Shooting Star Celebrates Sweet Sixteenth

All our stars turned 16 at different times over the last 40 years but all have standout memories to share. From personal milestones to favourite marketing campaigns, take a read of what made our stars’ 16th year so special…

Jez – Director

I turned 16 in 1983, a year probably best remembered for “the longest suicide note in history” – aka the Labour Party’s General Election manifesto under Michael Foot. Margaret Thatcher duly won a second term with a landslide.

But it wasn’t all bad news: I passed my O-levels (Google it) and moved up to sixth form at Boston Grammar School. When I was 16, breakfast TV was first broadcast in the UK, British drivers were legally obliged to use seatbelts for the first time, and the racehorse Shergar was kidnapped. It seems like only yesterday!

Kate – Director

When I turned 16 on 25th October 1993, the UK Prime Minister was the seemingly dull as dishwater Sir John Major, while conversely the US president was the charismatic Bill Clinton. I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) by Meat Loaf was in the top five hits and I distinctly remember watching the video repeatedly with Meatloaf dressed as the Beast from Beauty and the Beast! John and Lorena Bobbit also made the headlines that year for reasons I won’t mention and the Maastricht Treaty, which established the European Union, came into effect but sadly we all know how that story ended for us here in the UK!

Maz Davis – Account Director

My 16th year fell in the 1980s, the decade when cinema was in a golden period and a major influence on pop culture, including sci-fi movies: The Empire Strikes Back and ET, post-apocalyptic action movie Mad Max 2, The Breakfast Club featuring the ‘Brat Pack’ with Demi Moore, Rob Lowe and Emilio Estevez, who were the stars that everyone looked up to, high-school movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and, my favourite, the uplifting cult classic dance movie Dirty Dancing with the star charisma of Patrick Swayze. The hit song ‘Time of My Life’ and the expression “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” were classics – those were the days!

Elliot – Social Media Executive

I turned 16 in February of 2014, and I hate to say it, but my favourite campaign was a bit of a depressing one… However, it has stuck in my mind to this day so it would be rude to discount it!

Don’t Panic London for SaveTheChildren put a tragic spin on the viral ‘second-a-day’ challenge videos by showing how war could turn a young girl’s life upside down. The video titled ‘Most Shocking Second a Day Video’ was created during SaveTheChildren’s fundraising drive for Syria to drive home the message that “Just because it isn’t happening here, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.”

It was heavily featured in many national and international publications, gained more than 23 million views on YouTube in less than a week, and currently has 74 million views! To me, it’s the perfect example of turning an internet trend into a mega-impactful and memorable campaign.

Amy – Account Executive

I turned 16 a couple of months after the London 2012 Olympic Games, which was an amazing year for sports-based ads everywhere.

One sporting event that always inspires some great ads is the Superbowl. This one from Doritos has all the comedy of a cartoon sketch, when a grandmother lovingly uses her infant grandbaby as a human slingshot to grab a bag of Doritos.

It is wonderfully funny and one that few people would forget that year!

Sam – Digital Marketing Manager

My favourite ad campaign of 2006 was the Office Space World of Warcraft ad, a great tie-in for what was to become one of the most popular online game series in the world. I’ve always loved tie-ins with popular entertainment, because the context can work so well for business goals. What better way to reach your customers than to do it through a popular show that you know your customers like? Some people might say it’s too cheesy, but it’s often the cheesy stuff that’s remembered… whether that’s this ad or Go Compare, ‘tacky’ works!

Emma – Senior Marketing Manager

In my 16th year I celebrated my GCSE exams by attending Leeds Festival with friends – standing in the rain watching Muse literally light up the stage with flamethrowers and fireworks was incredible!

My favourite marketing campaign of that year was Evolution by Dove – they were the original pioneers of Instagram vs reality. Dove shone a spotlight on how manufactured promotional images of women can be. The advert featured a time-lapse of an ordinary woman sitting for hours in hair and make-up in preparation for a photoshoot. The finished image is then drastically changed in Photoshop, so eyes and lips are pumped, skin smoothed, neck lengthened etc. The campaign for real beauty opened people’s eyes to the tricks of the media and how they distort our perception of beauty. It helped women everywhere to appreciate unique individuality and promote body positivity.

Molly – Senior Account Executive

I turned 16 in 2015 (so I truly was the last of the 90s babies!). While I was out celebrating my GCSE results and reinventing my wardrobe from all things emo, we heard number one hits from Adele’s ‘Hello’ to Justin Bieber’s ‘Love Yourself’ and watched news stories such as the deadly attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris and the infamous VW emissions scandal unfold.

My favourite campaign of 2015 was John Lewis’ iconic Christmas advert ‘Man on the Moon’, for which they partnered with Age UK. It highlighted the growing problem of isolation and loneliness within the elderly population by showing a little girl using a telescope to look at the moon and spotting an old man living there alone, before deciding to send him the perfect Christmas gift. John Lewis once again hit the mark, not only by tugging at the nation’s heartstrings but also by raising awareness of loneliness in the elderly – which is ironically being exacerbated as the world becomes more digitally connected.

What a way to celebrate a birthday! Can you remember the ads on your tv, radio or social media when you turned 16? We’ve had lots of fun reflecting on our 16th year, served with a side of cake as always. Roll on another year with more opportunities and experiences for Shooting Star!