My Favourite Five Ads: Stephen Woodford

To celebrate their centenary this year, the IPA has been asking adland’s finest to pick their top five ads from the past century. Most recently, CEO at Advertising Association, Stephen Woodford, has made his selection, and we’re proud to see two WCRS classics feature…

Carling Black Label, Dambusters

This time Carling’s target was classic British war movies, with the German the unlikely hero, earning the ‘I bet he drinks…’ accolade by saving the dam with some nifty goalkeeping. WCRS at the time was perilously close to being fired after a creatively fallow period. This ad saved our bacon. Those old enough will remember the director Roger Woodburn and his ingenious production company Park Village. They made this epic on a tight budget, long before computers made special effects routine. The bouncing bombs were recreated by firing cricket balls down 50 yards of salt-covered black rubber, the Lancaster cockpit was found on an aircraft collector’s drive and the rest was done with models and the locations in Wales where the original film was shot.

One of the British public’s all-time favourite ads, and a multi-award winner, including a rare D&AD Black Pencil for Roger Woodburn. Classic British creativity and ingenuity, which would have made Barnes Wallis proud. Or perhaps not, as it’s only a lager.

Orange, Launch TV

Another WCRS classic, this ad launched the ground-breaking brand campaign that took Orange from No. 4 in the market to No.1 in a few short years. Larry Barker and Rooney Carruthers were the joint Creative Directors and their visionary script, culminating in Larry’s wonderful line “The future’s bright, the future’s Orange’, foretold the wireless world we now take for granted. Rooney’s sound and vision genius chose Philip Glass for the minimalist music and Frank Budgen to make the film.

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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