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3 great ads I had nothing to do with #22: Robert Campbell on The BBC, Dunlop and Nike

Robert Campbell, founder and creative director, BETA, reveals three great ads he admires but had nothing to do with.

Robert started his career as an advertising copywriter at WCRS in 1984 and has gone on to work at some of the best agencies in London. He has created advertising campaigns for Virgin, Lego, Landrover, Jaguar, Volvo, BMW, The Times and Sunday Times, L'Oreal, Citibank, Microsoft, Mastercard, American Airlines, and more.

He founded The Banks Partnership in 1991and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe in1993, which became one of the UK's most successful independent agencies before being bought by Y&R.

After leaving RKCR/Y&R, Robert led McCann Erickson EMEA for several years, and then became a non-exec director at Steak Media before starting Beta in 2009. Alongside Beta, he also founded its sister company High50 – the world's first luxury brand and editorial platform for contemporary, well-heeled people over 50.

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Robert's choices

BBC "perfect day"

Released in September 1997, 'Perfect Day’ showed the BBC’s range of musical offerings to viewers and listeners. The film starts with Lou Reed singing the first line of his ballad, Perfect Day, before being joined by musical giants including David Bowie, Elton John and Sheona White, the BBC Young Musician of the Year.

The ad was filmed at the rate of three or four musical stars a day, taking over a year to complete. Directed by Gregory Rood and produced by the Paul Weiland Film Company, it was dubbed one of 1997's most beautifully crafted "commercials" and the creative highlight of the year by Campaign magazine.

 The film was the first in a number of big-budget, prolific films promoting BBC TV and radio, marking a departure for BBC marketing. ‘Perfect Day’ won the D&AD Yellow Pencil Award 1998.

Dunlop "Tested for the unexpected"

In November 1993, Dunlop firmly established its name with this surreal and controversial film, setting itself apart from other tyre manufacturers.

Set to the Velvet Underground’s Venus in Furs, the ad was filmed in black and white, with colour added in post-production, a groundbreaking technique at the time.

Directed by Tony Kaye, the ad won two D&AD Yellow Pencil Awards 1994. The ad was made by AMV BBDO and art director by Walter Campbell.

Nike "kick it"

In October 1992, the first TV commercial for Nike by Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow and Johnson was a huge success for Nike, at a time when the UK football boot market was dominated by Adidas.

Featuring the then Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright, the ad showed Nike’s understanding of football culture, with shots of live action around the world, and the reaction of global fans.

With the soundtrack, Kick It, by A Tribe Called Quest, the live action was perfectly complemented, and the ad won the Creative Circle Award for Direction 1993 and two D&AD Awards. The ad was written by Chris Palmer, art directed by Mark Denton and directed by Tony Kaye.

About this series

In this series of short films, leading Thinkbox Creative Academy members have the tricky task of selecting just three TV ads that have inspired them: brilliant commercials, old and new, that they admire but had nothing to do with.

The idea is not only to explore some of our greatest ads in the company of people who know a thing or two about making them, but also because of the proven link between creativity and effectiveness encourage the advertising industry to even greater heights.

About The Thinkboxes

The Thinkboxes are the first awards to celebrate the UK's world-beating TV ad creativity, in all its forms, at regular way-points throughout the year. Created in association with Haymarket Brand Media (Campaign, Marketing and Brand Republic), these bi-monthly awards are judged by the Thinkbox Creative Academy; made up of over 200 advertising luminaries.

We hope you enjoy the films.

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