How I Work: Ian Pons Jewell

Director Ian Pons Jewell shares his thoughts on becoming adland’s go-to director for everything weird and wonderful, and why he writes back stories for every single character – yes, including Skittles’ yoghurt boy

If you’ve seen a bizarre advert lately, chances are Ian Pons Jewell was the director behind it. In the last few months alone he’s unleashed Skittles Yoghurt Boy and Three’s surreal sci-fi short, on the world and he’s also the man behind the vaguely nightmarish I Love Doing Dishes, for Finish. But don’t let that dupe you into thinking he’s all about the laughs. Work for Ford and Nike shows that he’s equally at home handling serious subject matter.

Pons Jewell, like many other directors, got his start making music videos, finishing a whopping 35 of them in just seven years. Since then he’s branched out into making commercial content, with his distinctive, vibrant style picked up by brands across virtually ever sector. Here he tells CR about his quest to make comedy advertising embrace craft, and why brands need to create entertainment, instead of purpose.

On being known as the ‘weird’ director It’s been a year of ‘Oh, it’s weird, let’s give it to Ian’. I’m finding people are writing stuff with me in mind, which is interesting. I’m not just the weird comedy guy. There’s definitely a concern of pigeonholing.  But what that did is push me even more when I got something that was comedy. I wasn’t doing it superficially. But then I was also making sure I was doing other stuff like Ford and Bose to make sure it’s clear I’m not just the weird comedy guy. There’s definitely a concern.