This is a list of 50 of the best advertising and marketing agencies in the UK and maybe the World.
I must admit that when I researched this article, I uncovered some agencies that are responsible for some of the greatest adverts of all time.
NB: If you are looking for a specific type of agency, then I have written some other articles which include:
Top 50 award winning design agencies
Top 50 award winning packaging and branding agencies
Top 50 award winning web design agencies
Abbott Mead Vickers (AMV BBDO)
Starting off this list with an agency that has been voted FAB Agency of the Year, Creative Review's Agency of the Year, gained Platinum Awards from the Creative Circle and is ranked the No1 UK Agency for creativity, TV & film, integrated campaigns and for direct.
Abbott Mead Vickers are part of the BBDO Group, BBDO has also been ranked most creative network in the world by the Gunn Report (an independent audit of creative success) for 7 out of the 10 years that the award has been running. In 2007 and 2008, BBDO also won Cannes Creative Network of the Year.
When David Abbott, Peter Mead and Adrian Vickers founded AMV a little over 30 years ago with the simple ambition of becoming the best communications agency in the UK, did they ever realise their ideal? Well they are the biggest agency in the UK and have been for the last 14 years. They work with 73 brands and rising, their client wall looks like a brands hall of fame! AMV have one simple aim for all of their clients: to help solve their business challenges with creative ideas that change the competitive landscape, in whichever media form is the best to achieve the objective – digital, experiential, print or broadcast.
Looking through AMV's portfolio reveals some legendary adverts for Guinness, BT, Birdseye, Walkers Crisps and the Revels campaign 'against the coffee'. So while it's great to start off with an agency of this calibre, remember to scroll down the list as there are some other hidden gems on there...
Whether you are an advertising agency looking for some eye candy or a marketer looking for their next potential design agency – you are sure to find one here.
Adam & Eve
Would you Adam and Eve it? Well believe it or not the second on my list is another big hitter, Adam and Eve are voted Campaign Magazine's Agency of the Year in 2010 AND Marketing Magazine's Agency of they Year (Creative) 2010 also, beat that! On looking into their work, the most outstanding piece I can find is the latest advertising for Fosters, the 'Good Call' campaign which markets to 20-30 year old blokes so well, it always makes me laugh when I see it on TV, I'm just within the targeted audience (only just), so its simply superb! Other clients of note are Save the Children, The Telegraph, Halifax and John Lewis.
Agency.com is a full service interactive marketing agency that creates a harmonious brand experience between both the physical world and the interactive one, ensuring your customer's journey is seamless and satisfying. Award wise, they have a hoard of them from all the awarding bodies, from Webbies to Cannes Lions, from One Show Awards to Revolution Awards, from London International Awards to the Horizon Awards and from the New York Festivals to the IMAs. All in abundance, just check out the facts tab on Agency.com's website, its huge! They must have a whole office just to hold them in, and I bet that office is probably larger than your average design agency alone :-)
With clients like Coca-Cola, Toyota and Lexus, it's no wonder that we are amazed by this award winning full service marketing and technology agency. Yes digital is the mainstay of their DNA but they do offer a comprehensive range of services beyond digital strategy and communications, like traditional marketing and public relations. Also of interest on their site is the study of 10-15 year which they call the 'amaze generation' – a generation who will be tomorrow's consumer (one that is shaped by the changing digital world), you can download the first wave of their results, its an incredibly insightful read.
Barrington Johnson Lorains (BJL)
Blimey this one sounds like a posh agency, reminds me of a game (similar to the 'what was your first pet called and your mothers maiden name' which gives you your comedy porn star name), we could try something similar with this so try to think of your friends surnames, add them together to see if your name would sound like an upmarket design agency? Mine would be Clarke Weetman Stokes, ok so that doesn't work for me at all but worth a try. Barrington Johnson Lorains are the UK's most awarded agency outside London that deliver ideas which get results for their clients' bottom lines. Awards of note include: 5x CIPR Awards, 4x DADIs, Best Advertising Strategy from the Drum, 13 Fresh Awards from Campaign and MediaWeek, 8 IPAs, loads of Roses Advertising Awards and a heap of SWOT Marketing Awards.
At one time, marketing agencies had harped on about whether they were above the line or below the line. BJL don't care whether they are below the line, through the line, down the line or sideways – they just don't see a line, they never have. What they see are opportunities to connect with consumers, change their behaviours and drive profitable business. BCL don't look at the media first, but at the business problems they want to solve for their clients, and by using fresh and effective ideas they shift the category and can provide real commercial results.
Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH)
Ha ha, another triple barrelled one for you here... BBH are a superb agency responsible for some classic adverts, like the ones that put Levis in the public's mind and more recently it was responsible for 'The Lynx Effect', which more than tripled sales for the brand owner - Unilever. Amongst their client roster are a huge amount of large global businesses, which is supported by the global network they are. This globalised company structure is displayed incredibly well in their website as it holds all the agencies offices in-one-website in a very effective way.
