3 great ads I had nothing to do with: Paul Jordan

Jordan has a history of developing ground-breaking creative work. This includes the world’s first TV ad shot on a mobile phone for C.O.I., an hour-long TV programme "Nike Live" for Nike, and the award-winning "Illusions" campaign for Honda.  Jordan worked his way to Executive Creative Director in 2011 at Wieden+Kennedy before launching mcgarrybowen in London in 2012. He’s also enjoyed a stint at AMV BBDO. Jordan’s worked with dozens of much-loved consumer brands such as Adidas, Monster, Guinness, Beck’s and Guardian in a varied career spanning over 20 years – and won numerous creative awards including four D&AD Yellow Pencils and four Cannes Gold Lions

Paul’s choices

Volkswagen "God bless the child"

This advert directed by Tony Kaye for DDB London follows a girl walking through Manhattan, New York, holding her father’s hand. She’s faced with pedestrians, honking horns and wailing police sirens before Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child" plays. We watch the girl grow uneasy as she watches a madman screaming about the imminent end of the world, as arrests are made around them by the police. The cityscape is superimposed on the girl's face. Then, her mother drives up in her VW Passat and the little girl is rescued from the urban nightmare.

On the backseat of the Passat she is transcended to a place of calm and quickly regains her good spirits. The tagline plays over the cityscape to conclude the story: "If only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen".

Levi’s “Drugstore”

This ad, created by John Hegarty and directed by Michael Gondry for BBH London, is set in a retro 1920s, black and white movie style. It follows a young man driving to the drugstore to purchase condoms from an unimpressed pharmacist. He slips them into a hidden pocket of his Levi’s 501 jeans. Later, he arrives at his date’s house and we discover the pharmacist is her father. The tagline "Watch pocket created in 1873. Abused ever since." follows the twist.

The film stands out for its unique first person shooting style and vibrant music. And it garnered attention as it demonstrated that the Levi’s 501 jeans were for the young, daring and confident man.

The ad broke the record for the highest number of awards won by a TV commercial in 2004, recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records. One of the these awards includes the Gold Lion at Cannes Lions in 1994.

Stella Artois “Ice skating Priests”

This ad by Lowe London starts with an eye-catching scene of scores of priests rushing out to skate on a frozen pond. A younger brother is sent to fetch a crate of Stella Artois, but he falls through the ice and disappears into the frozen water – with the crate. Showing little compassion for him, his brothers rush over in an attempt to save the beer. Finally the priest manages to get out of the freezing water only to be sent back in to retrieve some bottles of Stella.

Director Jonathan Glazer marked his third outing as the director of the Stella Artois ads with an epic two-minute spot. Glazer who is also known for his work with Guinness (Surfer, Dreamer and SwimBlack) directed the spot via production company Academy Films with producer Simon Cooper and director of photography was Dan Landin.

The work won at the BTAA Craft and D&AD awards.

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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