Adland names its favourite ads

From Dave Trott to Nicola Mendelsohn and Stephen Woodford, adland's luminaries have spent the past year picking their top five ads to celebrate the IPA's centenary. As the year draws to a close, it’s time to look at what the ad industry’s favourite ads really are…

Our panel of experts chose 88 different ads and we can now reveal that in equal top billing, The Economist's 'I have never read The Economist' and Guinness' 'Surfer' were the most popular with Levi's 'Launderette' in third place. Over 70 different brands featured throughout the year, but IKEA, Levi’s and Nike wowed the most, with three adverts for each brand selected.

FMCG and Retail adverts were far and away the favourites for our adland gurus, accounting for more than a third of all ads picked.

The Economist, I have never read The Economist


AMV’s ‘I have never read the Economist’ campaign won Silver at the IPA Effectiveness Awards in 2002. 

As Stephen Roycroft, IPA Northern Ireland Chairman and Managing Director of RLA Ireland puts it, the campaign is “the perfection of a device to consolidate the reader’s self-belief, while nipping at their insecurity. The rapport is established by pillorying the mediocre with a declaration that “unsuccessful people, people who aren’t me” do not read or value The Economist, and that the brand is so confident that it headlines with that.”

Guinness, Surfer

AMV BBDO’s ‘Surfer’ campaign for Guinness is an iconic 80s ad that inspired experts as they were starting out in the industry and its influence has impacted all their work since.

As Nicky Unsworth, Chief Executive of BJL Group and the Honorary Secretary at the IPA says, “its rich cinematic quality, its deep pulsating music track and the brilliantly written ‘tick, followed tock, followed tick, followed tock’ script, which ebbs and flows with the sound and vision beautifully.”

Levi’s, Laundrette

The Launderette campaign by BBH was dubbed “a cultural hand grenade” by David Billing, ECD at Above+Beyond. The epitome of the power of advertising, as it “single-handedly resurrecting Americana in gloomy post-punk Britain; reviving the fortunes of soul music in a synthpop landscape by putting Marvin Gaye back at the top of the charts; and turning the at first unpromising 501 into an ubiquitous object of denim desire.”



Last updated 21 January 2022