Thinkboxes July/ August 2009 winner: Hula Hoops ‘DJ’ by Publicis

The winner of the Thinkboxes award for July/August will have moved even the most cynical of TV viewers to mirth.

The brief was to remind people that Hula Hoops are fun to eat, so the ad showcases how the unique shape of the snack can inject playfulness into even the most mundane occasion.

The winning ad features a DJ hand character, complete with Hula Hoop decks and sunglasses.

The camera pans back to reveal that the hand belongs to a man on a train, who receives a bemused look from the ticket collector.

The spot is part of a £1.5m integrated campaign from brand owner United Biscuits to promote its Golden Hoops Film Awards, which invites the public to submit films of their own Hula Hoop finger puppets. The campaign strapline is ‘In a hole world of their own’.

In a closely fought vote, Hula Hoops beat Budweiser’s ‘Lyrics’, which took second place, while Virgin Media’s ‘Backlot’ came third.


Hula Hoops is a much-loved, iconic brand, which appeals to a wide range of consumers.This memorable campaign captures the imagination of consumers and encourages them to get involved.

Helen Warren-Piper Marketing Director of Bagged Snacks at United Biscuits UK

Client Helen Warren-Piper; Ad agency Publicis; Creative team Gary Turner, Jamie Marshall; Production COY; Director Mark Denton; Media agency Mediaedge:cia

Other ads on the podium

Budweiser: Lyrics (2nd)

  • Creative agency DDB London
  • Creative team Dave Henderson, Richard Denney
  • Client Garbhan O’Bric
  • Production company Gorgeous
  • Director Chris Palmer

Virgin Media: Backlot (3rd)

  • Creative agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R
  • Creative team Mark Roalfe, Gethin Stout
  • Client Ashley Stockwell
  • Production company Rattling Stick
  • Director Ringan Ledwidge

Also shortlisted

Orange RockCorps: Stand up and be counted

Creative agency Fallon
Creative team Sam Walker, Joe De Souza
Client Spencer McHugh
Production company Blink
Director Dougal Wilson 

Samsung Jet: Impatience is a virtue

Creative agency Grey London
Creative team Grey London
Client Mikah Martin-Cruz
Production company Moxie Pictures
Director Neil Gorringe

A view from a Thinkbox Academy member on this month's picks


They are bloody good this month. The business is showing how it is creating brilliant work for advertisers and that not even the recession can hold it back.

Stephen Davies , Chief Executive of the Advertising Producers Association

Click here to see who won the previous award

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