Award wins include:
Creative Review Agency of the Year in 2010
BBH is a 5x winner of Agency of the Year from British Television Advertising Awards (BTAA),
They have a Grandy (best in Show) from the International ANDY Awards
Cannes Titanium and Gold Lions
Gold Pencil from the One Show Awards
Is an Effie Grand Prix Awards winner and has loads of Webby Awards...
With clients like these, it's no wonder that BD are a great agency, some ace work for Nintendo, Virgin, Coca-Cola, Nike, Peugot etc. So who are BD? They are an independent, integrated, multi-disciplined communications agency with over 21 years' experience delivering market-leading campaigns. As they are independent, it allows them to be nimble, entrepreneurial and honest! BD believe in the power of 'sticky thinking,' a philosophy that places the consumer or the shopper at the very heart of their ideas, not just a specific discipline, enabling BD to create powerful integrated ideas focused on results, murdering the mediocre. That is BD.
Beattie McGuinness Bungay
We resume this list with BMB, which was voted as Marketing Magazine's Agency of the Year 2008. And yes, I know that that was 3 years ago but an agency doesn't suddenly become rubbish in that time, BMB are still leading the fore in their marketing and advertising excellence. While BMB (still) believe in traditional broadcast media and print, they don't rule anything out. In fact they believe in using other communication forms 'as well as' rather than instead of, it all counts in the marketing mix. An example is their ground breaking app for the iPhone 'the iPint' which we have all seen at some point on our own or friend's phones. Their advertising for Carling is particularly superb and one to look out for on their website.
Another big hitter here, Billington Cartmell celebrates their 20th year with an unprecedented third consecutive title as Marketing Magazine’s Agency of the Year, they have now won it in 2008, 2009 & 2010 in the sales promotion category. Just in case you were wondering (as some of the agencies above are also named 'Agency of the Year' by Marketing Magazine for the same year), there are 13 categories for agencies of the year but no overall category, get your act together MM and stop confusing us by handing out more awards than are really necessary :-).
So if your thinking that BC are slightly weak just for winning a 'category', then think again, it's a huge achievement that is backed up by multiple ISP and IPA Grand Prix wins, so there :-). Work to admire is for Carlsberg, Pepperami, Unilever, Heinz, Lloyds and the legendary Pot Noodle!!!
Bray Leino has been around for over 30 years and is a top 20 UK design company with 5 founder-led offices around the country, no agency can become that big without winning numerous creative awards (so much so that they now have to support 375 full time staff).
This great creative attracts the big clients, Bray Leino have work coming in from the Government (2011 Census), BP, Wrigley, Legal & General, Virgin Media, RNLI and Axa as well as the slightly smaller brands of: Freederm, Thatchers, Norton, Dentyl Active, Ecover, WKD, Shloer, Superdry, Danepak, Olbas, Covonia and Tribute – for which they still apply the same distinct creative attention too that the bigger blue chips attract. Bray Leino is now part of The Mission Marketing Group (The Mission), you know they are certainly on one, so try and prove me wrong...
Brass (formerly Brahm and Swamp)
Where there is muck, there's brass! Or is there, I very much doubt that much muck sticks to these guys as they are quite polished (very much the same as their awards). Brass is an agency grounded in traditional marketing but with digital thinking at the heart. So which are they? An integrated or a digital agency? Well Brass like to think of themselves as being 'integral', I guess that means they are integral for their clients businesses by 'bringing real business benefits' from their creative. We look at the multiple award wins on their list including: a D&AD Yellow Pencil, voted Online Agency of the Year at the GRAMIA Awards, some IPM Awards, CIPR PRide Awards and a New Media Age Effectiveness Award, 'take a quick pause for breath' as they have also notched up some Clio Awards, a couple of Design Week Awards and even have a few Roses (which haven't wilted yet). Phew, lets look out for some even bigger things to come from this newly merged agency.
Who are Brave? They are an award winning creative agency whose creative campaigns get people talking about brands, so much so that I've heard people talking about some of their great work for Panasonic, Green & Blacks, Moet and Reebok. Some of the latest work you might have seen on TV are the brilliant adverts for the new Panasonic Lumix series of cameras. One of the older adverts was for the G2 which featured blokes running around taking photos whilst performing some amazing parkour stunts on a streetscape.
DDB UK is major part of the international network DDB which has been going since 1949. I say a major part as I personally think they are one of the stronger arms of the creative business. DDB ranks as the 3rd most awarded agency at the Cannes Festival 2011 with a mass of 63 Cannes Lions Awards, pretty amazing when you add that to its title on Number 1 Agency 'as listed in a category of the Gunn Report in 2010'. DDB are guided by what they call 'playbooks' and not rule books – rigid methodologies would minimise and restrict their creativity. Great work of note includes integrated campaigns for Marmite, Virgin Media, Budweiser, Gü, the Financial Times, Harvey Nichols, Volkswagen and Philips.
