3 great ads I had nothing to do with: Alice Burton

A few words about Alice

Burton joined The&Partnership in 2017. Prior to this, she started at Y&R in 2014, having previously worked at Fallon. At Y&R, Burton wrote M&S’ widely praised 2016 Christmas campaign ‘Christmas with love from Mrs Claus’, which won a Silver Lion at Cannes, and two Golds at the Brand Film Festival London.

Other notable work includes the BBC’s trails and titles for the 2016 Rio Olympics – which picked up Silvers at the British Arrows, Clios and Brand Film Festival London.

In 2015, Burton was listed in Campaign as a Face to Watch – and in 2018 made headlines as part of cross-industry project #SHEVotes, which encouraged women to vote in the run-up to the snap election.

She came second in the November/December Thinboxes 2016 for her work on M&S' 'Christmas with love from Mrs Claus'.

Alice's choices

Skoda "Cake"

Skoda aimed to showcase the helpful features of its Fabia model, such as hooks in the boot to keep shopping upright. With the strapline "full of lovely stuff", the idea of building a car out of cake arose, during a conversation between creative directors John Allison and Chris Bovill while sharing cake on Valentine's Day.  The ad was directed by Chris Palmer.

The plan was to shoot the production of an actual life-sized Fabia cake without computer-generated imagery. After filming, the crew planned to donate the remains of the cake to local charities and hospitals, but after four days under hot studio lights it was no longer thought fit for human consumption, and was donated for composting to the East London Community Recycling Project. A few pieces, such as the chocolate speedometer and marzipan wing mirrors were kept for posterity.

The 2007 spot created by Fallon picked up three Golds at the British Arrows and a Gold Lion at Cannes as well as a Yellow Pencil for Practical Special Effects at the D&AD Awards.

PlayStation "Double Life"

In the 1990’s the hopelessly lame video games market wanted to look cooler, noting that gamers were in fact teens and adults, not children

The TBWA\London spot was directed by Gorgeous Productions’ Frank Budgen in 1999. It was the most highly awarded ad in the world in 1999/2000 and has since gone on to gain cult status, topping Joystiq.com's "Top 10 Best PlayStation Ads".

The Directors Guild of America voted Budgen commercial director of the year in 2007, the same year "Double Life" was added to the Clio Hall of Fame.

Always "Like a Girl"

This Leo Burnett campaign for Procter & Gamble made its Super Bowl debut with a 60 version in 2015.

Directed by Lauren Greenfield, award-winning creator of "The Queen of Versailles," the spot takes issue with generations of playground taunts about people running, throwing or fighting 'like a girl'.

The ad, the first from a feminine-care brand to be shown at the Super Bowl, aimed to "spark a social change that redefines the meaning" of the phrase 'like a girl' according to P&G. The spot was one of the top viral ads of 2015, with 54 million views on YouTube alone, though its screening at the Super Bowl more than doubled this figure in one fell swoop.

Fama Francisco, VP-global feminine care for P&G revealed in an interview that the results are encouraging: "two out of three men who have seen the ad said they would now stop or at least think twice before they would use the phrase 'like a girl' as an insult."

About this series

In this series of short films, leading Thinkbox Academy members have the tricky task of selecting just three TV ads that have inspired them: brilliant commercials, old and new, that they admire but had nothing to do with.

The idea is not only to explore some of our greatest ads in the company of people who know a thing or two about making them, but also, because of the proven link between creativity and effectiveness, to inspire the advertising industry to even greater heights.

You might also like

Breaking ads

We update this gallery weekly with a collection of the latest and best ads breaking on TV.

Thinkboxes-Shortlist-July-August

The July/August Thinkboxes awards shortlist

Watch stand out spots from, Lotto, McCain, McDonalds, Taylors of Harrogate and Vodaphone.

Virgin Trains Fast Chair

Very Fast Chair speeds to victory in the May/Jun 2019 Thinkboxes

Very Fast Chair for Virgin Trains by Anomaly takes top TV creativity prize.