24 hour ad challenge: the winner

Twenty teams competed over the weekend to make a 60-second cinema ad for the ICA in just one day. Lucky Team 13 were the winners

Twenty teams competed over the weekend to make a 60-second cinema ad for the ICA in just one day. Lucky Team 13 were the winners

The 24 Hour Ad Challenge was organised by M&C Saatchi and HypTV, based on the 24 hour film challenge concept by ‘guerrilla’ filmmaker Johnnie Oddball.

At 10am on Saturday, twenty teams of young creatives and filmmakers, gathered at M&C. There, the brief was revealed – they were asked to make an ad promoting the ICA, based on the idea of ‘now’. All the films had to be delivered to the ICA at 10am the next day where they would be screened for the judges and all the entrants. Here’s the winner…

Director: Martin Stirling
Producer: Michelle Craig
Creatives: Sam Norton, Ricky Diaghe
Production Coordinator – David Bridle
Editor – Alex Burt
Editor – Bejan Emamalizadeh
Camera – James Karinejad

Martin and Michelle explain how they came up with the idea: “We arrived with The Staring Man idea about 12 hours in. We were really dissatisfied
with the ideas we had started out with; high concept ideas felt like they came across as too gimmicky and the others relied on narration which risked being too explanatory, we felt that this didn’t quite fit with what we understood of the ICA.

“Our approach was informed by the type of work presented at the ICA in which patience always seems to be rewarded. We wanted to keep action to a minimum, to try and achieve confidence in stillness.

“We had a number of actors on stand by but decided on James Sobol Kelly because he has such expressive features. Ironically, the only direction we gave him was to hold his breath and watch for 60 seconds.

“We were pretty influenced by the work of Edward Hopper, whose work seemed to capture moments in time through simplicity.”

The judges – and I was one, alongside Alan Yentob, Peter Saville, Sophie Fiennes and Graham Fink – immediately felt that this was the stand-out entry. As Saville said, it understood that a gallery is about looking and seeing and felt appropriate for the ICA where it will now run as a trailer to the cinema programme.

For me personally, too many of the entries were couched in the cliched ad language so familiar to us from commercials. Many could have been ads for mobile phone companies or banks – urging us to live for the now and be all we can be. Team 13’s was brave and bold and simple. Interestingly, they do not come from a typical ad background, Stirling and Craig having met at the National Youth Theatre. They are about to start a production company called Shoot! with Barney Girling.

Congratulations to Team 13 and all the entrants – just getting something shot, edited and delivered in such a tight timeframe was a feat in itself.

To see more of the entries go here

  • richard

    i was bored after 24 seconds
    otherwise genius

  • Stephen

    Didn’t know what ICA is… still don’t know what ICA is….. effective?

  • Mope

    Very disappointing.

  • Vanessa

    Beauty in simplicity. Got it – loved it.

  • Andrew Williams

    Perfect for the ICA. What’s he staring at? Whatever you think he’s staring at. Content is in the eye of the beholder.

  • NickR

    Not like particularly ad-like but subtle and involving. A great short

  • http://- zef

    ha ha ha
    he was holding his breath?
    ha ha ha (real laughter)
    i dont believe it

    actually it does look pretty much like a new order cover

  • skoupidiaris

    intense, simple, beautiful.

  • http://www.bursteardrum.net Bursteardrum

    Looking at the other entrants, how cliched were they?! Simplicity works best in a lot of cases, could be seen as taking the p*** but works well within this context – nice one.


  • Paul

    Seriously, is this the winner?
    A sad day indeed!

  • http://www.hyptv.com HYPdoc

    Love the controversy. Excellent! But some of you have missed the point re context of the ‘ad’ and the communication. Read Patrick’s comments above for clues.

  • Chiara

    Simple and effective. Beautiful, moving and what a fantastic face.

    Bravi bravi

  • Sakis

    This is excellent!
    As Patrick says, this was a clear winner. All the other entries are cringingly bad and show no understanding of what the ICA is.
    Well done team 13.

  • ben

    I was surprised this one before I looked at the others. Now I understand. This didn’t win for brilliance, it won because the others were god-awful.

  • http://www.timkeeling.com Tim Keeling

    There were 20 groups, and the organisers have so far only been able to uploaded the first 8.

    Please hold fire on comments like “All the other entries are cringingly bad” until you’ve seen all 20 please.

    love, Team 19.

    p.s. Will you show the shortlist?

  • Molly

    My Granddad has cancer. Nothing to do with this video.

    I just thought I’d mention it as its more enjoyable than this. Its wonderfully poncy.

  • Moobs

    I can understand that the other adverts were too much like “ads” (who’d have thought that in an ad competition?) but this one is too far the other way of the spectrum. I skipped through the video as I was disinterested within the first 10 seconds.

    What’s it say? I have no idea. What does it say about ICA? That’ll you’ll become bored within moments?

    Did it won on its merits? Probably not. Did it win because its arty and the competition runners wanted to somehow validate what they do its art and worthy? Maybe..