Draft FCB was formed in '06 as a new breed of agency and is a 'behaviour based' integrated marketing communications network that believe that there is no way to separate creativity and accountability. So, what have they done in their 5 years since they formed? Well after a slow beginning it seems that they won 250 awards in 2008, blimey! In 2009 Draft FCB won 370, crickey crumbs! And in 2010? Draft FCB won 345, aww what a shame, they must be loosing their touch :-)
Seems a mighty impressive agency network to me, how do they do it? Well they have a litmus test that all work must stand up to – the '6.5 seconds that matter', which is the time most consumers will give a communication before their attention waivers in today's mass multi channel brand bombardment. Draft FCB are able to engage the consumer and tell them something that matters specifically to them in the short time they are willing to give.
Draft are already highly ranked in the Gunn Report and are ranked within the top 15 most effective global agency networks in the Effie Effectiveness Index by Effie Worldwide and Warc (the global marketing intelligence service). Not bad for 5 years, look out for much, much more...
Elvis has left the building! Seriously, did you ever think he would appear working for an award winning integrated marketing agency, no? neither did I... I wonder if they are marketing burgers too? Let's see shall we :-) Nope, no burger chains there but they do work for Pizza Hut, close enough! So apart from the obvious, who are Elvis? They are an integrated agency with a focus on behavioural change, they have a fascination with the way people behave when they meet brand communications.
Their recommendations even read like an Elvis discography:
Agency of the Year 2009 (with 8 Awards) and 2011 (another 8 Awards) as voted by the MCCA/MAA*
Marketing Direct Agency of the Year 2008
Campaign Direct Agency of the Year 2008
A One Show Award, BIMA, a Cannes Lion and an NMA Effectiveness Award
Chip Shop Chip Awards
2 IPA Effectiveness Awards
2 IPM Awards
2 John Caples Awards
* MCCA - the Marketing Communication Consultants Association has now changed its name to the Marketing Agencies Association (MAA).
Engine Group (featuring WRCS and Andrew Saldridge)
www.theenginegroup.com • www.wcrsandco.com • www.andrewsaldridge.com
The Engine group is a new kind of creative communications company that is actually a group of 10 distinct disciplined agencies all housed under one roof (in what must be a huge building in London), newly merged to form the ultimate integrated agency set up. The group was formed in the 21st century to be a 21st century agency (not one born in the 20th century that has had to evolve to keep up when their roots are stuck in the past). By combining the integrated skill-set of the different 'sub' agencies, Engine can provide countless ways to provide businesses with the answers they need for any audience, be it for the people they employ, the customers they serve or the stakeholders they answer to.
I've pulled out some example agencies from the Engine Group to demonstrate the award winning capabilities that they offer. WRS&Co are a modern integrated creative agency with Marketing Week Effectiveness and Engage Awards and are also Marketing Week’s Agency of the Year. WRS&Co have won numerous IMAs, ANNAs, Creative Circle, Cannes Lions and even the smaller but no less prestigious Best Awards. Another agency – Andrews Aldridge has 15 DMAs, IPA Effectiveness Awards, are BIG Campaign Winners and are also multiple Marketing Agency of the Year winners as voted by the 'Sun' (WTF?).
Looking good for the Engine then. I bet they must need a pretty big engine room to generate enough power for all these agencies in Great Portland Street. 1 in 5 of the UK's top 100 marketing spenders are already working with the Engine Group and their lovely clients include: Coca-Cola, GSK, Aviva, Sky, Diago, Santander, Sony, BMW, Nike, Bupa, RBS and Unilever.
Euro RSCG, what a catchy name, thankfully their advertising is a little better, especially when you consider that they have a world record under their belt for the same! Euro RSCG holds the title for creating the most viewed advert online to date. The YouTube mega hit which features roller babies has been seen more than 60 million times – the Evian 'Live Young' campaign. As a huge global network employing over 11,000 staff its no wonder the RSCG have won awards but it is an achievement at that size to be at the top of the game and be ranked No.2 on Advertising Age's 2009 Agency A-List, the UK arm is ranked as a top 5 creative agency in the UK by Campaign in 2009. Look out for some really nice work for Jaguar, Nikon, Volvo, Lacoste, Citroen, Bacardi, Sony, EDF and Peugeot.
I absolutely love this agency, Fallon has created some of the most iconic and memorable ads of our time, first off is the Sony balls advert – a multi award winning campaign for Sony's range of LCD TVs, which uses a quarter of a million coloured balls bouncing down a street in San Francisco to the headline ‘colour like no other’. Second was the most awarded ad in the world’ (according to the 2008 Gunn Report), a gorilla playing the drums along to the Genesis track 'In the air tonight’ – it took word of mouth advertising to another level.
