Promotional feature

3 great ads I had nothing to do with #41: Ana and Hermeti Balarin on Sport England, Levi's and Boots

Ana and Hermeti Balarin, Joint ECDs at Mother reveal three great ads they admire but had nothing to do with

Hermeti started his career at Mother London in 2007 as an intern. In the past nine years he went up the agency's creative ranks being made, alongside his partner Ana Balarin, executive creative director in 2015.

Most recently he led Mother into one of its most successful years in history. The agency was named Film Agency of The Year at Campaign Big Awards, and won several Cannes Lions including a gold in film and 11 pencils at D&AD.

Ana also started her career at Mother London in 2007 as an intern. She rose up the agency's creative ranks to become, alongside her partner Hermeti, executive creative director in 2015.

Before being appointed ECD Ana acted as global creative director for Stella Artois and under her watch the brand produced populist and award winning work such as the launch of Stella Artois Cidre (‘C’est Cidre. Not Cider’) and the brand's Wimbledon sponsorship, including the acclaimed film ‘The Real Hawk-Eye’. Most recently she headed the beer’s ‘Buy a Lady a Drink’ campaign, which has provided thousands of years’ worth of clean drinking water to women in the developing world. 

In 2015 she and her partner ranked amongst the top five creative leaders of the U.K. according to Campaign. 

Want to watch more great work? Head to the 3 Great Ads hub

Their choices

Sport England "This girl can"

Sport England’s 2014 campaign aimed to encourage more women to take up sport and physical exercise and address the gender gap between male and female participation in sport. The aim was to confront women’s fears of being judged when exercising by showing real women enjoying sport.

The TV ad features "normal" women of all shapes, sizes and ages to the soundtrack of Get Ur Freak On by Missy Elliott. Agency FCB Inferno created the 90-second TV campaign. The outdoor campaign featured slogans such as, "I jiggle, therefore I am"; "I kick balls, deal with it"; "Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox".

‘This girl can’ swept the board at the Creative Circle Ball, picking up five gold and five silver awards, including gold for Best Integrated campaign.

Levi’s "Odyssey"

For it's 2002 ad, Levi’s 'Odyssey', Bartle Bogle Hegarty created spectacular visceral display of man's quest for freedom.

Directed by Jonathan Glazer, who began the project with storyboards, followed by a large special effects team from Framestore CFC. 

Six weeks of pre-production and a solid one-week shoot captured the necessary imagery. Glazer said: "The effects are a key component and needed to be done expertly so that you couldn't see the joins but just enjoy the journey."

It won the IAPI Shark for Best Post Production International Monitor among many more awards.

Boots "Let’s get out there"

This summery 2013 ad features Fine Young Cannibals' chart-topping 'Good Thing' – one of the summer hits of 1989. The ad is by ‘Mother’. The Director was Garth Davis through Academy Films.

(Not original audio)

About this series

In this series of short films, leading Thinkbox 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 Campaign, these bi-monthly awards are judged by the Thinkbox Academy; made up of over 200 advertising luminaries. 

We hope you enjoy the films.

Want to watch more great work? Head to the 3 Great Ads hub

Start Your Free 30-Day Free Trial

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to, plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events.

Become a subscriber


Don’t miss your daily fix of breaking news, latest work, advice and commentary.

register free