    It’ll look pretty, everyone involved in it will feel smug and proud, then everyone will forget it the next time they see a show reel by some new film maker.

    While its good that we are all talking about it , we have to remember that most of us are connected to the creative industries directly. I sent the video around work, a creative agency with over 900 people here, and most of the responses were “WTF?” “Too worthy, didn’t bother” the only positive responses came from the creative floor who admired its simplicity. So it is a major success if you wish to appeal to creatives who work in ad agencies and production houses.

    I am only sad as this could have been something amazing, something we’d remember and chat about instead of the “meh” moment its created.


  • Ben

    This is not advertising. It has no message. It should not have been called an ad challenge. Very worrying…

  • James

    Final 5? Was there a shortlist? If so, can we see?

  • http://www.partnerssmr.com Alexa

    I really liked the simplicity, things like the unsteadiness of the camera provide just enough movement and depth to it. Though I didn’t get that he was holding his breath until watching it again and knowing that explains a bit more about his expression. I think like ‘Moobs’ says, creatives (like myself) might appreciate it, but I wonder if people will take a minute to take it in and decode the message?- but would it be more aimed at creatives anyway??

  • http://supergraphic.co.uk Jon

    Creative Review: First official vote to limit comments to just selected posts.

    The current set-up is admirable in terms of community, but it’s damaging to the reputation of the magazine/blog. Criticism and debate are cornerstones to the design and advertising industries, and are important tools when used correctly. Unfortunately, there are people out there who will make negative comments despite not actually reading the posts they are responding to; jumping to obsurd, rash and sometimes damaging conclusions.

    The optimism of Creative Review; supporting and showcasing the best of the best, is being tarnished by the petty and disgruntled few, using anonymity as their soapbox (note all negative comments above provide no link). Above is an excellent piece of work given the time constraints, appropriate for both its customers and intended environment. It should be applauded, not reduced to a slagging off, fueled by ignorance.

    Hopefully CR Towers will take note of this.

  • ryan

    sorry, but that isn’t very effective… yes its simple.. but i wont remember it in a few days time.

  • Rufus

    Am i missing something? I Googled ICA to find out what it was if anyone’s interested.

    “Institute of Contemporary Arts : Homepage : Homepage
    A London arts centre presenting contemporary film, exhibitions, talks, club nights, music, dance, and new media events. Also has a bookshop, …”

    No idea what that film has to do with it.

  • Robert

    hmmm.…is he waiting for a bus or maybe a taxi? WTF is right!

  • http://www.bentheillustrator.com Ben O’Brien

    Discussion 1 : The Ad. I like the ad, I think it works. It makes you want to know what the guy is staring at, to know what he is watching. It’s an ad for a cinema. It’s simple, and it works. Most of all, it works on a level that I think ICA visitors will understand, they don’t need some quirky nonsense or a ‘gag’, I think that’s enough, I think they’d enjoy it. Especially like the last few seconds, is his breath being taken away by something?

    Discussion 2 : Jon’s comment. I agree, it’s all too easy to throw out a negative opinion without a worthwhile reason for it. This is always the problem with professional resources opening themselves up to an onslaught of public opinion, who’s to know where the opinion’s are coming from? A 13 year old who loves art class, a bitter 40 something who’s design career never quite hit the mark, a student who hasn’t quite grasped the basics yet, or just a dude with a creative hobby. Everyone is welcome to their opinions, and everyone should voice their opinions, but some people have to understand or learn the skills, ideas and inner workings of design, advertising and filmmaking before jumping to instant negative verdicts.

    I liked it when the professionals and the people with a true understanding of design held the industry safely and productively in their hands. This is design and advertising, not X-Factor. The public’s favourite is not necessarily the best option.

  • http://www.simonwhybray.com Simon

    lol 1 star

  • jhoover

    at least the editor got a nice rest

  • http://www.thatisabsurd.co.uk Andy Russell

    Like the ICA itself – it’s subjective, on many levels it works on others it fails, one mans rubbish is another mans treasure :0)

    Interesting nevertheless

  • http://twitter.com/adamthesmith Adam Smith

    Don’t think this would persuade my mum to go to the ICA. If anything, it’d alienate her.

  • boyswan

    I love the way numerous commentators here are prepared to rubbish the collected/unanimous opinions of:

    Alan Yentob, Creative Director of the BBC, Graham Fink, Creative Director M&C Saatchi, Designer Peter Saville (genius), Patrick Burgogne, editor of Creative Review and Filmmaker Sophie Fiennes.

    Only a melon would deny these people’s creative credentials, and before your internal voices pipe up with (whingy voice) “but everyone’s entitled to their opinion”

    No they’re not. Which is why films have directors, fashion shows have designers and books have editors.

    The winning ad rocks. It’s a big 2 fingers to mediocre fast-cut, out of focus, whacky music, smug endline contrivance.

    BIg up the Judges for rocking the boat – that whats the ICA is all about.