Fallon have multiple awards from the Creative Circle and Cannes, including a Grand Prix. They are driven by the power of creativity to fuel culture and profits. Creating ideas that are talked about by kids in the playground and their mums at the school-gates, in bars, chatrooms, airport lounges and across social networks – putting brands at the heart of conversations.
Loving a good problem, Fallon like to use creativity to solve business problems and unlock new growth opportunities for clients (Sony, Cadburys Kraft, Unilever, Orange, Skoda, Eurostar and SCA).
Fitch is almost a brand in itself within the design industry, they aim to influence the world around us, translating a brand into a consumer experience through the power of influence. Fitch sets out to influence the world around us for the better by designing solutions that meet consumer needs and desires, they design for the masses and not the few – their work is all around us. How do they do that you ask? Well Fitch try to put themselves in the place of the consumer and design experiences that meet their needs, by putting the consumers needs at the heart of everything they do, they create consumer experiences that fire the imagination, tap into hidden desires, heighten aspirations and put consumers in control of the choices they make.
Fitch has won design awards across all disciples, from retail interiors to product, and from packaging to marketing, here are just a few of their awards: 10 VM&RD Retail Design Awards, Marketing Design Awards, 48 IDEA awards, 5 GOOD DESIGN Awards, Design Week Awards and an Addy or two. Client work of note includes: Vodafone, Boeing, Nokia, HSBC and Virgin Racing.
www.grey.com/uk • www.grey.co.uk
Bit of a bleak name or a cool one? You decide... Name aside Grey have been 'famously effective' since 1917, how are they are still going... let alone to win the Euro Effies Agency Network of the Year 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Work wise, take a look at the Coca-Cola Zero adverts on the global site as they are so funny, also the UK arm sent a chair into space to promote Toshiba, what a pure eureka moment! Grey is definitely cool, maybe its the new black :-)
Bit of a specialist one here, Gyro HSR were born from a merger in 2009 and are the world's largest B2B integrated marketing agency. The two agencies between them have been named ‘Top Agency of the Year’ over 20 times in the past 15 years by either the Business Marketing Association (BMA), Advertising Age’s BtoB magazine (’s) or B2B Marketing magazine. Quite a distinction! It also seems that Gyro HSR win nearly every B2 / Pro-Comm Awards going from the BMA, year on year. Not only do they do well there but they have also received a Grand CEBA (Creative Excellence in Business Advertising) Award, which is the top honour from the American Business Media. Work to look out for includes GE, Nokia Siemens, Shell, Sony and Virgin Atlantic.
G2 (formerly called Joshua)
G2, sounds like it should be a band that competes against D12 in a rap off, at least that's better than being U2 and not paying your way ;-) Multi-award winning group G2 are an agency network based across 28 countries that promise to strengthen your 'Brand Commitment', which apparently is bigger and better than just creating brand awareness or guiding consumers towards single purchases, 'Brand Commitment' is the engaged active selection and re-selection of your brand. Makes plenty of sense to me. Once a consumer is committed to your brand, it makes them more likely to...
Go out of their way to find your product.
Try new products or line extensions from you.
Require less ROI to induce re-purchase, so you can focus on new customers.
Advocate and evangelise your brand to others...
Sounds like they have just described Apple. I wonder if they have worked for them, the answer is no but the do have some great work for Adobe, Procter & Gamble, Bacardi and Pringles.
Iris has an ethos that is hinged around ‘Media Anything - Idea Everything’ with brilliant ideas, executed across the most relevant channels, which in this day and age means a lot of the work they do tends to hinge around digital work and the internet. They have done a fair amount of digital marketing for Barclaycard, Playstation, Philips, Sony Ericsson, Shell and Coca Cola, all of which speaks volumes.
Awards wise, their most recent wins include:
Most awarded agency at MAA’s Best Awards
3 Campaign Big Awards!
Top honours at this year’s prestigious MAA Globe Awards
Voted the 2nd best agency in the UK for creative by the YouGov’s 2010 Agency Reputation Survey
Big Chip Award for ‘Best Digital Marketing Campaign’
Media’s 'Network of the Year' Award
So here we are at JWT - the 2nd largest agency in the UK, does size matter really matter? I've no idea, but with this integrated agency it has certainly helped them win over 40 IPA Effectiveness Awards over the last 25 years. JWT has created some memorable advertising moments in the UK over the years, they invented the Andrex Puppy, launched the first tea bag and created numerous famous tag lines – 'Have a Break, Have a Kit Kat' and 'Another Crunchy Nut'. One amazing fact from Ad Age is that JWT's advertising has sold more products to more people than any other agency, how is that for size!
