High Five: October

October 8, 2015 / High Five

By Alex Reeves

Context is key to making this month’s best advertising.

All the ads that have made it into our choice cuts of this month’s advertising have something in common: they’re acutely aware of other advertising. Whether it’s building on what people loved about previous ads or making sure they stand out from the competition, each idea has been though through in context, not in a vacuum. That, along with expert craft, is what makes them so good.

Brand: Ballantine’s
Title: Space Glass
Production Company: Partizan
Director: Thomas Hilland
Production Company Producer: Ella Sanderson
Director of Photography: Ben Davies
Ad Agency: Havas Work Club
Creative Director: Ben Mooge
Creative: Anna Rose Kerr
Agency Producer: Tom Hoad
Editing Company: Tenthree
Editor: Charlie Roberts
Post Production Company: The Mill

Ballantine’s – Space Glass

There are plenty of clichés around whiskey advertising. Scottish manor houses by picturesque lochs, grizzly bearded men strolling between racks of old oak barrels, cobbled streets and horse-carts. In that light, Work Club have taken Ballantine’s tone in the best possible direction here, looking to the future of a spacefaring, but still whisky-drinking, human race. They’ve followed the trend of inventing something for marketing reasons. It’s a trend we approve of. Lexus made a hoverboard; Ballantine’s made a glass that works in microgravity. And Thomas Hilland has directed a beautifully space-age ad to convey this.


Brand: Beats by Dre
Title: McCaw
Production Companies: RESET, The Sweet Shop
Director: TWiN (UK Representation: Academy)
Production Company Producers: Nicole Crozier, Andy Mauger
Director of Photography: Lachlan Milne
Ad Agency: R/GA/Hustle
Creatives: Edwin Latchford, Ciaran McCarthy
Agency Producer: Davis Priestley
Editing Company: Arcade Edit
Editor: Brad Waskewich

Beats by Dre - McCaw

The All-Blacks’ haka is one of the most powerful images in sport, so it’s amazing it hasn’t been used more often in advertising. This year’s Rugby World Cup seems to be particularly brand-heavy, but this ad stands out. Firstly, it features a team who are likely to actually do well in and possibly win the tournament (the shot of the car with the Union Flag on being crushed could well turn out to be an apt metaphor). Secondly, it’s following a winning formula that Beats have used to make themselves one of the top brands advertising around sporting events. In the footsteps of Nike, they haven’t sponsored the event, but have spent that money elsewhere, like on this brilliantly crafted commercial. They certainly feel like they’re coming out of it ahead of Samsung – the RFU’s official electronics sponsor.


Brand: EA Sports
Production Company: Traktor
Director: Traktor (UK Representation: Rattling Stick)
Ad Agency: Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam
Creative Directors: Craig Williams, Alvaro Sotomayor, David Smith
Creatives: Vasco Vicente, Andrew Dobbie
Agency Producers: Elissa Singstock, Joe Togneri
Editing Company: Final Cut
Editor: Edward Line
Music Company: Massive Music
Sound Company: GCRS
Sound Designer: Raja Sehgal, assisted by Aaron Taffel
Post Production Company: MPC


As if EA actually need to advertise that there’s a new FIFA game out every autumn. Anyone who’s ever owned a pair of football boots or an Xbox knows that. It does give them an excuse to make a big advertising extravaganza each year though, and this one goes all out with some of the sport’s biggest superstars, crazy visual effects and even a song with lyrics that are quite witty if you manage to make them out. A camped-up insight into how the game is made is a great way of showcasing it and the introduction of women’s teams for the first time is an exciting new addition too. They’ve tried to do everything at once here. It’s uncompromising and exciting.


Brand: Heineken
Title: The Chase
Production Company: MJZ
Director: Tom Kuntz
Production Company Producer: Chris McBride
Director of Photography: Benoit Debie
Ad Agency: Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam
Creative Directors: Eric Quennoy, Mark Bernath
Creatives: Thierry Albert, Faustin Claverie
Editing Company: Whitehouse Post
Editor: Russell Icke
Sound Company: 750mph
Sound Designer: Sam Ashwell
Post Production Company: MPC

Heineken – The Chase

The creatives at Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam clearly wanted to make the most of Heineken’s relationship with the 24th Bond film and they’ve done a top job cramming in as many references to the franchise as they can. Heienken ads have been far too smug and smarmy in the past, but this one comes off rather well. Focusing on the ad’s own Bond girl Zara Prassinot may have been motivated by Daniel Craig’s lack of availability (he’s only in a couple of shots), but it she’s charming and funny, creating that tone that is exactly what people love about James Bond.


Brand: Honda
Title: Paper
Production Company: RESET
Director: PES (UK Representation: Academy)
Production Company Producer: Stan Sawicki
Director of Photography: Erik Adkins
Ad Agency: RPA
Creative Directors: Ken Pappanduros, Chuck Blackwell
Creatives: Laura Crigler, Josh Hepburn
Agency Producer: Matt Magsaysay
Editing Company: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor: Stewart Reeves
Sound Company: Factory
Sound Designer: Phil Bolland
Post Production Company: A52

Honda – Paper

Everyone’s favourite Japanese advertisers are at it again, making brand advertising showcasing their illustrious history with an admirable focus on craft. We’ve heard this all before – the idea is basically a rehash of their 2013 Hands commercial – but it’s so beautifully made we have no problem with that. The execution is fresh enough to make the idea new again. The whole thing gives off the impression that Honda are extremely proud of their history, even as they do some of the most futuristic engineering on the planet.


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