  • Paul

    The Director and the Producer talk about the idea they got; so what did the creatives do?

  • http://www.goodjolt.co.uk Jolt

    Yet another vacuously pretentious ad created more to self-gratify all the usual suspects within the industry, than have any tangible relation to the entity it is intending to promote, or indeed the viewer – just another ‘yes we understand this because we are more clever than the average person’ concept . Alluding to the fact there is a high-brow concept behind the commercial, when it is actually as empty as a toilet roll tube . I don’t call that Art. At least not with a capital ‘A’. On a positive note however, the production is exquisite. Though unfortunately, a sublime execution is tarnished by a lazily substandard idea. Possible solution? I think they could have made the ad more open to a wider audience. I don’t think it presents the ICA as inspirational, accessible and non-exclusive as it perhaps it should, in today’s age. Ah yes, that brings me back to the theme prescribed in the brief… ‘now’.

  • http://www.donalcoonan.com Donal

    We got through to the shortlist. Have a little watch if you’d like!


  • http://www.goodjolt.co.uk Jolt

    Yet another vacuously pretentious ad created more to self-gratify all the usual suspects within the industry, than have any tangible relation to the entity it is intending to promote, or indeed the viewer – just another ‘yes we understand this because we are more clever than the average person’ concept . Alluding to the fact there is a high-brow concept behind the commercial, when it is actually as empty as a toilet roll tube . I don’t call that Art. At least not with a capital ‘A’. On a positive note however, the production is exquisite. Though unfortunately, a sublime execution is tarnished by a lazily substandard idea. Possible solution? I think they could have made the ad more open to a wider audience. I don’t think it presents the ICA as inspirational, accessible and non-exclusive as it perhaps it should, in today’s age. Ah yes, that brings me back to the theme prescribed in the brief… ‘now’.

  • http://www.hyptv.com theDoc

    Guys, guys, guys. Come on. Read before you write.
    To clarify. This wasn’t about memorability, effectiveness, message, ‘greatness’ or any other tired advertising euphemism. Think about the context and the brief. This piece of work is to appear IN the ICA as a piece of work to trailer the main feaures in the ICA cinema…so it’s aimed at a captive audience who know all about the ICA. They are creatively-minded, artistic and are there to see interesting work that provokes and evokes (like the staring man).
    Also – the idea of the Challenge was to give new and emerging film-makers and creatives a chance to show what they could do on a budget of £0 in 24 hours. To show resourcefulness, imagination, teamwork, commitment and ambition. And bravery – to put themselves up for criticism to tough judges and cynical, sniping bloggers.

    Yes it was an ‘ad’ challenge…but in a sense it ended up challenging the notion of conventional advertising – and not just because it was differently placed. It wasn’t about a product…it was about the notion of ‘now’. Being in the ‘now’. Looking…and seeing…seeing what you want to see. And if you see a bus or a taxi like the guy above, fine. That’s all you CAN see.

  • boyswan

    Well said Doc. Light dawns on planet rant.

  • KiKi
  • http://www.dv.com Paul

    Simply beautiful, its all about the idea and this piece show’s that in the most effective way, we need more great work like this in the film industry!!

  • liamsullivan

    Amazing Love it! Very simple piece of art, Alot of time and effort put it too this masterpiece it has alot of meaning too it and what the hell is he thinking and looking at, Nice on guys i love it :) Big up the judges for spotting this talent!

  • http://www.goodjolt.co.uk Jolt

    Sorry Doc, but still disagree. Places of Art should not be limited to the creatively-minded few – and increasingly aren’t so. It should inspire visitors’ curiosity about Art, not encourage them to switch off to it. It should at least try to make people from just about any walk of life, feel welcome in a house of Art. Any fellow creative worth his/her salt would have their head firmly pulled out from their behind, and SEE this altogether bigger picture. I still think the film should try more to ‘speak’ to all walks of life. I understand there was a very tight time limit. Which I myself am more than accustomed to. Nonetheless I’m just tired of fellow pros within the industry continuously applauding this conceptual emptiness. And doing so blindly. It seems too many creatives stop questioning what they see at times. And that very often, the general view is that any ambiguous work must be beautifully simple. When in actuality, we are not using our enquiring minds to peel back the layers and realising that this work is actually nothing but autofellatio. To sum up, although the film literally depicts ‘a man on the street’, it doesn’t necessarily speak to ‘the’ man on the street. Or indeed anyone who uses their mind as often as they should.

  • boyswan

    Jolt, you’ve missed the whole point of the idea mate. Look into his eyes and try to imagine what he’s witnessing, turn off your critical art-school diatribe and give your imagination a shot at glory – far from being conceptual emptiness it’s grounded by one simple concept: a man is caught in the very moment (‘the Now’) of witnessing something we can’t see, thankfully the makers to invent for ourselves what he’s seeing. All of the other ideas, many of which are very well made -left nothing for us to imagine.

    I expect you hated the Blair Witch Project because you didn’t get to see a big warty witch?

