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Best ads of 2016 (It's back!)


It's been so long but it's good to be back! Below are a list of my favourite ads (TV and online) which have caught my eye throughout 2016. Afraid there are no Christmas ads this time (thought they weren't that great this year). Enjoy! 


Audi R8 - The Eye


Audi have done some greats ads this year (also check out their T-rex advert). The visual and sounds effects in this ad really put the viewer in the driving seat. Love the eye movements!


Instagram - A New Look


Well it's fair to say Instagram got a lot of stick for their rebrand last year. However their rebrand film is really stunning. Visually showing the creative process behind their 'New Look'.


Mr Porter - Introducing The Style Council


Great example of minimalist stop motion to display the services of Mr Porter. Lovely transitions and storytelling to get everything across in 45 seconds!


Bose - Get Closer


Another great example of visually getting across what the product does. But what's really bugging me is how did they film in London with no one around!?!? 


Oxfam Stories - Shop, Donate, Volunteer


Fantastic transitions to show the connection between Oxfam stores and how the money spent is used in needy countries. Like the fact this Charity ad has a positive feel to it too.


Wimbledon - Every Point 


I love the way BBC do their sporting highlight segments. Here's another example advertising Wimbledon 2016. Really makes you feel part of the action.


Save the Children - Every Last Child


Another charity advert (very different to Oxfam) which brilliantly displays all the work being done to reach 'every last child'. 


Do you agree with the ads I've picked? Anything I've missed out? Would love hear your thoughts.

Click here to see my previous post Best ads of 2015 (Part 2)

Best ads of 2015 (Part 2)


A few months back I shared a blog post of what were some of the best ads of 2015 so far... Today's post continues the theme, looking at more online and TV advertisements that have caught my eye. 


Braun - Ready for the next level 


Brilliant mix of old school video game nostalgia and use of character transition (boy to man). Everything about this hits it's target audience of 16-30 yr old men very nicely.


Honda - Keep Up


Honda yet again have produced another quality advert. The delivery is very unique and engaging, making it hard to ignore as it pops up on the internet or in a TV ad break


 Gap Kids - Treasure Box


Love this prop animation ad for Gap Kids. Very visual, great use of sound effects and effectively gets across a message in the space of 15 seconds!


 M&S - Taste of the British Isles


I hold my hands up for being a bit of a sucker for M&S ads. This does not disappoint. Great range of shots and camera angles.


Expedia UK - Travel Yourself Interesting


My last ad pick featured in a previous post '20 seconds is all you need'. Still one of my favourites so far this year. Great voiceover, use of slapstick and clear messaging.


Do you agree with the 5 ads I've picked? What have been your favourite ads this year? Would love hear your thoughts.

Click here to see the 1st part to best ads of 2015

5 great ads of 2015 so far...


So we're in March (where has the time gone!) and already, we've seen some great video ads appearing online and on TV. Here are 5 adverts that made me stand up and take notice: 


Heart Foundation

This advert is brilliant. So minimalist yet the message is so clear.


Samsung Galaxy Note

Love adverts like this. Another creative and visually compelling film by Vallee Duhamel for Samsung Galaxy Note.


Virgin Atlantic

Big budget advert by Virgin Atlantic, delivers with its many visual cues and entertaining storyline.


BBC iPlayer

Clever way of including its target audience with very real modern day examples of when to use BBC iPlayer (definitely resonated with the sleepover scenario).


iPad Air 2

I admit, I'm a sucker for Apple advertising. However their latest ad for the iPad Air 2 has a very different feel to it - as their strapline suggests - which works very well...again!


Please don't stop the music


Music is a crucial ingredient to any film. It depicts the mood and helps convey the message you're wanting to put across to your audience. With the growth of the internet comes the abundant amount of resources available, especially for filmmakers. Since starting work as Off the Whale Media, I've used a range of websites to find the right song for my projects, but many people aren't aware of what's available. Below I've listed three websites I use for soundtrack licensing with details of what they can offer:



Music Bed

This is the daddy of music soundtrack libraries. Most of the music on the Music Bed is so good, I usually begin adding it to my Spotify playlists. Songs that feature on The Music Bed are by upcoming artists or those about to make it in the industry. A lot of the tracks are also available as just instrumental or the original recordings. There's a wide range of genres and all the tracks are produced to the highest quality. With such great soundtracks comes a higher price tag  compared to its competitors, but it's worth every penny. If you have the budget available, I would definitely recommend them.  



Premium Beat

Premium Beat is a great site for films with smaller budgets. Good range of soundtracks which again are well produced and can effectively enhance your film. The tracks produced on the website are recorded by music producers and are mainly instrumental. I've used this site a number of times for projects and again comes highly recommended. 



 Song Freedom 

Song Freedom features a well-known collection of tracks from Etta James to One Republic. However, they differ on whether the licenses are allowed for commercial use. Like The Music Bed, they offer original or instrumental recordings. Worth checking out as with some of the tracks, you can find yourself a cheeky deal!


