Select Page

Engaging History

Every Brand Has A Story Of Origin

The cars we drive, the corner Kentucky Fried Chicken ‘take-away’ and even our favourite Cola has a history. For many brands their historical origin forms an integral part of the brand’s persona and identity; Scotch whisky being a prime example.

For Art Directors and Copywriters there are also conceptual opportunities for brands to appropriate historic events and characters and make them their own to spark familiarity and interest, from which the brand can then create something entirely new.

Stories about national and cultural pride, whimsical reflection, pathos, and historical reflection, abound with the creative potential to resonate with brand kinship.

1. Sapporo Legendary Biru

Advertising Agency: Dentsu, Canada

‘Biru’ is the Japanese name for beer. Directed by Mark Zibert, the commercial is a compelling ‘epic’ of breathtaking attention to detail.

The film took over a month to shoot in Guangzhou China. Dentsu wanted to translate the legendary cultural heritage and diversity of Japanese artistic craftsmanship into a powerful and intriguing visual narrative for Sapporo the beer.

They have certainly achieved their goal. The commercial is a delight to watch and imbues the brand with a national pride and identity of impressive stature.

2. Cartier Odyssey

Advertising Agency: Marcel, Paris

King Edward VII of England referred to Cartier as “the jeweler of kings, and the king of jewelers”. The Paris Jeweler’s long tradition of royal patronage includes the courts of Europe, Russia, Serbia, Siam, Greece, Romania, Egypt and Albania.

The focus of this spectacular three-and-a-half minute commercial of Cartier’s 165-year history, directed by Bruno Aveilan, is about a Panther.

The instantly recognizable symbol of the Cartier brand takes a trip around the globe and encounters key moments and locations from the jeweler-maker’s sumptuous, long history.

The panther also visits an Indian palace filled with Cartier’s famous animal jewelry pieces, before coming home to supermodel Shalom Harlow at the Grand Palais in Paris, the birthplace of Cartier.

The film was shown at 800 UK cinema screenings, and on television in 12 countries receiving much global acclaim for its spectacular visual appeal.

3. Hovis Bread, Go On Lad

Advertising Agency: Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, London

Directed by Ringan Ledwidge, the cinematic 122-second commercial, follows the journey of a young boy through 122 years of British history, from the establishment of the Hovis brand in 1886 to the eve of the millennium celebrations, and is considered by many to be the best British commercial ever made.

The commercial received dozens of industry awards but the most important acclaim came from the brand’s engaged public audience when in 1999 they voted ‘Go On Lad’ to be the best television commercial of the decade.

4. Hovis, The Making of ‘Go On Lad’

Advertising Agency: Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, London

The ‘behind the scenes’ look at the attention to detail and collaborative skills involved in the production planning of ‘Go On Lad’ makes for interesting viewing.

5. Sainsbury’s, Christmas Is For Sharing

Advertising Agency: AMV BBDO, London

In the midst of the mayhem of WWI on the killing fields of Flanders, there was one brief respite in 1914 on Christmas Eve when sanity prevailed.

Based on a true story, the following commercial celebrates that rare moment of reconciliation.

Directed by exceptionally talented Ringan Ledwidge, renowned for his evocative storytelling mastery, the ‘Christmas Truce’ commemorates a remarkable historical event in its centenary year and with 19.9 million views was the most viewed commercial of the year.

The commercial also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the British supermarket chain’s partnership with The Royal British Legion’s charity for which the campaign raised 7 million pounds.

Produced by Aaron Ray, the soundtrack features the English version of ‘Stille Nacht” written in 1818 by Austrian pastor Joseph Mohr to music composed by Franz Gruber.

6. Johnnie Walker, The Man Who Walked Around The World

Advertising Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), London

Copywriter Justin Moore brilliantly encapsulated 200 years of history in a narrative monologue of six and a half minutes.

Starring multi-award winning actor Robert Carlyle the commercial was filmed in one take on location in Scotland. A remarkable achievement for both actor and director Jamie Rafn. The impeccable timing required for the longest tracking shot in the history of advertising is very impressive.

The commercial won many awards including Cannes Gold and Silver Lions and IPA Campaign Effectiveness gold and Grand Prix trophies.