    And dude, stop trying to dictate what the ICA should and shouldn’t do! -they obviously love it or they wouldn’t have chosen to play it for the coming months. They are the client and they’ve chosen what they wanted!

    if you’re so big on everyone “using their minds” – use yours, go on…what do you think he’s seeing Jolt?
    ………….seriously come up with something creative that he could be witnessing and i’ll see if i can better it!

    (insert sound fx of my imagination gauntlet hitting floor)

  • http://www.newview.com B

    The people that didn’t understand the reason for this winning really didn’t use their mind effectively. If you were an intelligent individual you would understand what this piece is communicating, and please dont question or debate the words of major industry people such as Peter Saville, Saatchi, BBC director and Creative Review that’s already enough to say. I totally agree in the judges opinion, well done judges for making an intelligent decision. Great Piece well done to every one that created this highly recommended!!!

  • http://www.hyptv.com theDoc

    I don’t disagree with that, Jolt. But you’re arguing with something I didn’t suggest. Everything’s about CONTEXT and place. Why don’t people on here get their head out of their miserable ass and READ what’s been said before before spewing forth their own arguments and views (another form of auto-fellatio perhaps?).

    Once again…this was a piece of work that is ONLY talking to the people INSIDE the cinema, not the man on the street. If it was a brief aimed at people outside, to draw people into the arts and the ICA, then it would have been a totally different brief and different type of winner. Simple. Sorry to thwart everyone’s intense rantings.
    (I do like the pastiche version on youtube tho) :-) See Kiki’s link.


    How do you get a bunch of w*nky pretentious arty types into a centre full of w*nky pretentious art? Do an even w*nkier pretentious advert!

    For the love of god why would you do an ad aimed at people that already go to the ICA? How stupid can you get. This is the reason why normal people don’t go to places like the ICA because they have to endure pretentious pieces of so-called art that mean nothing, have no message and simply bore them whilst in the background is a bunch of tw*ts going yar yar yar this is so deep. Whether you like how it’s shot or not at the end of the day it would have been better to have a badly shot film with a core message that provoked some kind of reaction other than WTF, which I’m sure will be the response of anyone normal watching it.

    Someone mentioned how can we question the judges? So what?! I can guarantee you if all ads were like this no one would ever advertise, oh except maybe the ICA.

  • David

    I can see some off the points made. However I think this is a classy peice of work and with in the context of an abstract brief, zero budget, 24 hrs to do it and working with a crew you only just met that morning! If anyone thinks they can do a better job step up or shut up!

  • http://www.brands2market.com Paul Weinstein

    Engaged – most certainly he is. Enlightened – hard to tell. Entertained – more like occupied; in attracting people to the ICA the ad should surely be more enticing than waiting for a bathroom door to open? But it’s campaignable and maybe that’s art!

  • boyswan

    i have a sneaky suspicion he’s outside a tv shop window catching up on the x-factor result and he’s a Jedwood fan……phew, they’re through.

  • Tom

    Where are the other entries?

  • craytwins ;)

    You bastards looool

  • http://www.goodjolt.co.uk Jolt

    Sorry Boyswan, or Smithers from the Simpsons? – or simply Doc’s small-town sycophant of the day? I think you are the one missing the point here. I get it… oooh I wonder what it is the man in the film is witnessing which has him so entranced? It is nothing more than yet another idea borne from the post 911 tragedy. Man in urban setting, is utterly captivated by something unfolding directly in front of him. The aim is to make us wonder what he is seeing, to scratch our itchy little imaginations, and rake through the infinitely possible scenarios in our minds. So spare yourself the patronising explanation. To keep it simple for you, it was like watching a film I have never seen, but already knowing the sequence of events and alas… the ending. But is there an end? Quite frankly, who cares?!

    It is tedious. Rouses no sense of wonder, nor emotion. It can be equated to a child’s nappy. Use once and throw away… utterly disposable. I can fully gauge all of the thinking behind the work in an instant – Never mind, the duration of the film. And yes, as you correctly guessed, probably down to a well-trained mind. I agree with you in the respect that the best sequences in film let the viewer make up their own visions of events, rather than the spelling it out via gory blood and guts. However, my point is that I feel it is a lazy concept. And more than a bit up it’s own behind. It has been done far too many times before it. It makes me wonder nothing, doesn’t raise a smile or even anger in my mind. My eyes did briefly roll back however. The film simply doesn’t make any attempt venture outside the comfort zone of the familiar.

    As for your suggestion of confrontation – using a figure of speech derived from knighthood. I like this very much. ‘Sir Jolt’ – quite catchy eh? I take this as a great compliment and indeed a term of endearment. But really, I suggest conceding little knave. You are jousting with the big boys now.

