My Favourite Five Ads: Anna Carpen

The best ads are able to land themselves slap bang in the middle of culture. To celebrate the IPA's centenary this year, we are asking adland's finest to pick their top five ads from the past century. This week Anna Carpen, Executive Creative Director at 18 Feet and Rising, makes her selection.

Ikea, Lamp

I love this ad because it’s not ashamed of being just that – an ad. It's wonderfully directed, showing how simple filmic techniques can conjure up any spectrum of emotions. It brings a smile to my face and makes fun of the audience by playing with their feelings. Brave of a brand that sells so much to hero just one product: the humble lamp.


Epuron, The Power of Wind (Mr W.)

A delightfully simple way to make a point about our close-mindedness towards alternative energy. When I first saw this ad I just couldn’t work out what was going on. Why was this guy being so annoying? Why do I feel sorry for him? This could have been executed in a really cheesy way but the director has managed to make it beautiful and emotional.


Donate Life, The World's Biggest Asshole

This ad demonstrates how you can capture an audience for longer than usual as long as the writing is great (it’s a mini feature film). I would sign up to watch 90 minutes of the story of Colman Sweeney. Wickedly funny with a great payoff for the brand at the end. Not only does this ad strike a chord with its target audience (young males) it also drove over 500% increase in organ donor sign ups. 


Wake Up to Milk

Some ads are so magical yet so believable. As a kid, I honestly believed that the milk man or woman delivered their milk by marching them around the streets. The product info is delivered seamlessly and as part of the narrative. The animation is fantastic and way ahead of it’s time for 1992. This ad also saw a huge surge in people getting their milk delivered. 


Levi's, Flat Eric

Flat Eric is one of my favourite characters ever created. He is so cool, yet has so much personality. It raises so many questions, yet the answers don’t matter. The music is catchy and the fact that the whole ad is done in two shots is brilliant. The best ads are able to land themselves slap bang in the middle of culture, and Flat Eric did this in a seemingly effortless way.  

Anna Carpen is Executive Creative Director at 18 Feet and Rising

The IPA are celebrating their centenary this year - join in the conversation on Twitter using #AdFest100 and #IPA100. You can catch up on all the photos, videos and other content from the IPA's Festival of British advertising here, including Sir Martin Sorrell, Sir Alan Parker and a virtual tour of the Exhibition.

If you are interested in submitting your favourite five ads for our blog series, please email

Last updated 21 January 2022