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The power of the unexpected

If there’s one thing guaranteed to make an Agency creative director squirm, it’s watching their work being publicly pulled apart by their peers. That’s why, every month, The Drum’s video editor Katie Deighton invites two leading Executive Creative Directors onto the Ad Breakers show to ‘roast or toast’ three recent TV ads for the viewing pleasure of the magazine’s 30,000+ online audience.

This month our ECD Nicola Roberts was on the Ad Breakers sofa with Anna Carpen from 18 Feet and Rising, delivering their scores on ads from Deliveroo (3/10), Yves Saint Laurent Beaté (4.5/10) and the AA Charitable Trust (8.5/10).

Watch the Ad Breakers episode here:

The clear winner, The AA Charitable Trust, skilfully created a gripping sense of dread before driving home its message with a cheeky surprise.

“I’m watching, waiting for the terrible thing to happen,” said Nicola. “I can’t take my eyes off it, so the twist at the end is great.”

When we encounter the unexpected, it focusses attention, amplifies emotion and sparks interest. That’s why great ads often turn people’s expectations on their head.

As an agency that uses similar techniques in our own campaigns, we should know. Here’s some of our surprising work: Hedrin’s No Drama, Tefal’s The Art of Breakfast and Windsetlers’ Rude Food.

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