Fake Ad Brand Strategy Marketing

The last word on my ‘fake’ easyJet ad


By Tom Birts, Creative director

April 15, 2024 | 4 min read

Tom Birts likes to mock up an ad every now and then. Sometimes, they even win an award. His easyJet entry captured the imagination of adland, and we’d be willing to bet some of you still think it is real.

A mocked-up reactive easyJet ad

When we were teenagers, my brother and I worked on a poster for our local gym. The gym was pretty good, like the ones you see in Miami or Venice Beach. It had racks of heavy weights, perfect for the vascular specimens we used in the image. It promised results, results, results.

Of course, no such place existed. We lived in a village of 400 people. There wasn’t even a net on the football goals. We did it because it made us laugh.

And I’ve been doing it ever since.

The easyJet spec ad I put together last Friday was the eleventh mock I have done since being made redundant. I wondered about posting it when people would already be in the pub. Since then, across platforms, it’s got over a million impressions. If I thought it was going to do that, I’d have made it better.


We ad creatives are lucky. If we stop getting paid to create stuff, we can still do it.

Whether your life’s work is piloting tugboats, being a prison officer, or inseminating cattle, it’s hard to carry on without the job. You’d need a specialist facility, a very understanding spouse, or both.

So, when I had a thought while walking the dog, and it had to go somewhere, I was happy that it could. The aim was not to make an ad people thought it was real. The aim was simply to get an idea out of my head and into the world.

I suppose the secondary aim if there was one, was to get the attention of a famous creative director, enter into a lucrative and professionally fulfilling arrangement, and have a billboard named after me, like they do with old people and park benches.

A lot of people I admire have commented and messaged to say they thought it was cool. Some of them are famous creative directors. Some of them are from the 400-person village. The reaction has been really gratifying.

I can’t read any more comments about how it would or wouldn’t work in the real world, though. It sounds like you’re spluttering at the television about the physics in a Transformers movie. It’s the LinkedIn equivalent of pulling down Santa’s beard. It’s not a healthy impulse.

I hope the people at easyJet like it.

I hope it made them laugh. And I hope Uncommon sees it as a cheeky bit of punching up too.

It would never have gotten the attention it did – it would never have worked in the first place – without their exceptional (and real) ads.

And put at the end that I’m available for work. Cheers.

[Editor’s note: It looks like he will keep making ads, but you might as well have him make them for you. Birts is available on LinkedIn here.]

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