Thinkboxes March/April 2013 Winner: Three’s 'The Pony' by Wieden & Kennedy

TV ads have long been a popular subject for great viral videos. Mobile network Three’s moonwalking Shetland pony ad, created by Wieden & Kennedy, has been widely shared across social networks, successfully building the brand in the process.

The campaign strategy was to focus on the humorous clips that people share via their mobiles, rather than the network details. 

The pony, dancing to Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere, perfectly demonstrated this with the strapline “Silly stuff. It matters”. Margaret Burke, director of brand and integrated communications at Three, says: “The strategy wasn’t to talk about the internet, but instead to celebrate the enjoyment that’s brought through people using it – in particular, to celebrate how sharing silly stuff is important at  a human level.”

The TV spot promoted a hashtag, #DancePonyDance, to encourage sharing and user-generated content; it also invited viewers to visit Ponymixer.com to make their own mash-ups with different backing tracks and edits. 

“We wanted to be of the internet, not just talking about it. We wanted to facilitate not just the sharing of silly stuff, but also the creation of it,” says Burke of the campaign’s UGC element.

Academy member Laurence Green says: “Three has suddenly found its place and its voice. Creating content that goes viral to brand an internet friendly network is good thinking. The execution is hard not to like and the ‘big shove’ of TV the catalyst for it all.”

margaret_burke

The strategy wasn’t to talk about the internet, but instead to celebrate the enjoyment that’s brought through people using it – in particular, to celebrate how sharing silly stuff is important at a human level.

Margaret Burke Director of Brand and Integrated Communications, Three

Client Margaret Burke, Three; Ad agency Wieden & Kennedy; Creative team Dan Norris, Ray Shaughnessy, Freddie Powell, Hollie Walker; Production Blink; Director Dougal Wilson

Other ads on the podium

Somersby: The Somersby Store (2nd)

  • Creative agency Fold7
  • Creative Ryan Newey
  • Client Richard Barnes
  • Production company RSA Films
  • Director Mat Kirkby

Lurpak: Weave Your Magic (3rd)

  • Creative agency Wieden & Kennedy
  • Creative team Dan Norris, Ray Shaughnessy
  • Client Laurence Fischer
  • Production company Outsider
  • Director Scott Lyon

Also shortlisted

IKEA: Time for change

  • Creative agency Mother 
  • Creative team Mother
  • Client Peter Wright
  • Production company Biscuit Filmworks
  • Director Mike Maguire

Samsung: Charge

  • Creative agency CHI & Partners
  • Creative team Jay Phillips, Neil Clarke
  • Client Yoonjung Lee
  • Production company Somesuch & Co
  • Director Romain Gavras

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

gerry_human

I think the idea works brilliantly at positioning 3 as a top data-oriented network (I’m guessing that’s the objective). Instead of cramming loads of technical jargon into the ad, the campaign helps 3 come across like it actually gets what people want.

Gerry Human Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather


Click here to see who won the previous award

You might also like

Breaking ads

We update this gallery weekly with a collection of the latest and best ads breaking on TV.

3-great-ads-Jason-Stone

Jason Stone picks 3 great ads

Apple, Lacoste and Sipsmith, editor and founder of David Reviews choses 3 great ads

Ad gallery honda grrr

The most inspiring ads ever?

Browse our library of creative wonders picked by our contributors over the years