There's a reason British advertising is renowned around the world as amongst the very best, and that reason involves Tony Scott.
When the death of the British director was announced last week it was not just the Hollywood movie industry that mourned the passing of one of its greats - British advertising also lost one of its finest pioneers. For Scott was part of a generation of commercials directors famed for their glossy, perfectly-formed mini films that sold brands in 30 seconds but employed all the production values of movie makers. With his brother Ridley and peers like John Schlesinger, Hugh Hudson and Sir Alan Parker, Scott made TV ads that were "sexy, rock 'n' roll" as Scott himself put it.
And they made the British advertising industry sexy too, helping to transform it from a business dominated by ex-military men in stiff suits into a glittering meritocracy where talent could be a short-cut to big money, fast cars and fame. Scott soon became known for his love of big cigars, Ferraris and beautiful women.
Yet he hadn't originally sought a career in commercials. Fresh from the Royal College of Art, his ambitions were more purist. When his brother Ridley, who set up the Ridley Scott Advertising production company, began to make serious money out of directing adverts, Tony was seduced by the rewards. Commercials were his training ground - he loved the challenge of condensing an exhilarating story into a high-impact 30 seconds.
Advertising was emerging from the straight-laced conventions of early commercial TV and directors like Scott were rushing the industry forward. The fast-paced, high octane sheen that Scott was to bring to his movies was being tested on our TV screens in the ad breaks between shows like The Sweeney and The Professionals.
It was an ad for Saab in the Eighties, featuring a plane taking off over the top of a speeding car, that helped hook Scott his most famous directing role, Top Gun starring Tom Cruise.
But even after establishing himself as one of Hollywood's most exciting directors, he continued to make ads for brands like Barclays, Marlboro, BMW and Levi's. Put simply, Tony Scott helped make British advertising the envy of the world.