What websites do you use to find the right soundtrack for your film? Which is your favourite? Drop a comment below and let me know if I've missed out on any gems.


Top adverts of 2014

At the end of every month throughout this year, I will be posting a list of my favourite adverts of the month that feature online or on TV. Most of the adverts are in the style of productions that Off the Whale Media can offer. To kick things off, here is a round up of the adverts of 2014 that caught my eye:


Kindle - Paper and Pen

Fun and clever puppetry advert for Amazon Kindle, showing the features off very clearly and in a very original way.


Boots - #specialbecause (Christmas ad)

My favourite ad this Christmas (a bit controversial after the popularity of Sainsburys and John Lewis). Clever build up and emotional finish, (I’ll admit, I let out a little tear watching this one).


Weetabix On The Go - Egg

Love the simplicity and clear message. Bit of a fan of hand expressions which this ad uses brilliantly. 


Save the Children - Most shocking Second a Day

Powerful message and clever way of helping us identify with those suffering. Shooting the whole advert of just the girl was an ingenious idea, showing her emotion throughout.


Barclays - Hamster Ad

Great way of advertising a subject which isn’t the most interesting to market. Loving the hamster voiceover.


John Lewis - Monty the Penguin

Nice to see John Lewis going back to their old style of Christmas advertising, directed by the brilliant Dougal Wilson.


Ikea - The Other Christmas

This Ikea advert from Argentina highlights in a very quirky way that Christmas is not all about the presents. 


The Sunday Times - Icons

One of my favourites of 2014 directed by Us. Very original, clever transitions and imagery you instantly recognise.


I’ve probably left out some gems *cough* Sainsbury’s *cough*, which is why I’d love to hear from you too. What were your favourite adverts of 2014? Drop a comment and a link to the advert below.

Julie Anne Photography film

During November/December last year, I worked on a promo film for photographer extraordinaire Julie Skelton (owner of Julie Anne Images). This was to be featured on her website and Social Media channels. I wanted to give an insight behind the scenes of how I worked with Julie to craft a film that best reflected her work and business. 

The aims of the project were to show potential customers the full experience of having a photoshoot, whether it's for a wedding, engagement or family portrait. It was also key to get across the great working relationship Julie has with her clients and the end product of owning quality photos you can cherish. 

Experience - Most of Julie's clients have never had their photos taken professionally before. This can cause many to feel apprehensive and nervous at the thought of having a camera constantly watching their every move! So the aim was to demonstrate how Julie enables you to feel at ease in her company and how she creates an environment which is relaxing and enjoyable. This was why I decided to film Julie doing a real engagement shoot, showing she's true to her word! 

Relationship - Film promos give the opportunity to see the face behind the business. This is especially key to Julie in her profession as a photographer. I wanted Julie's warm, friendly personality to shine through to help give confidence to potential customers. I was careful to not make it become Julie's life story (no red book in sight), but instead made sure I balanced it with the needs of the viewer.   

Product - It was crucicial to show off the photography Julie offers to give viewers a taste of her style and professional finish. This was done by showing the results from the engagement shoot in the film and panning shots from previous shoots (weddings and engagements). 

We shot the production at two locations. Two thirds were filmed at the stunning Waverley Abbey near Farnham, Surrey (also used as a location in the upcoming Hollywood film Into The Woods!). Julie uses this as one of the locations for her engagement shoots. Everything about it fitted perfectly for the tone of the film.


The last part of the film was then shot at Julie's home/office to show the editing process. This gave an insight not usually seen by the customer - always great to give extra insight to the viewer, people are nosey! (e.g like the bonus features on a DVD)

It was great to work for Julie on this project (ending up with some fab bonus behind the scene pics!). I enjoyed the opportunity of representing the amazing work she does and crafting it into a story to give potential clients confidence in what she can offer. Check out her work at

See the finished film below:


Are you a freelancer or start up business? Looking to get your services or product heard to a mass audience? Talk to Off the Whale today

Follow the Whale

So here it is! The Off the Whale Media website has arrived. The hope is this will give you a feel for the kind of work and process on offer. Making films to be used online is not only great fun but also a fantastic tool with which to engage your audience.

You now have the opportunity to speak to hundreds if not thousands of people at once and create the opportunity to grow and be heard by many. We know how much people don't enjoy ready copious amounts of copy (which is why I shall keep this brief...) but film can be used as an excellent way to get your message across.  

I (Luke) shall be reguarly posting on the Off the Whale blog on various topics. From tips on creating film to behind the scenes on current projects. I'll also be posting the latest films and advertisements for you to be inspired by and enjoy. These will usually be similar to what we can offer you at Off the Whale.

Follow Off the Whale on Twitter or Facebook to catch up on the latest blog posts.