Still winning awards today, JWT are a Gold CPD Accredited Agency with the IPA, an award that is given to agencies that operate industry-leading programmes and is a recognition of excellence. Add in a few recent wins of 4 Creative Circle Awards, 4 Eurobest Awards and being voted Consumer Agency of the Year by GRAMIA in 2010... makes them pretty darn good in my books.
For an agency that doesn't enter design awards, it's a little strange that they on my list don't you think? Well yeah, but no but, surely they can they still be given accolades? Well they have, Karmarama are Marketing Magazine's Engage Awards Agency of the Year in 2011, pretty good all considering? Excellent work for Nintendo, Ikea, Costa, Lastminute.com, Comedy Central and the brilliant advert for Well's Bombardier starring Rick Mayall – 'Bang On'!
A bit of a specialist entry for you here, but not one that I can really ignore, Langland are the most creatively awarded healthcare advertising agency in the world. Last year alone, Langland received a massive 120 creative awards across almost all of its client list.
Pharmaceutical Marketing Magazine ranks them as the UK's Number 1 creative agency in the sector.
One year at the IPA Best of Health Awards, Langland dominated by winning 41 out of a total of 95 awards, which is bonkers when you come to think about it, surely some fair competition rules should be in force :-) Last year also saw them win 7 categories at the Pharmaceutical Marketing Society Awards, collect 4 awards from the NY Rx Club and 3 Clio Healthcare Awards.
The Langland award tally to date is:
14 Pharmaceutical Marketing Society Advertising Awards
141 IPA Best of Health Awards
3 Clio Healthcare Awards
7 Global Awards
29 Rx Club Awards
2 Pharmaceutical Marketing Effectiveness Awards
Leagas Delaney London
This award winning agency has a striking portfolio of work to look at which covers some luxury lifestyle brands like Patek Philipe, Timberland, Bollinger Champagne, Glenfiddich and Intercontinental hotels, whilst at the same time doing work for Stannah Stair Lifts? WTF? How opposite can you get? Just proves to show that an agency needs to pay their overheads and some can't be too fussy, award winning or otherwise. I wonder how they apply their mantra of 'Smart Thinking, Beautiful Work' to that brand :-)
One for the Scots here as Leith have the award for 'Scottish Marketing Agency of the Year', won for the 2nd year running from the Marketing Society’s Star Awards 2010. Both Leith and sister agency Tangible won a clutch of Stars for their work on Knife Crime, Fire Safety, IRN-BRU and Organ Donation.
Leith also holds the 'Scottish Advertising Agency of the Year' title from the Scottish Ad Awards. One of my favourite pieces in their portfolio is the IRN-BRU Can Clan, a world record can-can attempt to keep IRN-BRU as the No.1 in the hearts and minds of Scottish consumers, very funny!
Leo Burnett, well what can I say? Or indeed, need to say as the awards statistics certainly speak for themselves, so lets have a quick look (please take a deep breath as this list is going to involve some big numbers):
40+ ANDYs from the Advertising Club of New York
151+ Lions from the International Cannes Advertising Festival (+ 46 another shortlisted)
5 Yellow Pencils and 1 Black Pencil from the D&AD (and 53 In-book)
51+ Eurobest Awards
24+ Awards from the Art Directors Club of New York
84+ Adfest Awards from the Asia-Pacific region
159+ FIAP Awards (Latin American awards from The Ibero American Advertising Festival)
Like I said, what can I say? Leo Burnett claim that their purpose is to be the world's best creator of ideas that truly move people, bar none. It seems they do that. Please take a look at Leo Burnett's beautiful portfolio of work, you could spend days looking through it in amazement.
Lowe (and Delaney Lund Knox Warren who have merged with Lowe London)
www.loweworldwide.com • www.dlkwlowe.com
Award winning Lowe Brindfors are a fantastic agency network, pictured above is one of their latest creations for VW – the advert is just brilliant and adheres to the Volkswagen brand so well. Lowe has a belief in populist creativity, which means that they want their work to be engaging and talked about, their work then becomes a part of popular culture. They have achieved this on many award winning levels, one to note is an award from the UN (which is the first award I have heard of) – the campaign for the 'lottery of life' got an award for public service advertising, beat that. Maybe a Nobel Peace Prize for an advertising agency next :-)
Lowe London have recently merged with another award winning agency - Delaney Lund Knox Warren to form a strengthened arm of its UK division. Looking to see some great things from them soon, the 'old bikes' advert for Halfords and the Finisterre surfing sheep are just the beginning....
M&C Saatchi were set up in 1995 after Maurice and Charles Saatchi were forced out of their eponymous agency (now Publicis-owned Saatchi & Saatchi) and have actually overtaken the original S&S on billings with more than 1,000 staff in 16 countries around the world (M&C Saatchi are the youngest worldwide network that has been built by starting-up agencies rather than by acquisition).
