My Favourite Five Ads: Andy Reid

To celebrate the IPA's centenary this year, we are asking adland's finest to pick their top five ads from the past 100 years. This week, Andy Reid, IPA City Head for South West and Managing Director at McCann Bristol, selects his favourite ads which includes 'A Big Orange Hit'...

Epuron, Mr W

To anthropomorphise an elemental force of nature is just genius. And to do so in the remarkable form of Mr W, inspired. The examples of the wind’s effect on people are by turns brave (lifting up a woman’s skirt, throwing sand in to a little girl’s face) and hilarious (playing havoc with a woman’s hair, riffling a bloke’s newspaper). Great idea. Great direction. Great casting. Great ad.

Metro Trains, Melbourne, Dumb Ways to Die

The brilliance behind the phenomena that is Dumb Ways to Die is in the simple truth: trains travel in a straight line. If you get hit by a train, you’ve probably done something wrong, which makes getting hit by a train one of the dumbest ways to die. The rest is history. Within two weeks of its release the video had been viewed 30 million times. As of January 2017, this number stood at 144 million times. Not surprisingly, Dumb Ways to Die was the most awarded campaign in the history of Cannes. As well as being insanely entertaining, the campaign worked, with 127 million people stating that they would be safer about trains because of the campaign and Metro Trains reporting that it contributed to a more than 30% reduction in near-miss accidents.

Tango, Big Orange Slap

Adverts like this don’t happen by accident. It takes a creative team to put up something bonkers – and bonkers isn’t as easy as it looks, a creative services team that a) understands it and b) really gets behind it, and a client that appreciates what makes great advertising, or at least trusts the agency enough to listen to them tell him/her what makes great advertising. But wait a minute. What about the planner? Legend has it that the planner wrote four words: A Big Orange Hit. It does take a talented team to create ads like this, but in this instance the planner should perhaps stand up and take a bow.

Yellow Pages, J.R.Hartley

This is an achingly charming ad. It is effectively a short story - a cleverly composed story, with a beginning, a middle and an end. And such a sweet end. It is beautifully realised: perfectly cast, tenderly directed and gently paced. Its strength is in its humanity, rarely seen in ads before it and, come to that, after it. Such was the popularity of the commercial, J.R.Hartley became a household name. It even spawned bestselling books on the subject of fly fishing, written by a certain Michael Russell under the pseudonym of J.R.Hartley.

Heineken, Water in Majorca

In the pantheon of advertising none has consistently bettered the Heineken ads for humour. And the Water in Majorca commercial typifies this humour. In a reworking of a scene from My Fair Lady, a Sloane Ranger sits in an office at the School of Street Credibility and repeatedly fails to enunciate a line in a suitably cockney fashion. Until of course she drinks some Heineken and hey presto, produces phonetic perfection.


Last updated 21 January 2022