Thinkbox’s collaborative, storytelling ad break

To launch their new TV ad, ‘The Broadcast’, Thinkbox invaded screens with a creative media break.

The storytelling ad breaks opened with adverts from DFS, Lucozade and Sheba being mysteriously interrupted by messages from incoming extra-terrestrials trying to make contact with Earth. Throughout the break, as the aliens get closer, their message – delivered in a series of 5 second interstitials - gets clearer, culminating with the Thinkbox 60-second ad making its broadcast debut. The idea behind this collaboration was to create intrigue throughout the break, and provide viewers with a ‘penny drop’ moment at its end as they see the alien story revealed.

Working with Mediacom, Thinkbox was able to collaborate with brands and broadcasters to take over ad breaks in key Boxing Day programming; Captain Phillips on ITV, Big Fat Quiz of the Year on Channel 4, Love Actually on ITV2, Game of Thrones on Sky Atlantic, Conviction on Sky Living and Transformers on Sky One.

Steven Hind, Head of Marketing, Lucozade Sport:

“Letting another advertiser interrupt one of your ads sounds bonkers, but I think the whole break should be fun for the viewers, and will create extra cut-through for Lucozade Sport.”

Nick Ashworth, Head of Marketing Communications, DFS:

“The idea of advertisers working together on TV ad breaks to create innovation, intrigue and engagement really appeals to the team at DFS. We saw a great response from consumers in terms of engagement and memorability to our creative in ITV’s Text Santa “Knitted" Ad Break last year. This is a fantastic opportunity to deliver something extra for everyone watching at this vital time of year for our business – and this definitely does!”

Katherine Horrocks, Communications Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mars Petcare UK:

“We loved collaborating on Thinkbox’s storytelling ad break, using our extra-terrestrial friends to bring the concept that ‘Resistance is Futile’ to life in a different way. This innovative idea allows Sheba to demonstrate the brand’s sense of humour and entertain viewers with a fresh new approach.”

Andrew MacGillivray, Marketing Director Thinkbox:

 “We’re very grateful to our advertising partners at DFS, Lucozade Sport and Sheeba for their support in making this break innovation possible, and also to the MediaCom and creative teams for bringing all the ingredients together. We’re seeing more and more creative media ideas in the break – from brilliant contextual advertising to full blown themed breaks - and we hope that our version inspires others to think about how they can get the best out of TV’s flexibility.”



Media planning & buying credits:

  • Agency: Mediacom
  • Associate Director: David Mills
  • Media Manager: Alan Meech
  • AV Manager: Manveer Lall,
  • Senior Broadcast Buyer: Tazz Stander
  • Digital Planner: Sam Wright
  • Senior Digital Buyer: Laura Day

Creative credits (break innovation):

  • Agency: Red Brick Road
  • Executive Creative Directors: Matt Davis, Richard Megson
  • Senior Creative: Dean Webb
  • Business Director: Joseph Pirrie
  • Senior Account Manager: Rosie Gilligan
  • Agency Producer: Charles Crisp
  • Agency Assistant Producer: Adam Pretty
  • Production Company: Blink Productions
  • Directors: The Bobbsey Twins from Homicide
  • Post Production: Big Buoy

Full creative credits for The Broadcast, here.

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