High Five: June

June 4, 2014 / High Five

By Alex Reeves

This month, the best advertising had a good sense of humour.

If you can make people laugh in a commercial, you’ve got some sort of chance of people talking about it out down the pub or around the office water cooler. That’s why some of the all-time classic ads – the ones normal, non-advertising folk actually like – have been funny ones. Unfortunately, this has led to a culture of people without the right comedy chops trying their best to make their ads funny and cocking it up.

None of our pick of the best ads this month try too hard to be funny, or announce their jokes to the world, but they all have a genuine sense of humour, so don’t have to shout about it.

Brand: Carlsberg
Title: Unbeatable
Production Company: Moxie Pictures
Director: Big Red Button
Production Company Producer: Claire Jones
Director of Photography: Denzil Armour-Brown
Ad Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Creative Director: Surrey Garland
Art Director: Stuart Farquhar
Copywriter: Rob Janowski
Agency Producer: Lyndsay Myerscough
Editing Company: Final Cut
Editor: Ed Cheeseman
Sound Company: 750mph
Post Production Company: The Mill

Carlsberg – Unbeatable

World Cup commercials for beer brands don’t have a great pedigree. They tend to do little more than wheel out whatever celebrities are on payroll and crack some generic lad gags. To be fair, this does almost exactly that, but it’s written and executed with such flair that it transcends any clichés. All three celebrity faces are used thoughtfully and with well-timed visual gags littering the fantasy pub, it’s a good laugh for everyone.


Brand: Fentimans
Title: The Original Adult Soft Drink
Production Company: Short Films
Director: Fern Berresford
Production Company Producers: Holly Hartley, Sara Cummings
Director of Photography: Chris Sabogal
Ad Agency: Sell! Sell!
Agency Producer: Fiona Plumstead
Editing Company: Speade
Editor: James Rosen
Music Company: Pure Soho
Post Production Company: Rushes

Fentimans – The Original Adult Soft Drink

The most powerful thing about this ad is its unfamiliarity. From Mark Denton’s deft touch on the Edwardian production design to the stark lighting and jerky imagery, it doesn’t look like an ad at all. And in an industry where standing out is the primary objective, that’s not a bad thing at all. Director Fern Berresford does a great job camping it all up to the max and it all looks like jolly good (if not entirely clean) fun for all involved.


Brand: Halifax
Title: Photographer Vicky Harris
Production Company: Sonny London
Director: Guy Manwaring
Production Company Producer: Amy Appleton
Ad Agency: adam&eveDDB
Creatives: Matt Woolner, Steve Wioland
Agency Producer: Lucinda Ker
Editing Company: Work
Editor: Mark Edinoff
Sound Company: 750mph
Post Production Company: Finish

Halifax – Photographer Vicky Harris

This whole series of ads has been pitched nicely, exuding the sort of human warmth that dry financial service brands like Halifax desperately need. This is possibly the best execution yet though. Vicky is instantly likeable and with Guy Manwaring directing, each scene adds to the picture of someone who really cares about her work, or, to be really on message, someone who ‘gives extra.’ It’s not wildly ambitious, but it’s a solid piece that helps us warm to the bank that once brought us the unforgettable Howard Brown


Brand: Heineken
Title: The City
Production Company: Traktor
Director: Traktor
Production Company Producer: Rani Melendez
Director of Photography: Christopher Doyle
Ad Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam
Creative Directors: Thierry Albert, Faustin Claverie
Art Director: Mike Bond
Copywriter: Bern Hunter
Agency Producers: Tony Stearns, Ross Plummer
Editing Company: Work
Editor: Richard Orrick
Music Company: Sony Music Entertainment
Sound Company: 750mph
Sound Designer: Sam Ashwell
Post Production Company: MPC

Heineken – The City

This kind of ad gets made for beer brands all the time. Some smug, uncommonly handsome chap has the time of his life in a place we’ll never afford to visit and we’re supposed to think it’s charming and identify with him. Heineken have played their part in this terrible trend more than most, but their latest big sporting event commercial has a genuine charm to it, no doubt owing to the dream-team combination of Wieden + Kennedy and Traktor. It’s a big spectacular and with enough skill to do the ambitious script justice, it’s easy to enjoy.


Brand: Royal London
Title: Goode Times and Bad
Production Company: Park Pictures
Director: Nathan Price
Production Company Producer: Tim Kerrison
Executive Producer: Stephen Brierley
Director of Photography: Jan Velicky
Service Company: Stillking
Service Company Producer: Michal Skop
Ad Agency: VCCP
Creative Director: Marcus Woolcott
Art Director: Jonny Parker
Copywriter: Chris Birch
Agency Producer: Ed Mueller
Editing Company: Trim
Editor: Paul Hardcastle
Music Company: Soundtree
Sound Company: GCRS
Sound Designer: Ben Leeves
Post Production Company: MPC

Royal London – Goode Times and Bad

At its heart, this ad for Royal London is expressing some pretty conservative values, but the copywriting, art direction and is anything but staid and old-fashioned. Lead actor Gethin Alderman is a relative unknown, but he puts in an impressive performance, delivering the witty script with skill that could earn him a bright future. The visual comedy is pulled off nicely too, making the whole thing surprisingly entertaining for a pensions ad.

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