My Favourite Five Ads: Dave Henderson

A "monochrome masterpiece" with integration of the product that has "never been bettered". 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, Dave Henderson, Creative Partner at Atomic London, makes his selection.

Sony, Balls

One of those seminal ads that spawned a whole new creative approach and many imitators. Watching the waves of bouncy balls cascade through the still streets of San Francisco to José González’s Heartbeat was truly a sublime marriage of music and image. I just never tire of watching this.

Guinness, Surfer

The iconic horses galloping along the crest of the wave was a masterful addition to the script by director Jonathan Glazer. It’s integration of the product into the narrative has never been bettered…it shows the product throughout, without showing the product. The Guinness Surfer is a monochrome masterpiece and rightly one of the most acclaimed adverts of all time.

Nike, Tag  

Inventive storytelling meets brilliant marketing in the 2001 Nike ‘Tag’ ads – how do you make a performance sports brand inclusive? How about get a whole city to join in with a game of “tag”?

Genius script that also just happened to have this generation’s very finest commercial director at the very top of his game, the late and great Frank Budgen.

Hamlet Cigars, Photobooth

Sometimes, simplicity is hard to surpass. Watching Gregor Fisher do battle with a photo booth remains one of the most memorable moments in advertising history – three decades have passed since its release and I still can’t help but laugh. I challenge anyone to show me a funnier ad. Period.

Levi's, Odyssey

Featuring special effects way ahead of its time, Levi’s Odyssey broke through more walls than just the ones shattered by the ad’s protagonists as they race to the skies. A potent combination of startling visuals with a mind blowing score. Immaculate.

Last updated 21 January 2022