M&C Saatchi are founded on the principle of Brutal Simplicity, it's at the heart of everything they do – from their creative thinking to their structure, it breeds a culture of entrepreneurialism, innovation and of course an allergy to bureaucracy. This simple principle has helped them become a AAA* Ranking Agency from Marketing Week’s inaugural Agency Reputation Survey.
Recent award wins include Golds from Campaign's Big Awards, 9 Golds from the Creative Circle Awards, Gold Cannes Lions and a Gold Jay Chiat Award for Strategic Excellence. Just a shame they work for the conservative party and have a poor website, sort it out Maurice and Charles :-)
Mother? Why are they called that? Is that because they give birth to great ideas? Or are they the mother of all advertising agencies? Who knows or cares, what I do care about is that this is another great agency, I love their work they have done for Stella Artois, Pot Noodle, the funny 'dweeb' surfing on an inflatable crocodile for Moneysupermarket and the legendary PG Tips adverts starring Johnny Vegas (although they are not as good as the old PG Tips Monkeys). Recently named as IMD's 'Most Successful Agency of the Year' with 3 Golds, Mother also won a number of awards at the BTAA British Arrows and 5 Cannes Lions.
It also seems that Mother is a hotbed for new creative talent, as they have been named the No 5 agency in the world for emerging young creatives from the YoungGuns (Gunn Report).
Mother has top 10 rankings for the most awarded of agencies within the past 10 years! Incredible performance.
www.ogilvy.com • www.ogilvy.co.uk
This has got to be one of the biggest websites I have ever come across, it's massive with over 1100 articles about everything you would like to know about design and of course Oglivy, so where do I start with such a huge amount of information to digest? Well, they have 450 offices in 173 cities worldwide*, that is BIG, so for a network of so many disciplines in so many countries, are they bound to have picked up an award or two? Darn right they have! I'm not going to go into them all because that would be ridiculous and the list would be as long as this entire article. A synopsis of the Oglivy Group's largest awards in the last year or so would be:
12 Gold Medals and 61 Lions in Cannes, 2011
17 International ECHO Awards in 2010
57 Medals / Lions in Cannes 2010
17 CLIO Awards in 2010
19 Awards at the European Advertising Festival (Eurobest) 2010
and just a lowly 5 Effies :-)
The UK website is not very well populated with visual case studies or work too ogle, so for that you will have to turn to the group's .com site which has work a plenty (including work from the UK) and even a link to a museum of it's own archived work from decades of creative production.
*(Oglivy & Mather Advertising have 10 companies covering the 8 disciplines & 1100 staff in the UK alone).
An agency like O&M are going to be hard to follow but follow we must, it a shame that this entry is going to appear a little week after the last one. Profero are a strong independent agency that aim to create ideas that people want to belong to, they predominantly use 'digital marketing' driven creative with their technology and strategic talent.
Since 1998 they have won plenty of oddly shaped metal and perspex lumps of recognition (they say that they don't exist to win awards but are a good recognition of what Profero do). Wins include a Creative Showcase Grand Prix and a Revolution Award Grand Prix in 2010, some Campaign Big Awards, a Cannes Cyber Lion and another older Revolution Grand Prix Award in '07.
Some nice client work for COI, Channel 4, Diageo, FedEx, GSK, HSBC, Ikea, Lufthansa, Mini, Pespi, 7up and more... Just a shame their website is lacking most of it visually (it is out there on the web in press release form on marketing websites).
Publicis Groupe and Publicis
www.publicis.co.uk • www.publicisgroupe.com
What's that coming over the hill, is it a monster? Well, yes it is another monster agency network, Publicis are the largest global network within the Publicis Groupe* with more than 200 offices in 82 countries and over 9,000 communication experts. The Group believe in contagious ideas that change conversations, that they certainly do as their creative talent has been recognised and voted as the Number 1 in Creative Performance by the Gunn Report every year since 2004. That statement alone should be enough, but when you combine it to a whole string of other awards, in Cannes alone we saw them bring in them 101 Lions in 09, 101 in 2008 and 93 in 2007.
Although the Publicis Groupe are the parent network to some of the other amazing agencies in my articles (Fallon, BBH, Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, Starcom and Razorfish), I thought I would still include the main arm of their venture as Publicis are a series integrated communications companies in their own right beyond the parent 'Publicis Groupe'.
Publicis (aka not the Groupe) totalled 29 of those lions by itself in 2011 and won medals for 23 campaigns from 10 countries across the network, of which Publicis London was the only UK agency to win an Integrated Lion. Publicis London were also a part of an 9 trophy haul at the CLIOs and took 4 of a 17 trophy collection from the New York Festivals in 2011, across TV, print, digital and integrated media. Publicis London clutched a few trophies from the AdPrint Awards to help Publicis Worldwide be awarded the main Network of Angels Trophy.
