3 great ads I had nothing to do with: James Ross-Edwards

Ross-Edwards has spent the last three and a half years at Mother London creating campaigns for MoneySuperMarket, KFC, Uber Eats, Yopa, LateRooms and Thinkbox. He also wrote AI Therapy, an original short film commissioned for the 2018 TED Conference.

Prior to Mother, James worked at Saatchi London, TBWA Sydney, Saatchi Australia and has freelanced in both London and Sydney. His work has won eight Cannes Lions, three D&AD pencils and quite a few Australian awards you’ve never heard of. Diplo also liked one of his Instagram posts once.

James’ choices 

VB "The Regulars"

Filmed in Ballarat with a cast of 1500, the ad features a march of comical archetypal Aussie men. These include: "Blokes punching above their weight", "Men who’ve had their arm in a cow", "Guys who peaked in high school" and "Guys who claim to have punched a shark" to name but a few.

The spot, created by Droga5, aired on TV for the first time during the first break of The Ashes coverage on SBS. It includes cameos from famous Australian faces including Michael Clarke, Wally Lewis, Paul De Gelder, Scott Cam, Molly Meldrum and Peter Russell Clarke.

Snickers "Number One Fantasy"

This 2017 spot was directed by O Positive director David Shane, who’s shot notable Snickers ads before, and was ranked among Adweek’s Creative 100 in 2015.

In the ad, a man misinterprets the question, "What's your number one fantasy pick?" and reveals his dream to walk away from his family and job. According to Snickers, he's just off his game because of hunger, and a Snickers NFL Hunger Bar will get him back into Fantasy Football mode.

The BBDO New York spots made their TV debut during the first NFL game of the season between Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots and feature NFL-themed Snickers bars.

Dr Pepper "Emergency"

In this ad, a young Jesse Eisenberg is browsing a supermarket fridge looking for a drink. Coming across Dr Pepper he shrugs and says to himself "Dr Pepper. What’s the worst that could happen?" The fridge door shatters and shelves of boxes fall on him, pushing him to the ground. 911 are called, who conclude that the only way to get him out from under the boxes is to cut him out of his trousers, and then eventually his underwear.

A crowd of onlookers, including a number of pretty teenage girls, have formed both inside and outside the supermarket, and the emergency workers lift the boy high above their heads as they fight through the crowds, shouting that it’s an emergency. One of the workers gets a phone call and it emerges that the whole scene is being televised and his embarrassment is on the local news. The jingle: "Dr Pepper; what’s the worst that could happen?" plays.

The Mother London spot from 2001 was directed by Brian Buckley.

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.

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