  • http://www.goodjolt.co.uk Jolt

    No Doc, you are missing my point. The bigger picture. I was trying to say that we don’t just get arty w*nks visiting any given Art centre. The ad is created for themselves. Not the viewer. The film is in the same vein as the idea conceived by the guy who won the Turner Prize a number of years ago, by switching the lights in the gallery on and off. I just get the feeling, that a lot of creatives have got the impression that a good idea is one that annoys people the most for being so hollow. And then it gets confused with the definition of a simple idea.

    Peace comrade 😉

  • boyswan

    Jolt…. You definatley have a sharper mind and a keener eye than Graham Fink or Peter Saville and friends which is why their opinions count for nothing, and the New Order album covers or being the D&AD chairman pales in comparison to your portfolio: http://www.goodjolt.co.uk/

    it’s you whose ill equipped to be critiquing the ‘big boys’. pipe down.

    (although your logo for east kilbride shopping centre is mind blowing)

  • http://www.goodjolt.co.uk Jolt

    David… In response to your ‘step up, or shut up’ comments. Where did you learn that… Grange Hill?

    Personally, I didn’t criticise the production of the film. In fact, thought it was exceptionally done, and in such difficult circumstances and time constraints. Was absolutely superb. My only problem was with the initial idea.

    Just thought I’d throw that one into the fire. Mooowhaaawhaaaawhaaaaa!

  • B

    Totally agree with jolt.

  • Tom

    I really do not like that there are people in this world and the fact that they have opinions: I don’t care what other people think, I don’t want to listen. The ICA and M+C collaborated on a competition to create publicity, some people judged the application process, some people were selected to participate, some people did participate, some people judged the films made in 24 hours, this one was chosen as the winner= FACT.
    Get over yourselves: who gives a shit!

    On reading this stream, I have 1 opinion I want to express: if some-one needs to google what the ICA is and they work in a creative business: then if I was their boss I’d sack them tomorrow morning. Tom Evans

  • http://www.goodjolt.co.uk Jolt

    My old friend Boyswan, I’ve missed the sweet scent of Vosene.

    It seems I may have touched a nerve.

    I missed you so. I’m not arguing with the legends in Peter Saville etc. Not disputing their choice. However, it can’t hurt to challenge the establishment every now and then can it? Nothing wrong with us young minions voicing our own little opinions now and then is there?

    On the website, That is really old stuff, it is a place-filler. You are more than welcome to visit the site again soon when you may well enjoy some of the super massive new stuff. Well I suppose, we can’t please everyone can we?!

    Love you too sweet cheeks ; )

  • http://www.goodjolt.co.uk Jolt

    Hi Tom,

    What do the ICA do again? I hope it is not the Insurance Corporation of Afghanistan.

    PS. While everyone else is currently getting over themselves. I am over there with them. Is it cold where you are?

  • boyswan

    Not one person here’s who has critised team 13’s efforts has suggested a more worthy winner, and since all the entries were made for no cash and in less than a day, perhaps by this time tomorrow the armchair critics will have uploaded their best attempts…. i for one expect not one will surpass the Staring Man -or even have the good grace to stop whining and try.

    “Criticism should not be querulous and wasting, all knife and root-puller, but guiding, instructive, inspiring.”

  • Ally

    Aren’t adverts usually meant to inform or at least promote some sort of inquisitive thought prompting the viewer to enquire further? Whilst the winner is laudable in it’s artistic content I fail to see how it achieves this objective!

  • rob messeter

    its quite simple.

    my criticism is with the whole idea of a ’24-hour ad challenge’. its simply not long enough to produce anything of any value. its a flawed concept.

    an institution like the ica deserves a great ad campaign.

    give this brief to any decent creative team and give them a decent length of time and you’d have something which is good AND actually makes sense.

    so lets stop sniping the winner, it really was the best of a bad bunch.

  • Ad

    “so lets stop sniping the winner, it really was the best of a bad bunch.”

    rob messeter – Of course, that’s definitely not a sniping comment at the winner.

    In general – It was a brand film, that is to be viewed by people already at the ICA. It is not designed to draw more people in, only to engage the type of audience that goes. In that sense it is very effective. The advert requires you to stop and take in the moment. It could be when you are walking home, it could be at work, you could sitting on the toilet. All that matters is the ‘now’ of that moment! The ICA shows what it believes to be ‘Now’. Why don’t you go to the ICA, experience what is on offer and perhaps you might understand the concept of the film.

  • Pete

    The one chosen as the winner is definitely the best out of all the entries uploaded so far; I can’t really see how anyone could dispute that. Most of the others were pretty bland and Team 1 just ripped off the channel 4 idents from a little while back.

  • tiziana callari

    I am disgusted by watching the ‘winner’ of this competition!! If this is the taste of the judge that goes around, then I don’t see any point in applying to these competitions, I am speechless, I can only say that I hated it!
    boring , boring and boring probably as much as the judges, I don’t like ICA anymore and this is how a successfull disaster can make u feel about what they are trying to advertise.

  • http://seamlessmedia.co.uk/portfolio/ Rob

    The winning team could have thought up the Honda ‘Cogs’ ad with £0 budget in 24 hours and there would still be people on this blog who would criticise.

