Live, Live Happily Ever Active
Production Company: Kream
Director: Sam Walker
Production Company Producer: Gwilym Gwilim
Director of Photography: Will Bex
Ad Agency: Karmarama
Creative Directors: Sam Walker, Joe De Souza
Creatives: Rachel Holding, Daniel Leppanen
Agency Producer: Emma Johnston
Editing Company: Final Cut
Editor: Joe Guest
Sound Company: GCRS
Post Production Company: The Mill

Virgin Active – Don’t Just Live, Live Happily Ever Active

An unconventional way to advertise a gym. But, then again, can you remember any truly great ads for health clubs? There’s no posturing Adonis here and no bouncing bellies either – this commercial isn’t flogging a pack of perfect abs or guilt-tripping you into working off that Christmas flab – it’s selling a feeling. It’s a bizarre piece of film made to be absorbed rather than dissected. So sit back prepare to feel on top of the world.

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