This year the recent AdFest in Thailand offered me an unusual experience. Alongside all the current creative work entered for the show, we were able to view two reels which showed work of previous decades. The Gunn Report reviews all the award-winning ads of the previous year, but Donald Gunn has also collect together, with advice and recollections from senior industry people, “The 100 Best TV Commercials of all time”. These are mainly USA commercials and features classics like the Volkswagen ‘Snow Plough’ and Federal Express ‘Fast talking man’.
In the entrance hall of the event, the D&AD screened the Black Pencil winners from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and recent years. This reel included wonderful editorial design for Nova and The Sunday Times and some great press ads for the British Army and Benson & Hedges cigarettes.
Watching these two presentations, I could not help but feeling that the advertisements and design produced then, despite the dated typography and poorer production values, were in fact stronger than those I had been watching in the current show.
Is this because I lived and worked in agencies during this era? Perhaps my age is showing and I have caught “It’s not as good as it were in my day, son” syndrome.
Do I need a day playing k-pop and reading manga comics to shift me back into todays world?