    I thought it was quite a brave and refined approach which made me want to find out more about the ICA.

  • David

    Hi Jolt! Grange Hill haha yes indeed.

    You might not like the ad; But you didn’t really give credit to the difficult circumstances in which it was made, and tbh you’re pretty insulting in your criticism of it, comparing it to a Childs nappy. Everyone’s initialled to an opinion but the response seemed unnecessarily rude and bitter. Say what you’ve got to say but don’t throw your toys out the pram. Its all a matter of opinion.

  • http://www.hyptv.com theDoc

    Well the winning work has certainly sparked some lively and interesting debate. But it seems to be going round in circles as some people haven’t read the explanations in the article and the thread.

    As one of the organisers, speakers and hosts of the Challenge, I’d like to state (or re-state!) one or two points.
    1. To those who feel the ICA ‘deserve something better’, that really wasn’t the point of the Ad Challenge. The mission was to promote new, up-and-coming talent (many of the people who took part were students), to put them in front of key industry professionals and to allow them the chance to break through in increasingly difficult and competitive times. Giving new creative talent a break is part of what we do at HYPtv (and part of the ethos of the ICA too as it happens!). The quality of the work really is a side issue here and I believe the people who took part really got some valuable insights out of the experience (as well as some fun).
    2. So the brief and the Challenge was to promote new talent. It was designed by M&C Saatchi, ourselves at HYPtv and the ICA to be open, abstract and inspirational…and it was designed to allow filmmakers and ad creatives a chance to create something that sits somewhere between ‘art’ and ‘advertising’…that would appear in the ICA in its own right…to reinforce what the ICA was about (not to directly encourage new members). The prizewinner, then, would have their work showcased in the ICA. A great prize for an aspiring creative I think.
    3. To people who have expressed concern, disgust, anger and indignation at the choice of the judges, I can only say that they were looking for something a little out of the ordinary – that wasn’t created with the usual advertising formula, that wasn’t clichéd and that in some ways challenged the conventional notion of how an ad should be. How good the work is, is obviously subjective…all I can say is I that if something sparks the kind of response it has, and polarises the way it seems to have done, it’s not a bad result – as, by accident, it’s created a kind of awareness campaign for the ICA and prompted people to find out more. From a personal perspective I think the work is a refreshing anti-dote to the kind of busy, message-laden ads we’re used to seeing and the wastefully grand, smug and self-serving ads that the likes of Sony, Honda and Guinness seem impelled to produce. The staring man is exactly what you want him to be. He gives you back what you put in and tells you a little about what you are.
    4. Finally, if any creative out there would like to walk the walk please get in touch. We have some great contacts and the chance to work on some interesting stuff. And anyone is more than welcome to email me direct through hyptv, where you can also upload your work. We look forward to seeing it.

  • http://www.goodjolt.co.uk Jolt

    Hi David.

    Thank you for your tuppence worth. [Comment deleted by moderator]

    If you read closely, I let my little unimportant feelings known about the vacuousness and pretentiousness of the IDEA – which is in itself, clichéd nowadays.

    On the other hand, I thought the PRODUCTION of the film, was top notch, absolutely wonderfully well executed. Beautifully done.

    My only problem with it was that I could hear the thoughts of the creatives in their eureka moment (not the production team who were superb)… ‘yes we have come up with a really ambiguous, empty idea that will annoy people’ – ‘aren’t we so clever”. Isn’t everyone fed up with seeing this kind of ‘wow so deep’ concept – filling our heads with disposable nonsense. Honestly, if we carry on seeing more of this kind of concept, our minds will be like toxic landfills, filling our brains with pointless, alternative scenarios and realities. [Comment deleted by moderator]

    Style and no substance.

  • http://www.goodjolt.co.uk Jolt

    Thank you Tiziana Callari – at last, someone else on this blog talks sense! ; )

  • Reality Check

    It’s brave, bold and simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s good.

  • http://www.timkeeling.com Tim Keeling

    Team 19’s video:


    Group 19 comprised of:
    Tim Keeling, Sam Pilling, Malgorzata Kitowski, Mushka Kortelainen, Dominic Stinton, Elliott Tucker

  • James

    After a reasonless hiatus, i’m going back to the ICA site to see what’s on this week.

    Art school debate all you want, this short worked/works.

  • http://www.goodjolt.co.uk Jolt


    oh sidown… oh siidown…oh sidown… sidown next to meeee-heeeee




    daaahaaaahown… next to meeeeeheeeeeeheeeeee 😉

  • boyswan

    hey Jolt, if you hate it so much, why are you still here a day later struggling to make the same point?

    oh God…we’re your new friends aren’t we!?

    going for good.

  • john

    more spacing between the i and the c. Otherwise very good

  • http://Www.cannonphotography.co.uk James cannon

    The ad is designed for people who already go to the ica. Not to attract people to the ica. There is a massive difference.. This ad works really well. Full credit to the makers

  • Jack

    Would love to see the naysayers upload their own treatments to this thread. It looks like something from the dailymail.com not creative bloody review! What hope is there for our industry with this many philistines dragging their feet? Not cool.

