My Favourite Five Ads: Nicola Mendelsohn

What I might be able to get across in an hour of talking, this campaign can do in 3 minutes – that's the power of a great ad. Find out which five ads Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA at Facebook selected as her top five.

Levi's, Laundrette

This was the ad that kick-started my journey in advertising. I remember thinking how amazing that you can tell a story in just 60 seconds. It’s how I first learnt about Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) - who gave me my first job - and the whole Levi’s campaign which stirred a whole generation into dressing differently. As with many of the Levi’s ads, there are no words in “Laundrette”, just the iconic backing track. When I applied to BBH the application form was a record sleeve and after the first interview they gave us an actual record of “Be My Baby” from the Pick-Up commercial. It was a sign of how important music was to the agency, and it certainly made an impression on me about how to make people feel when recruiting.


The Guardian, Points of View

I have always loved this ad. Three short scenes, three lines of dialogue, all shot in black and white with no music - it's like a public service announcement. Seeing a skinhead run down the street in the 1980s would have immediately evoked a certain emotion in viewers. The ad then flips those feelings on their head and holds a mirror up to the viewer’s prejudices. It uses the power of storytelling to deliver multiple messages – see the whole picture, have an open mind, beware the dangers of bias that all hold in us – all core values for The Guardian and its journalism.


Costa, Coffee Monkeys

This was the first TV ad we did for Costa when I was Chairman of Karmarama. By playing on the idea that if you give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters they would eventually crank out the works of Shakespeare, we literally took a load of monkeys and gave them coffee-making equipment to demonstrate that even an infinite number of monkeys could not be trained to make a perfect cup of coffee. It showed people that proper coffee-making was an art form. I am particularly proud of this ad. It put Karmarama on the map and it sold lots of coffee for Costa too!


McDonald’s, Fry Futbol

An amazing collaboration between McDonald’s Fry Futbol and Facebook during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The creative teams would recreate the football ‘moment of the day’ using French Fries and McDonald’s packaging which was filmed overnight and then posted on individual country Facebook pages. These types of campaigns are now common but this was the first big global campaign to show the art of storytelling in the mobile age. It was short-form and personalised marketing for different geographies on a massive scale.


Always, #LikeAGirl

Ask most people to run ‘like a girl’ and they’ll attempt a sort of timid flounce. Ask a young girl to run like a girl and she’ll zoom off like Jessica Ennis-Hill. Such a simple idea for an ad that punches you right in the gut. You feel the injustice of those women who have been told again and again that doing something ‘like a girl’ is a euphemism for ‘badly’. I spend a lot of time talking to women and men about challenging prejudice and inequality, particularly gender bias at work and school. I want my daughter to grow up in a world where she has the same opportunities as my sons - that’s why this conversation matters. What I might be able to get across in an hour of talking, this campaign can do in 3 minutes – that's the power of a great ad. 

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.

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Last updated 21 January 2022