Lotto wins the jackpot in the Jul/Aug 2019 Thinkboxes

Adam&eveDDB's 'Calm before the storm' for National Lottery's Lotto game has won the latest Thinkboxes Award for TV ad creativity.

The TV commercial shows the anticipation of the draw in a National Lottery call centre, ending on a member of call centre staff taking a real call from a genuine, delighted winner. "When our TV ads are truly entertaining, people feel differently about our brand," said Hayley Stringfellow, Head of Brand Strategy and Marketing at Camelot. This ad is "a new way in" with a powerful emotional draw.

The brief to the agency was for an idea that would let the audience know that, every day, people are having their lives changed by the National Lottery. "The most compelling thing for us was realising that there is a contact centre full of people dedicated to answering calls from winners," said Brad Woolf, Art Director and one half of the winning creative team at adam&eveDDB. It led to a concept that was "more show than tell", added his creative partner, copywriter Dan Bailey.

The biggest challenge was how to make the non-actors – actual call centre staff – feel comfortable on camera. The commercial was directed by Henry-Alex Rubin through Smuggler and it was Rubin's approach that made a significant difference here. "We didn’t [want to] compromise authenticity by dramatising our people and winners’ real experience. We didn’t want [them] to act or do or say something they wouldn’t naturally do," Stringfellow said. "This was critical to not falling into the trap of creating an ‘ad-y’ ad."

  • Creative agency: Adam & Eve/DDB
  • Creative team: Ben Tollett, Richard Brim, Dan Bailey, Brad Woolf, Emily Tolley, Stevie Rowing-Parker
  • Client: Hayley Stringfellow, Camelot
  • Production company: Smuggler
  • Director: Henry-Alex Rubin

Other ads on the podium

Taylors of Harrogate 'Why didn't we think of them before?' (Hindsight)

Coffee bags. Like tea bags but with coffee inside instead of tea. Obvious isn’t it? So why has no-one ever thought of it before? Well, maybe they have. Thus, in a cleverly scripted series of comedy vignettes, Taylors shows us how, thanks to a number of bizarre mishaps in the mists of history (involving boats and trains and balloon travel) the idea may have become lost in transit. But genius will out – and the campaign urges us to give them a try.

  • Creative agency: Lucky Generals
  • Creative team: Lucky Generals
  • Client: Dom Dwight, Taylors of Harrogate
  • Production company: Smuggler
  • Director: Randy Krallman

Vodafone 'Be unlimited'

This stunningly choreographed spot (it screams special effects but was all shot "in camera") follows a woman dressed in vibrant Vodafone red as she dances through life, work and play, cinemas, restaurants and clubs, spinning off clones of herself. The analogy becomes clear – Vodafone is launching unlimited data plans, which will chime with those of us capable of unleashing unlimited versions of ourselves. The ad is a new departure for Vodafone, which is seeking to make itself more relevant to a younger audience.

  • Creative agency: Ogilvy UK
  • Creative team: Jules Chalkley, Adam Claridge, Adam Ronan
  • Client: Vodafone
  • Production company: Academy Films
  • Director: Si & Ad

McCain 'Differences'

In this third instalment of McCain’s 'We Are Family' campaign, we’re shown a montage of domestic scenes illustrating the colourful diversity of British family life, embracing a myriad of different mindsets, faiths and outlooks – Leavers, Remainers, cat people, dog people, talkers, listeners. We may all be different but there’s so much we have in common too, not least our love of McCain’s oven chips. And whether you call it dinner, supper or tea, there’s no better time to come together.

  • Creative agency: Adam & EveDDB
  • Creative team: Ben Tollett, Richard Brim, Chloe Pope, Jess Morris, Simone Wärme, Jeppe Vidstrup
  • Client: Lizzie Pyle, McCain
  • Production company: Knucklehead
  • Director: Finn McGough

McDonald's 'Negotiation'

In this poignantly observed domestic drama, a dad is outmanoeuvred by his pre-school daughter and we’re party to both his and her inner thoughts. It becomes clear that she’s able to read his mind with spooky accuracy, using this to her advantage in persuading him to take her for a Happy Meal. He might be deluding himself if he thinks he’ll make Dad of the Year – but he’s a winner anyway because he’s able to treat himself to a Big Mac too.

  • Creative agency: Leo Burnett London
  • Creative team: Graham Lakeland, Charlotte Prince, Loriley Sessions
  • Client: Jo Conlon, McDonald’s
  • Production company: Rogue Films
  • Director: Stacy Wall
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