  • Tom

    Teamm 11’s is quite nice for what it represents. Production quality is poor though.


    Team 20 is fun, made me smile.

    I guess the good thing is that there are a lot of different ideas.

  • http://www.awareinjustice.com jaco

    reminds me of that bit in Pulp Fiction when the lads reclaim the suitcase and open it out-with our view: their faces become illuminated…

    except this deserves nae “oscar”, likes

    ps.. thought it was a ‘STI’ government campaign

  • mrkd

    I haven’t even got round to watching the ad due to the sheer nonsense written on this here blog.. Even if it does turn out to be a let down, I’d rather congratulate the effort made than slaughter these peoples hard work.

    I’m just imagining how I’d feel if I turned up on CRblog and read so many pointless and negative ‘critiques’ about a project I created in a day.

  • http://www.crearedesign.co.uk Luci

    Congratulations to the winning team – i can’t imagine the pressure they would have been under to create an ad in just 24 hours.
    That said… my main concern is that, after the 60 seconds, I was still left with the questions that I feel any ad should answer straight away: Who is the ICA? What do they do? Why does it matter to me?

  • Utku Er

    I think this add is completely pointless.
    Ad should give something to you, ad should sell the product, inform you about the product, create an aura about the concept, make you feel something about the product, it’s all about the product or the idea you want to sell. all this ad does is create some curiosity and bore you to death. and at the end you don’t even satisfy the curiosity because it only writes ICA. you have to use other means to find what ICA is. and after a boring minute, who wants to?

  • http://www.starnow.co.uk/stephenadams stephen adams

    great advert its like art itself either you like it or hate it,
    all the adverts were great, from what ive seen so far,considering the time taken to make them,
    p.s is anyone casting for adverts if you need a fat bloke get in touch

  • http://www.johankruger.co.uk/film.php Johan A Kruger

    Love it! It really had me at the edge of my seat waiting for something to happen… and when it didnt… i actually thought cool that is bloody excellent!

  • http://www.nickcoombes.com NC

    It may have been a 60 sec slot but it felt 30 seconds too long. Great idea though.
    btw was it me or was the siren in the background an American one?…..

  • http://www.jonathanleroux.com Jonathan le Roux

    I must say that i am not going to make friends of influence people after this statement.
    This is not an ad, this is not a piece of film. Please ref to my haagendazs commercial shot and edited in one day.

    Ok so what is my point. Lovely shot. but what happened? Nothing, I tell you what, all you judges, I will shoot a piece of film of me staring into a toilet at a turd.
    I will call it I C A TURD NOW. Atleast it will have the slow rocking motion of a turd in the bowl. My eyes fixed to it, as if questioning a crystal ball. It will describe my fradgile humanity, my reflection in the toilet water, would be able to express my artist side.

    So really, congrats on winning but judges i think you have had to many moments like this whilst ……

    Surely abstraction has a point to it? Abstraction should give you something back, It is taking daily concepts, attitudes and flipping them on it’s head. Look at Jackson Pollock, you may say it means nothing however it was a new technique, it was breaking away from convention, Yes he was a depressed alcholic but he still inspires, even if it is an emotional response. Even David Lynch gives you a pay off, Abstract to the max, with his fish, his trout and weather report, but give me something as a viewer. I am not your flight test ape.
    Where was the pay off?

    A friend told me they got it right, the ICA to quote “typical ICA though
    they were spot on that kind of art space place”

    So here you have it the building and instution is so abstract that you would not even be able to find it, and what it does.lol Anyway Still waiting for willy wonker to give me his golden ticket to enter the seriuos side of filmmaking and advertising.

    Congrats for making quiet a stir, I have just added my stir in the pot, Please no offence just my artist opinion. I am sure you are wonderful people.

    NOW I have to get back to wasting my day, waiting for the phone to ring ……blah, blah ,blah

  • Lindaaargh

    Blah blah blah indeed. This is so typical ICA. Well done the nonmediacentric winners.

    I agree with Ben… the others were so god awful that this one does stand out. Well what can we expect from such a rediculous timescale and zero budget? I got bored after 20 seconds. Like- I get the idea, move on now. Oh. This is all they managed. Oh well.

    I feel sorry for the other actors they rounded up who didn’t get a look in. Pretty disappointed with this years entries, to be frank.

  • Jam

    The ads were made knowing that the only place you’d see it was at the ICA. So they don’t need to tell you what the ICA stands for or why you should go as you’ll already be there! So stop going on about how its not an informative ad as its clearly not trying to be. I think that the winning ad deserved to win. It captures an essence of the kind of film I like to see when I go to the ICA.

    Jonathan le Roux – unless you had no idea about the subject matter or product you were to advertise your haagendazs commercial is not a fair comparison.

