TEam lowdown: Brits Chris Bovill and John Allison, who met in art school at the University of Manchester, were just about to call it quits on their advertising careers after two years of fruitless pavement pounding around London. But in 2001, that move was averted after TBWALondon creative director Trevor Beattie noticed them at a young ad talent show and welcomed them to his team. Within their first year, the duo produced the Gold Lion and double D&AD-awarded "Babies" for the John Smith "No Nonsense" campaign, featuring an average Joe who blithely yet quite graphically recounts how he explained the birds and the bees to his child. Tending naturally toward dark comedy, the pair also conceived the superbly disturbing spot for PS2's "The Getaway," including one filmed from the POV of a hogtied victim, and a campaign that makes crafty real-life comparisons to Tekken game triumphs. Printwise, they created some stellar outdoor for adidas and magnificent optical illusions for Absolut, for which they also constructed a life-sized, bottle-shaped igloo with iced-out living room innards. Other exploits include a three-week David Blaine-esque appearance in a British department store showroom window, and next up for the team is more for John Smith's, as well as their latest coup, a full-blown campaign for Sony's PSP, with "Mountain" Grand Prix-winning writer Tony McTear.
Method to the Madness: Allison: "We're into the big idea. We're not an executional team. That's kind of what we're obsessed with, trying to get to some new ground. And the way we work is just a lot of sitting around, talking, lots of rubbish. We're not really influenced by ads. A lot of teams will troll through old D&AD annuals, but Chris and I usually start with what films we've seen, things like that. We'll just go to the cinema and then go and get hammered, rather than look at old ads for inspiration.