*(The main Publicis Groupe is the 3rd Largest Communications Group Worldwide that spans 104 countries and employees approximately 49,000 professionals).
Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe / Y&R
RKCR/Y&R class themselves as the UK's most effective agency, how? Well while it's nice to see that they have been creatively recognised, they are more proud of their effectiveness and have spent a lot of time comparing their effectiveness awards to other agencies, using their own common sense ranking system on the awards that they have won from the IPA Effectiveness Awards, Marketing Week Effectiveness Awards and Marketing Society Awards.
When compared to their choice of 10 leading firms, RKCR/Y&R has:
– won the highest number of awards
– won awards for the highest number of different client brands
– the highest number of points in their chart (according to their own common sense ranking system)
Ok, so the hard facts are that they have been IPA's Agency of the Year and Marketing Week's Agency of the Year, but using their own ranking system doesn't necessarily make them the best, especially when they use their own points scoring system and when you compare them to other agencies in the UK that go for global rather than national awards, it's up to you to decide. I'm not trying to be negative, but we all know how to play with statistics to highlight what we want to.
That aside, I like their creative mantra - 'What brands need most is energy!' and this certainly shows in some fantastic work for Bacardi (brilliant advert where people make their own island in an empty sea to party on), the BBC, the Home Office, Land Rover, Lloyds TSB, M&S, Virgin and Volvic.
Saatchi & Saatchi
Saatchi & Saatchi describe themselves as 'the lovemarks company', they explain a 'lovemark' as a product, service or entity that inspires loyalty beyond reason (what a load of pretentious toss), I'm almost tempted to not include them for that very statement, but in the interests of fairness and of course the fact that they are a very good agency, I'll let them stay :-)
Mass award winning S&S are a full service, integrated communications network that get people to fall in love with their clients’ products and services (there that's simpler and less pretentious). Of course they do, do what they say, look at their love story about Guinness. Oh and the advert for Otrivin - ‘You Look Dumber With Your Mouth Open’, its so true!
www.tbwa-london.com • www.tbwamanchester.com • www.tbwa.com
I could write a book on TBWA but thankfully for you guys, this is just going to be a synopsis (which I'll try to make as short as I can), honest!
TBWA are a giant among the others on this list, their principle way of working is something they call 'Disruptive Ideas', an idea that can bring life to all forms of medium (I like the sound of that ethos, sounds like it encourages creative thinking). The way TBWA describe how to use 'disruption' as a starting point for any project – drive the strategic development of a solution by challenging and overturning the conventions of the marketplace of a product or service, excellent rebelliousness!
Accolade wise, TBWA is ranked as a top worldwide advertising agency and was recognised by the Advertising Age as the 'Best International Network of the Decade' in 2010. Fast Company magazine called TBWA an 'Innovation All-Star' and puts them on a list of the 'World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies'. TBWA is also ranked as the most creatively recognized network in the world for three out of the last five years in Creativity magazine’s Annual Awards Report. And in the Gunn Report, TBWA is ranked as the third most awarded network in the last 10 years (the Gunn Report combines the winners’ lists from all of the major advertising award contests in the world). And again, TBWA was ranked fifth on the Advertising Age's A-List.
Last but not least, TBWA has been awarded the most Grand EFFIES of any agency network. TBWA has won 12 Grand EFFIEs out of the 32 that have ever been awarded since 1980 (in the US). The Effie Awards honour the most significant achievement in marketing communications, aka - ideas that work.
All sounds amazing doesn't it, well you can get a slice of the action from your local branch, either TBWA London or TBWA Manchester (links above). Look out for the fantastic adverts they have created for John Smiths – 'No Nonsense Beer' starring Peter Kay on the TBWA London's website.
The Red Brick Road
For starters, please do not follow the yellow brick road, its just a spoof website and would be a waste of your time (if it was funny I would say take a look, but it's not). Just follow the red brick road, well I guess that was the idea, a play on TRBR versus other 'generic' agencies that you could follow down the alternative yellow road, perhaps?
The Red Brick Road are the clever people behind the Magners adverts, you know the ones that completely revolutionised the cider market in the UK (just by adding ice to cider) making it popular to drink again and amazingly, pinching market share from the massive lager brands, so much so that even likes of Stella Artois have had to bring out a cidré! Truly amazing! Also take a look at the Olympus and Thinkbox adverts, really funny!
Tullo Marshall Warren
Awards for TMW are for their direct and interactive marketing as you would expect as they pitch themselves as an 'Intelligence Influence Agency'. TMW are ranked in the top 10 of Marketing's direct leagues and gets a respectable 7 out of 10 in Campaign's School Reports (an article that refers to the agency's Intelligent Influence positioning – a sophisticated approach to engaging consumers with brands). Not the biggest player on this list, but still worth a look if your after a specialist.
www.umww.co.uk • www.umww.com
Do clients want a universal agency in these multi faceted times? Well, UM are back on the Ad Age Agency 'A' List as the 'Comeback Agency of the Year', so it seems they do. The worldwide group is multi award winning, and so is the UK arm with Marketing Week Engage Awards, NMA Effectiveness Awards and Marketing Society Awards for Excellence under it's agency belt, so all looking good.
