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Mother’s Great London AdVenture

In 1996 non-conformist advertising visionaries, Mark Waites, Stef Calcraft, Libby Brockhoff, and Robert Saville, founded their Mother Advertising Agency in London with the aim of being 100% independent, and free of traditional agency structure encumbrances.

One of their applied principles was to reject normative account executive roles of formatting client contact reports and brief requirements. Instead, creative staff ‘strategists’ engaged with clients directly, and functioned as part account planners, and part account executives.

Almost 50% of Mother London’s staffers work in the creative department, compared to about 18% in most traditional agencies.

Mark Waites on outlined Mother’s boundary-breaking methodology of conceiving innovative and impressionable advertising solutions.

“Most agencies put the client in the middle and organize the work and the people around the client. We put the problem in the middle and invite the client to be part of the circle around it.”

Mother’s family has grown, and their pride and joy are the successes of their ‘away-from-home’ offspring in New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Singapore and Latin America.

1. Samsung Galaxy, Onions

Advertising Agency: Mother, London

Directed by filmmaker Sam Hibbart, this highly entertaining Samsung Galaxy commercial was, it’s claimed, inspired by a ’True Photo’.

As the title suggests, the story’s most unexpected catalysts of a budding romance, are onions.

The commercial features a resonant soundtrack of ‘Something On Your Mind’ by American folk blues singer, guitarist, and banjo player, Karen J. Dalton.

2. IKEA, The Hare and The Tortoise

Advertising Agency: Mother, London, UK

Directed by Sam Pilling, with a ‘voiceover’ by Swedish actor Per Mattson, the Aesop Fable about a race between a hare and tortoise, is brought to filmic, metaphorical life.

The amusing portrayal of the edge a comfortable nights sleep can give one with IKEA’s Ofelia Vass sustainable cotton bedding, makes for a very watchable commercial.

The soundtrack of English Rapper, Roots Manuva’s ‘Witness The Fitness’ was composed and arranged by Rodney Smith.

3. IKEA, Silence The Critics

Advertising Agency: Mother, London, UK

IKEA’s first-ever Festive Season commercial was directed by the highly talented filmmaker Tom Kuntz.

Sarah Green, UK and Ireland Ikea Marketing Manager outlined the insightful rationale behind the engaging IKEA brand communication about ‘home shame’, featuring a comedic home-clutter collection of rapping critics.

“It was born from the common feeling that along with the seasonal joys, a lot of us feel a looming sense of dread when it comes to hosting others. This campaign aims to inspire us all to get our homes party-ready and ‘Silence the Critics’, once and for all.” 

The inspirational choice of an original track by Darren Dixen, the English Grime MC, known as D Double E, provides resonating audio support to the animated story’s visual narrative.

4. IKEA, The Joy Of Storage

Advertising Agency: Mother, London, UK

Directed by Dougal Wilson, this beautifully produced commercial is part of IKEA’s ‘The Wonderful Everyday’ campaign series of commercials.

It is a surreal depiction of the joy to be had with adequate, fit-for-purpose storage. I can easily identify with that great feeling of knowing instantly where, what I’m looking for, is ‘nesting’.

5. Nokia Mobile, Be The Gift

Advertising Agency: Mother, London, UK

Directed by filmmaker Justin Chadwick, this emotive story about the close relationship of a Grandmother and her Grandson away at university, serves as a call to action by Nokia to their consumers to put down their phones over Christmas, and enjoy real human connections with their loved ones.

In exemplary support of their appeal, Nokia Phones took the unprecedented step of shutting down their own website and social media channels for Christmas.

6. KFC Christmas, The Crossroads

Advertising Agency: Mother, London, UK

Roast turkey is the traditional Christmas meal offering in Britain, but in truth, it is not a great family favourite and secretly roast chicken would probably have been the preferred family choice.

As one of the posters in this integrated campaign insightfully reads: “The trick to enjoying Christmas turkey? Lowering your expectations”.

Directed by Nicolai Fuglsig, the ‘Crossroads’ commercial is an amusing Western-style parody featuring the theme music from Ennio Morricone’s classic Western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” as the soundtrack.

The two protagonists are of course, a chicken and a Christmas turkey and the winner of the face-off can probably be easily guessed.

As Hermeti Balarin, partner at Mother, reminds us : “There’s only one day of the year in which you can’t get your favorite fried chicken at KFC. And that’s the 25th of December. Chicken rules the roost on the other 364 days.”

7. Nokia Android, Best Friends

Advertising Agency: Mother, London, UK

In an insightfully understated analogy between brand loyalty and personal loyalty, filmmaker Justin Chadwick storytelling expertise comes to the fore again in this emotively directed scenario of two boys, and their lifelong support of each other.

Their steadfast friendship, through the ups and downs of their boyhood, to the challenges and responsibilities of their eventual fatherhood, is rewarding to view.

The soundtrack’s resonant song, ‘Pelican’, is by British indie rock band ‘The Maccabees’.

8. IKEA, The Nightclub

Advertising Agency: Mother, London, UK

Part of IKEA’s ‘The Wonderful Everyday’ advertising campaign, ‘The Nightclub’ commercial, directed by filmmaker Juan Cabral, is a fun, dream-like, dramatisation of the importance of getting a good nights sleep, for young and old alike, that was supported by an integrated ‘Sleep Hub’ website.

IKEA also engaged co-founder of ‘The Sleep School’ Dr. Guy Meadows to empower IKEA employees with informative insights about the ‘Science of Sleep’ that could knowledgeably be passed on to interested shoppers.