Home News Wish I’d Done That: Tom O’Haire, Oliver

Wish I’d Done That: Tom O’Haire, Oliver

Tom O’Haire writes about three stand-out campaigns that he wishes he worked on.

I’m going to jump straight in and drop the C-bomb.

I wouldn’t normally use such fruity language this time of year, but I’ll make an exception for such a stunningly beautiful and timeless TV spot that makes it OK to feel Christmassy in September.

Hard to believe the now iconic Guinness Christmas ad was born way back in 2004 it wouldn’t surprise me if it still brings a tear to the eye in the year 2094.

It is a rare occurrence to wake up to a white Christmas in Ireland. Yet as a child, I always dreamt of one. Truth be told – I still do. It was from this simple idea that Pat Hamill & Mark Nutley at BBDO Dublin took inspiration for what has become the longest running ad in Guinness history.

Shot on 35mm by legendary director, Stuart Douglas, the piece is both epic and intimate.

From the first gorgeous note of the score, I’m gone. Lost in a wonderland of midnight strolls, magical snowy nightscapes and a warmth that captures the very essence of an Irish Christmas, and indeed the very essence of Guinness – without showing one person drinking a pint.

A thing of beauty that calms the soul and warms the heart.

Field Trip to Mars – Lockheed Martin

And now for something completely different.

Created by Framestore and debuted at the USA Science & Engineering Festival, this immersive group VR experience transported passengers on a school bus in Washington DC to the surface of Mars.

A team of artists, creatives and technologists rendered 200 sq. miles of Mars’ surface based on real Mars geography and mapped it to D.C streets – with amazing results.

Revolutionary tech turned the school bus into a VR headset – which in turn helped inspire the next generation of young space explorers.

A brilliant creative idea brought to life with the help of integrated technologies, culminating in a truly awe-inspiring journey to the Red Planet.

Wish I’d been on that bus ride.


I’ll finish on a more recent piece of work that isn’t an ad – more a brand transformation.

Channel 4’s remit has always been to champion unheard voices, inspire change and to stand up for diversity. Never afraid to take risks. Those of you that may be of a certain vintage will remember when The Tube exploded onto our old Ferguson telly-boxes.

The Channel 4 brand has always had a similarly daring approach in terms of their visual design. Always playful. Never pedestrian.

Pentagram, working closely with Channel 4’s in-house agency 4Creative, has managed to create a new Masterbrand that is both creatively flexible and unifyingly consistent – no mean feat.

The new Masterbrand is made up of immersive, ever-evolving and
interconnected worlds and brought to life in clashy spectrums of brand colours. It manages to make the viewer feel that the ‘4 universe’ is vast and never-ending.

The use of motion is a feast for the eyes. As the camera shifts and zooms, the viewer catches a glimpse of adjoining worlds. Hinting at all the content there is to explore.

And then there’s the new long-form ident. Wow. A truly immersive journey using the iconic ‘4’ as a portal to a mind-blowing array of scenarios – some dreamlike, others captured intimate moments of everyday life.

Amazing work from a brand that has been pushing boundaries for over four decades.

I really, really wish I’d done that.

Previous articleIrish Daily Mail Partners With the Community Games
Next articleOpinion: How Brands Can Crack the Code to Festival Success