Welcome to our list of 50 of the top award winning advertising and marketing agencies in the UK. Check out the advertising and marketing agencies for inspiration, there may be a specific type of agency you are looking for.
This list of recommended advertising and marketing agencies pack a monster amount of creative punch between them, the tally was conceived and composed to showcase the best of talent in the UK. All entries are alphabetically listed and not ranked in anyway against each other.
The imaginative advertising and marketing agencies shown are hand picked from thousands of others from global awards networks, written up with a concise synopsis for you. Our aim for this article is that you might also consider us to work on your next project, to see our capabilities please take a look at our portfolio:
If you don't see the right agency listed and are looking for in a specific type of agency, look at the:
When AMV was founded 35 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 16 years. They work with 88 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.
Some of this agency's mega awards include:
Overall when analysed by the 2 award ranking specialists: The Gunn Report (the annual review that collates major global awards), ranked AMV as the UK's most creatively awarded agency and the No 1 Digital Agency in the UK in 2012. The Big Won (who similarly collate global awards) ranked AMV the Number 1 UK Agency for Creativity, TV & Film, Integrated Campaigns and Direct in 2011 and 2012.
WOW. Do I need to write anymore...
Abbott Mead Vickers are now part of the BBDO Group – they are in good company as BBDO are recognised as both the world's most creative and effective agency network as it has also been ranked the most creative network in the world by the same Gunn Report for 11 of the 14 years that the report has been running. BBDO are also number one across all marketing communications in the Big Won Reports too and are the 5 time winner of 'Network of the Year' at the Cannes Lions.
Looking through AMV's portfolio reveals some legendary adverts for Guinness, BT, Birdseye, Walkers Crisps and Revel's campaign 'against the coffee'. I'd like to point out a few of note, but that is bordering on the impossible.
So while it's great to start off with an agency of this calibre, remember to read the remainder of the list as there are some other hidden gems that may be more suitable for you, either as an advertising agency looking for some eye candy or a marketer looking for their next potential design agency – you are sure to find one on here.
Would you Adam and Eve it? Well believe it or not the second on my list is another big hitter, Adam and Eve were voted Campaign Magazine's Agency of the Year in 2010 (& runner up in 2013), Marketing Magazine's Agency of they Year (Creative) 2010. Recent awards in 2013 include 8 awards Eurobest awards, 4 Epica Awards, 'Outdoor Agency of the Year' at the Campaign Big Awards, a Cannes Lion and they gained 15 British Arrow Awards. Beat that!
On looking into their work, one of the most outstanding pieces I can find is the advertising for Fosters, the 'Good Call' campaign which is simply superb at marketing to 20-30 year old blokes – it does it so well that it makes me laugh every time I see it on TV (I'm just about within the targeted audience). Other clients of note are Google, Save the Children, Volkswagen, Marmite, The Telegraph, Halifax and John Lewis.
A&E are a major part of the international DDB network (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 even though DDB overall is ranked as the 3rd most awarded agency at the Cannes Festival 2013 with a mass of 93 Cannes Lions Awards. We can also add to that with 37 Clio's in 2013, classed as the 2nd most awarded agency network in the 2012 Gunn Report and won Network of the Year 2012 for Campaign, Epica and at the NY Festivals.
Originally founded in 2001 as CHI & Partners by three partners (Simon Clemmow & Johnny Hornby & Charles Inge), these partners have extended the agency with a string of other agencies with separate disciplines and were brought together to form the collective that was CHI '&' Partners. Now moving forward, The agency has rebranded in 2018 as The&Partnership. The&Partnership London believes the future of the creative industries lies in big, bold and bionic ideas which blend world-class creativity with smart data, progressive technology and artificial intelligence. The agency was named in 2016, the UK’s most awarded independent creative agency at Cannes Lions, as well as Digital Agency of the Year at the Campaign BIG Awards. Its clients include Argos, British Gas, Freedom Brewery, Godiva, Lexus, McVitie’s, News UK, Royal Bank of Scotland, TalkTalk, Toyota and Travelodge.
&Partners were responsible for those cute Argos aliens adverts and the British Gas Worlds that we saw around.
With clients like Lexus (Toyota), Unilever and ASICS, 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 olds 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 their results, it can be found at: amaze.com/news/2015/october/whitepaper-data-intelligence – its an incredibly insightful read.
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 and 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 and they deliver ideas which get results for their clients' bottom line. Besides winning Best Integrated Agency and Best Advertising Agency at the RAR Awards 2013, then the other awards of note include: regional CIPR Awards, DADIs, Drum Marketing Awards, lots of Fresh Awards, IPAs, loads of Roses Advertising Awards including Creative Agency of the Year 2013 and also a heap of SWOT Marketing Awards.
One upon a 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 and they never have. What they see are opportunities to connect with consumers, change their behaviours and drive profitable business. BJL 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.
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 and the launderette in the public mind, Audi's 'Vorsprung durch Technik' 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 are supported by the global network of satellite agencies. This globalised company structure is displayed incredibly well on their website as it holds all the agencies offices in-one-website in a very effective way.
Award wins include:
…and this is just a snapshot of awards from the UK head office, let alone the others in the worldwide group which are just off the scale!
With clients like these it's no wonder that BD are a great agency with some ace work for Nintendo, Virgin, Coca-Cola, Nike, Peugeot etc. So who are BD? They are an independent, integrated and 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' which is a philosophy that places the consumer or the shopper at the very heart of their ideas (and not tied to a specific discipline) enabling BD to create powerful integrated ideas focused on results, murdering the mediocre. That is BD.
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 over 5 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 to the degree that they need to employ over 100 staff. 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 and 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, Virgin Money and Late Rooms are particularly superb and are ones to look out for on their website.
