Walkers and AMV BBDO: six of the best ads from the last 20 years

2018 marks 70 years since Leicester butcher Henry Walker first started selling the potato crisps that bore his name - but it is also another significant anniversary for the brand.

Twenty years ago this week, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO won the Walkers creative account from BMP DDB. It inherited not just the business, but a relationship with Leicester boy Gary Lineker that has continued to this day. Campaign asked the agency's executive creative directors to pick their favourite ads from the last two decades.

"Cheese & Owen" (1999)

Before Ronaldo and Messi there was Michael Owen. He won the Uefa Cup, FA Cup, the Football League Cup and was the Ballon D’Or winner (awarded to the best player in the World). Even our Mums knew who he was. To be the first to get him in an ad at the peak of his powers was a real coup. It shows how Walkers time and time again has tapped into current culture.

"Baked naked" (2000)

People getting their kit off in an ad? Gary Lineker strutting around naked? Been there, done that, seen it on Match of the Day we hear you say. Well, yes and no. This was done in 2000 and way back then all of this was totally fresh. Although we could do without seeing Gary naked ever again.

"Whoopee cushion" (2003)

Farting, chuffing, letting rip. Whatever you call it we all do it. But, when one of the biggest brands in the country makes an ad featuring celebs doing nothing but, that is a brand high on confidence and doing it for a great cause.

"Do us a flavour" (2008)

We can’t think of a single brand which would have the cojones to put the fate of their production in the hands of the Great British public. This was way more than just a TV ad. Over one million people took part and voted Builders Breakfast as their favourite new flavour. Our vote would have gone to Cajun Squirrel.

"Sandwich" (2010)

We’re sure you hear people or have even said "We don’t want to do just advertising", whatever that means. Well, this was the Granddaddy of ideas that wasn’t just a traditional TV ad, it was just a great idea. There were 26 pieces of content, experiential, several live events, a social campaign and a day that one small town called Sandwich will never forget. It also swept the board including a Cannes Grand Prix.

"70th birthday" (2018)

Two things of note happened in the UK in 1948. We won two bronze medals at The Winter Olympics (spectacularly, one of our lowest medal hauls ever) and Henry Walker invented Walkers crisps from a converted butchers shop in Leicester. Since then it has become the biggest crisp brand in the UK. This ad shows despite all the changes we as a country have gone through, there has been one constant: Walkers. Watching this we still get childhood flashbacks remembering some of the ‘pack pack’ shots at the end of this ad.

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