Iris’s Chief Creative Officer tells us why Lacoste, Southern Comfort and VB are his three great ads

A few words about Shaun

Shaun McIlrath is Global Chief Creative Officer of iris worldwide. Recently listed in The Top 10 Most Creative People In Advertising by Business Insider. He began his career as a script writer at the BBC before stints at impactFCA, HHCL, Heresy, VCCP and now Iris where he leads the agency’s creative output from London, winning over 200 industry awards for brands like MINI, Dominos, Adidas, Philips, Wonderbra and a Super Clio for Jeep.

Shaun’s choices

Lacoste "Life is a beautiful sport"

This 2014 campaign was Lacoste’s first TV spot, portraying an epic love story and mesmerising leap of faith into the unknown. The campaign's release was timed to coincide with the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and New York Fashion Week.

Directed by Seb Edwards, the ad brings one of Lacoste’s founding values, "Life is a beautiful sport" to life. Awarded a silver lion at Cannes, it provides an illustration of how performance and elegance can combust in our everyday lives to create something beautiful.

Southern Comfort "Beach"

"Beach" was the first of a string of ads released by Southern Comfort which champion individuals who embody "self-comfortableness". The brainchild of Southern Comfort’s alliance with W+K New York in 2012, the ad features a round bellied, tanned male strutting along a beach in too tight trunks. His confidence is mesmerising to his fellow beach goers, and demonstrates the admirable attitude of those who are completely comfortable with themselves.

Southern Comfort’s "Whatever’s comfortable" campaign directed by Tim Godsall, won a gold British Arrow as well as two Andy Awards.

VB "The regulars"

VB's long awaited campaign "The regulars" created by Droga5 Sydney took a team of 150 to execute. The ad sees the Australian beer brand move away from their "hard-earned thirst" tagline to "VB - The Drinking Beer" making it the biggest Australian beer commercial to date.

"The regulars" features a cast of 1500 Aussie men, including 20 Australian celebrities, parading through the small country town of Ballarat. It celebrates the eclectic and colourful mixture of people who make up modern-day Australia as well as ordinary drinkers.

The ad won a gold in the alcoholic and non-alcoholic category plus the chairman's award at the Kinsale Sharks International Creative Awards. The Aussie spot also beat AMV/BBDO's 'Bring it to life' commercial for home town favourite Guinness, which won the Silver

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 encourage the advertising industry to even greater heights.


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