What's their work like? The MC UK client list is as long as my arm (and I've got a chimp like arm length), there are some projects in their case studies for Haagen Dazs, Halo, bing, the Carbon Trust, Bacardi and Xbox but they don't give a huge amount away and are fairly secretive for an agency that should be selling itself better, so come on UM show some more of your work please :-)
Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest
By carruthers, I think we have another good one here :-) VCCP has won more IPA Effectiveness awards than any other agency it's age (7 years old and counting, born in 2004) and has plenty of Marketing Week Effectiveness Trophies to match. But that's not all, the shelves in the office also hold:
Marketing Week Agency of the Year 2010
Voted as Marketing's Creative Agency of the Year 2009
Masses of BTAAs (British Television Advertising Awards)
Winner Marketing Society Award for Excellence and Star Awards
Winner New Media Effectiveness Awards
and some Campaign Big Awards
So what makes VCCP so special? You only have to look at their work to find out why, they are the creative genius behind 'compare the meerkat.com', have moved O2 from 3rd to 1st in the UK market with half the media spend of it's competitors, developed the Wallace and Gromit adverts for npower and their latest offering is a funny tongue-in-cheek campaign for Coors Beer starring legend Jean-Claude Van Damme
We Are Social
Today's big buzz words are 'social media' and there are a crop of companies popping up that promise to help you 'the marketer' with advice and business returns. As far as I can tell the only decent specialist out there are a company called 'We Are Social' as they have a raft of social media awards from the leading digital awarding panels.
'We are Social' is a new kind of agency that combines an understanding of social media with digital, PR, and marketing that is entirely focused on innovative, creative and effective social media marketing communications. Their award wins are all the more promising as the agency has only been going since 2008. Social class themselves as a conversations agency but as we know, conversations between people are nothing new, they help to define what it means to be human.
It’s no surprise then, that we humans are spending less time consuming broadcast media and more time conversing within social media. People talk about products in countless forms of social media and try to seek out opinions about products and services online before making purchase decisions (sometimes these are more trusted than a brand’s own website and certainly more than advertising is).
By helping brands engage in honest, meaningful conversations in social media, Social believe they’ll gain your products advocates and increase sales through word of mouth. They say there is a proven link between online conversations and sales. Their case studies for some big brands certainly support that conversation...
Wieden & Kennedy
I'm totally happy to end this article with an agency that is as good, if not better than the one that it began with, making a nice set of bookends so to speak (quite lucky considering this article is alphabetical).
Weiden & Kennedy are simply a superb creatively-led agency, their integrated advertising and marketing campaigns are ones that we all know, from the multi-award winning Honda 'Power of Dreams' concepts (Campaign Magazine awarded Wieden + Kennedy London 'Campaign of the Decade' for it) to the hilarious series of adverts for Cravendale Milk or the campaigns for Nike, Nokia and Lurpak.
W+K are the world's only independent full-service, creatively driven global advertising agency, they turn brands into stronger brands by making them represent a meaningful emotional feeling, a brand can gain fans and not just consumers. They believe the powerful brands become leaders, not followers – reinventing themselves as fast (or often faster) than their consumers. The most effective brands are provocative – they change people’s minds and disrupt the market place, changing consumer culture.
How do they go about doing this? They never start off by trying to create advertising because all they will end up producing is advertising that looks like advertising. W+K plays with a brand / product feel first rather than an advertising idea, coming up with ideology in any form, writing, images, quotes, film clips or whatever seems relevant to a project to develop a rich and nuanced understanding of a brand’s voice (I call this a mood board personally :-). It is an organic and collaborative process where clients have hands-on participation in every stage, driving their brand ideal forward to achieve an extraordinary brief in which to influence the creative of the advertising and strategy, because of course they are both inter-linked.
This way of looking and briefs has led Wieden + Kennedy to become a Campaign Network of the Year, an Adweek Agency of the Year, Creativity Agency of the Year, the Advertising Age Agency of the Year in 2010. Need to know any more? No, didn't thinks so :-).
The other advertising and marketing agencies of merit include:
23 Red – www.23red.com
CHI and Partners – www.chiandpartners.com
CST The Gate – www.cstthegate.com
WAA – www.waa.co.uk
RAPP UK – www.uk.rapp.com
RadioVille – www.radioville.co.uk (Radio)
Eardrum – www.eardrum.co.uk (Voice overs and radio)
If you find any broken links or out of date images, please let me know here.