Gary Szabo, Tag EMEA's Chief Creative Officer's Most Immortal Ad.

Tag is a sponsor of Little Black Book’s Immortal Awards, a global, free-to-enter advertising award for all Little Black Book’s members. Launched in 2018 as a modern award for the new world of advertising, The Immortal Awards is simply about celebrating the best creative work in the world.

Tag EMEA’s Chief Creative Officer Gary Szabo, has taken a break from online judging this year’s Immortal ads to pick one of his favourites from the archives. He’s opted for a shrink-to-fit Levi’s ad from the ’80s that portrayed his dream life…

Levi's 'Bath' (BBH, 1986)

Shortly after this, I moved to New York. As the ad was American retro and it was an American product, I just assumed that it was an American film. When I got there and turned the TV on, I couldn’t understand why the ad breaks were filled with people shouting at you about the price of their product. Where were all the Levi’s-style films (when you actually realised you were in a break because the programme you were watching had just vanished unannounced)? Then it hit me that it was us, the Brits that made these beautiful films and that the creatives were all back in London. There and then, I was desperate to be part of such a craft-driven industry.

With Levi’s, BBH turned ads into cultural events and they also alerted the world to the power of music in advertising, spawning an entirely new industry. Music in great ads suddenly shot to number one (remember Atlantic refused to let BBH use the original track, “Wonderful World” and they had to re-record it, the label didn’t see the value in associating themselves with advertising)!

However, don’t forget the real lasting legacy, BBH transformed a brand into a cultural icon and sales rose by 800%. More importantly, I could now easily buy my jeans! Even though these days I’m more akin to Jeremy Clarkson than Nick Kamen when I wear them, I have to have a pair in my wardrobe still.

Gary Szabo is Chief Creative Officer at Tag EMEA

More information on Little Black Book’s Immortal Awards entry system can be found here.