Harvey & Rabbit: about Thinkbox’s 2012 TV Ad

In this Thinkbox TV ad the stakes couldn’t be higher as Harvey the dog’s best friend Rabbit dangles perilously over the waste bin. Will the power of TV advertising be able to save the day? 

Thinkbox’s third TV advertising campaign sees Harvey – star of Thinkbox’s previous TV ad, ‘Dogs Home’ - use emotional story-telling to change his owner's behaviour dramatically and persuade him not to throw away his best friend and constant companion, a stuffed toy called Rabbit. It opens at the moment that Harvey’s owner is about to put the well-worn, slobber-covered Rabbit in the bin while Harvey is apparently not around. Harvey suddenly appears and plays a TV ad telling the story of how he and Rabbit became friends and the scrapes they’ve got into together over the years. Harvey’s ad persuades his owner to let him keep Rabbit. The story ends with the line ‘Discover the power of TV advertising at Thinkbox.tv”.

The soundtrack to the ad – ‘Friends’ – is by writer/performer Adam Buxton, with composition by Nick Webb.

‘Harvey and Rabbit’ was created by The Red Brick Road and directed by the celebrated duo Si and Ad of Academy, who have been responsible for ads for brands including Honda, More Than, Durex, and Match.com, for which they won a Cannes Gold.  Campaign Magazine listed them amongst the Top 10 directors worldwide.  

Our TV ads have been loved by the public but have also proved to be our most effective B2B communication with marketers. In this ad we discover what Harvey had in his suitcase when he left the dogs home to join his adopted family. The Red Brick Road with directors Si & Ad have created a wonderful ad that brings to life the emotional power of TV storytelling ... It’s great to bring Harvey back to TV.

Andrew MacGillivray, Marketing Director, Thinkbox

The ad campaign ran across broadcast and on-demand channels, owned or represented by Thinkbox’s shareholders (Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Broadcasting, along with STV and UKTV).

Harvey & Rabbit also showcased some of the latest TV innovations, using the power of their combined personalities to demonstrate what these developments can do for advertisers. This included four interactive VOD formats or iVODs (Channel 4’s Ad Link & Ad Extend, ITV’s Microsite & Select formats), and two multi-screening initiatives (Ad Sync during X-factor, and a pre-promoted Shazam campaign). Media planning and buying throughout was by MediaCom.

Reaction to Harvey & Rabbit

‘Harvey & Rabbit’ proved a huge and visible hit with the public and was also well received by the advertising industry itself. The commercial appeared in Nielsen’s study of the Most Liked Ads of 2012, Campaign’s Top 10 TV & Cinema Ads of 2012, and was also awarded by the 2013 British Arrows.

Ad credits

  • Client: Thinkbox
  • Ad name: 'Harvey and Rabbit'
  • Creative agency: The Red Brick Road
  • Creatives: Mark Slack and Gemma Phillips
  • Executive Creative Director: Paul Weinberger 
  • Account Director: Lisa Pilbeam/Ebony Moore
  • Account Manager: James Rowe
  • Agency Planner: David Hackworthy 
  • Agency Producer: Miles Nathan
  • Production Company: Academy
  • Directors: Si & Ad
  • Producer: Lucy Gossage
  • Director of Photography: Marcel Zyskind 
  • Editor: Sam Rice-Edwards @ The Assembly Rooms
  • Post-production: Finish       
  • Music: 'Friends' lyrics by Adam Buxton, composition by Nick Webb
  • Audio post-production: Scramble
  • Media Agency: Mediacom
  • Media Planners: Andrew Lloyd, David Mills
  • Dog training company: Stunt Dogs & Animals
  • Dog trainers: Gill Raddings 

Cast

  • Harvey
  • Rabbit
  • Robert Whitelock

Thanks to...

Our shareholders (Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Broadcasting and UKTV) for their fantastic support in making this ad and setting it before the great British Public; Si and Ad and the team at Academy; all at The Red Brick Road, MediaCom, STV and UTV; Robert Whitelock and, of course, to Harvey and Rabbit.

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