    I think all the teams did well. There had to be a winner. If you feel so strongly about it then you should have entered the competition and blown them away with the masterpiece you would obviously have created.

  • ffffffff

    absolutely dire.

    it makes me cringe how pretentious most of the dribble on this page is, stop taking yourselves so seriously.

  • Peiter

    I think the audio cold of been flipped out to be sounds of a car wreck. Sirens. Flashes of police and ambulance. Being part of an accident truly creates an intense “Now” moment.

    This is a daze. A daydream as life passes by. Interesting, but not.

  • Stephanie

    This ad reminds me of Marmite, you either hate it or love.

    Frankly, the ad says more about the judges than the filmmakers themselves. “Brutal simplicity” was already dated in the 70’s so personally I see nothing new or enlightening here. I also don’t believe it fits the times we are living in. With a recession in tow, surely we could do with something a bit more uplifting than a depressed looking figure staring into space… or whatever pseudo-intellectual canvas you care to paint?

    On the flip side, this IS the winner and whether one agrees or not, I think congratulations are in order. Fair play to them. Not forgetting the mere fact that they and the other 19 teams (lest they not be forgotten) completed the challenge in 24hrs and without a budget. Quite an achievement. A number of bloggers have posted their views slating all the other entrants – without them even being accessible online! Where is the objectivity in that I ask? Wait, hold your breath like our winner here and then cast judgment.

  • Malgorzata

    Team Nineteen’s commercial is available to view here:


    It was shortlisted in the Top 5 out of the 20 films.

  • happyseaurchin

    breath and eyes

    the simplest things are the hardest
    not just for the designers/creators
    but for the viewers/listeners
    as demonstrated in the comments here :)

  • http://beinfilm.com/ Alle Segretti

    [Comment deleted by moderator – please keep comments concise and to the point]

  • Graham Manson

    Simplicity my ass. [Comment deleted by moderator] If I had any intention of joining or visiting the ICA this would make me change my mind.

  • http://www.grantkilloran.com/ Grant

    ‘If you were an intelligent individual you would understand what this piece is communicating, and please dont question or debate the words of major industry people such as Peter Saville, Saatchi, BBC director and Creative Review’

    – ridiculous statement. This just justifies everything Jolt is going on about. A bunch of people who are as much in the dark as the ‘critical ones’, yet pretending they are intellectual and ‘get it’. – this is why the ad is extremely irritating for me. It’s just another pretentious waste of time to make certain people feel superior…but I’m guessing that’s the ICA’s target market.

    The whole point of the creative industry in my opinion is to challenge. Just because someone is a big name doesn’t mean they should be impervious to criticism. For either side of the argument, there are many decent points made. The trouble is, people are too unwilling to accept other views as valid. I can understand why people like it, and they are the ones who will be visiting the ICA – so overall, I’m sure it’ll be a success.

  • http://www.oddballchallenge.com johnnie oddball

    Hi everyone its johnnie oddball here , man i love the feedback from everyone,
    i didnt get the winner sorry ? but who am i to say i wasnt a judge on the event
    i think that the event was really amazing , i was up for the whole 24 hours with the film makers
    sunday morning to me was the best when all the teams returned with their films , to me that was the best part of the whole event !
    teams came in with their ads stuck on their final cut pro which wouldnt download to a mini tape !!
    four teams where sitting around in the ica with 20 mins before the deadline , all trying to help each other
    get their films ready for screening , as soon as one team got their films onto mini dv the team then helped all the other teams it was amazing it wasnt about winning it was about helping the fellow film maker out it was heart stopping i was so chocked it was such an unreal feeling of community between all the teams helping each other , even teams who had dropped their films off
    already all helped out that was so cool ,
    to me that was more important than who won or what the ad was about who cares it was an event for fun not egos , plus it was an event to show other what you can do , being creative without excuses and clients telling you what they want , ill never forget the way people worked to help others out
    this was just what i created the whole event for ,to create & inspire teams of people to work together !!
    who then may go on and do even more stuff together as a team !
    my next ad challenge will be summer 2010 so watch this space oddballchallenge.com
    creator of the 24 Hour advert challenge
    Johnnie Oddball

  • Eugene

    Absolutely spot on Johnnie! I can bear witness to that, it was an inspirational event and the atmosphere was fantastic along with how everyone was inspired by each other and worked alongside each other in a nerve racking 24hrs for this challenge. I can’t wait to see what will be produced in 2010!

  • Carrie Lloyd

    If you’re working on things that everyone accepts, you’re not working on anything.

  • http://www.paulchristopherphotographyc.o.uk Paul Hornshaw

    What the duck was that about?

    It took a team to produce that?

    A case of mental “one hand clapping”.


  • http://www.alizadehdesign.com DC

    Amazing video communicates the ICA very effectively

  • http://bleblife.com Michael Sheen

    Would adulation to see the naysayers upload their own treatments to this thread. It looks like article from the dailymail.com not artistic blood-soaked review! What achievement is there for our industry with this abounding philistines boring their feet? Not cool.