The January/ February Thinkboxes awards shortlist

The January/ February Thinkboxes shortlist has inspiring work from; Finish, IKEA, McCafe, Sainsburys and Sport England.  You can get the details on the people behind the ads and watch them all here.

Finish: Combinations

Dishwashers clean dishes, but what cleans the dishwasher? Finish Dishwasher Cleaner, obviously. As this ad illustrates, it’s not a role to be underestimated. A huge range of foods sticks to the dishes we put in our machines, and we’re invited to imagine them in surreal combinations. The endline urges us to “power away” all that yuck – and love our dishwashers.

  • Creative agency W&K London
  • Creative team: C Alija, L Sampedro, B Polkinghorne, S Kelly, C Roseman, I Matine, T Davidson, I Tait
  • Client: G Cacciatore
  • Production company: Riff Raff
  • Director: The Sacred Egg

IKEA: Win at sleeping

Here IKEA uses a sporting analogy to show off its bedroom range. Sleeping becomes a challenge you can surmount if you prepare for it single-mindedly. The bed becomes a dramatically-lit boxing ring; face cream becomes the anti-glare war paint used by stars in the NFL; and the voiceover is the motivational talk of a sports coach. If you do it right, you can “win at sleeping.”

  • Creative agency: Mother
  • Creative team: Ana Balarin, Hermeti Balarin, Matt Leach, Jess Oudot
  • Client: Kemi Anthony
  • Production company: Stink
  • Director: Jones & Tino

McCafe: Madness

This ad gently mocks trendy coffee shops for over-complicating the beverage. In one, a bemused customer is presented with an tiny cup. In another, the drink comes in a jam jar. We’re shown a series of hipster joints where the menus are incomprehensible, the staff filled with contempt and the price exorbitant. In contrast, no-nonsense McCafé is just great-tasting coffee – “Simple.”

  • Creative agency: Leo Burnett London
  • Creative team: Chaka Sobhani, Matt Lee, Pete Heyes
  • Client: Sarah Currie
  • Production company: Knucklehead
  • Director:Tony Barry

Sainsbury’s: Food dancing

This energetic ad celebrates a secret but popular kitchen behaviour: “food dancing”. There’s a simple joy to being totally in the rhythm of cooking – as seen in this montage of cooks bouncing about in the kitchen. Some clips are shot on phones for added authenticity; the commissioned music is by MysDiggi; and we’re invited to post our own #fooddancing videos on Twitter.

  • Creative agency: Wieden & Kennedy London
  • Creative team: Scott Dungate, Sophie Bodoh, Karen Jane, Stephanie McArdle, Tobias Bschorr, Tony Davidson, Iain Tait, Danielle Stewart
  • Client: Mark Given
  • Production company: Knucklehead
  • Director: Siri Bunford

Sport England: Phenomenal woman

 The “This Girl Can” initiative continues with an ad aimed at women from 14 to 60. Set to Maya Angelou’s reading of her poem Phenomenal Woman, it shows women of all ages engaged in sport, and celebrates the sense of belonging that participation brings. The underlying message, of rising above the fear of being judged, remains.

  • Creative agency: FCB Inferno
  • Creative team: Al Young, Ben Edwards, Martin McAlister
  • Client: Kate Dale
  • Production company: Somesuch
  • Director: Kim Gehrig

Remco Graham

I read everywhere that advertising isn’t what it was. The craft has gone.

The “good old days” are behind us. Looks like no one told that to the writers of these ads.

The goo. The gunk. The yuck of the fantastical food sculpture combinations of Finish. The Sainsbury’s #fooddancing ad. Such a brilliantly clever campaign.

From the lovingly shot hipster coffee observational ad for McDonald’s to the African drums of the sublime IKEA “Win at sleeping” film.

Not forgetting part two of the hugely important behaviour-change campaign, “This Girl Can”. The film every client wants, and which has made an agency famous.

Let’s stop talking our industry down. It’s never been better.

Remco Graham Executive creative director, Now








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