The infamous and mass award winning Paris agency BETC has recently opened up a London office with the intention of building on the success of the 600 strong French agency (which was ranked 2nd most creative agency in the world in the 2010 Gunn Report and Agency of the Year at the Art Directors Club New York 2012). The new London arm only opened it's doors in mid 2011 with a team headed up by ex-directors of TBWA and DDB. BETC London is already making waves and is quickly on the rise attracting both international brands such as Samsung and Diet Coke (and local classic British brands such as Cockburn’s, Cow & Gate and Warburtons).
Let's hope their creative matches up to the famous ideas from Paris office (such as the 'Dancing Babies' commercial for Evian).
The founding principle of BETC is 'Courage' as it takes courage to implement big ideas… I wonder how fearless they can be!
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 starring the magician Dynamo. One of their older adverts was for the Lumix G2 which featured blokes running around taking photos whilst performing some parkour stunts on a street-scape and it was amazing.
Award wise they have won a Marketing Society Grand Prix, some MCCAs, ANNAs, NMAs, DMAs and IPA Effectiveness Awards.
Closer To (formerly Billington Cartmel)l celebrates their 20th year with an unprecedented 3rd consecutive title as Marketing Magazine’s Agency of the Year in the sales promotion category. In case you were wondering about some of the agencies above also being named 'Agency of the Year' by Marketing Magazine – there are 13 different categories of 'agency of the year' but no overall super category – so get your act together MM and stop confusing us by handing out more awards than are really necessary :-)
So if your thinking that CT 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 too, so there :-). Work to look at includes: Wrigley, Lucozade, Sennheiser, Tassimo and Dove.
We thought that it was only fair that having researched thousands of studios to bring you this article on the top 50 award winning digital and web design and branding agencies, that we’d insert a cheeky little advert for ourselves – Design Intellect.
Design Intellect are a nimble boutique design agency that have been around the block and back, we’ve been going strong since 2003. We combine small agency focus with big agency thinking to provide a complete range of branding, design for print, packaging, web design and strategic services to clients over a wide range of business sectors. We love working with businesses to help bring their communications to life, drive growth and deliver beautiful thought-provoking design solutions with the perfect blend of creativity and effectiveness. We are down-to-earth, friendly, approachable and efficient.
We work with marketers, marketing departments and individuals to provide all the creative services they need. No job is too big and no job is too small, we have experience in working with huge blue-chip clients and we have also worked with 100s of smaller clients on a wide range of projects – from small artwork jobs to larger projects encompassing branding, print and web.
Whomever we work with, we apply the same level of creativity, attention to detail and passion on their project to make the marketing material look awesome and work hard.
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 did once work for Pizza Hut, so 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:
* MCCA - the Marketing Communication Consultants Association has now changed its name to the Marketing Agencies Association (MAA).
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), 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 were 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.
Don't be put off by the 'limp' website as 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 used a quarter of a million coloured balls bouncing down a street in San Francisco to the headline ‘colour like no other’ (in archive). Second was the most awarded ad in the world (or at least was according to the Gunn Report back in '08) in which a gorilla was playing the drums along to the Genesis track 'In the air tonight’ for Cadbury – 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, Kerry, Unilever, Orange and Skoda). Fallon are the agency for clients who would rather outsmart the competition than outspend them.
Draft FCB joined forces with the Inferno Group after an acquisition back in late 2013 and are now known as FCB Inferno, a new integrated entity poised for business and creative excellence...
I concentrate on the former guise of Draft FCB, the original agency 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 the years since forming? Well after a slow beginning it seems that they won 250 awards in 2008, blimey! In 2009 they won 370, crickey crumbs! And in 2010? the agency won 345, aww what a shame, they must be loosing their touch :-) Not really I'm having problems counting the 2011, 2012 and 2013 awards up!
Seems a mighty impressive agency network to me, how do they do it? Well they understand that 95% of consumer decisions are made intuitively, so they try to target the unconscious drivers of human behaviour and create work that provokes the emotional response needed to open minds and change behaviour so that brands become so intuitively right they end up as the ‘no brainer’ choice. All this and 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 todays mass multi channel brand bombardment.
FCB Inferno 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 and Warc (The Global Marketing Intelligence Service). Not bad for the first 9/10 years, so what are they up to now they are FCB Inferno, the saga will inevitably spiral onwards and upwards...
The fold are a 21st century agency for a 21st century consumer, or at least that's what they claim. On looking in the agency folio it certainly seems they have some ace creative that cuts through the noise of the 21st century, work such as the tongue in cheek poke at Apple in the Somersby Cider commercial, the Carlsberg Great Escape (from the Spa) Advert, building the Molton Brown brand, work for Nike, BA and even the likes of Google by working on promoting Gumtree Motors. It would be nice to see them win a few more awards so let's hope they don't get lost in the fold or hidden below it!
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... an amazing feet these days let alone the fact that they have won the Euro Effies Agency Network of the Year 2012, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005. Work wise, take a look at the chair they sent into space to promote Toshiba, what a pure eureka moment! See Cat Deeley (gert lush as we say in the South West) promoting Pantene, Vinnie Jones promoting the British Heart Foundation with the hilarious staying alive advert and the Seat advert insinuating their car is like a toy for adults that make the kids jealous rather than the other way around.
Rather unlike other agencies who say the do 'big ideas', Grey like to promote 'long ideas' and I also like the fact that clients meet with the creatives and ideas do not have to be bottle-necked through a single 'godlike' creative director, good on them! Grey is definitely cool, maybe its the new black :-)
Bit of a specialist one here, Gyro and HSR were merged way back in 2009 to create Gyro and are the world's largest B2B integrated marketing agency. Between the two agencies they have been named ‘Top Agency of the Year’ 23 times in the past 16 years by either the Business Marketing Association (BMA), Advertising Age’s BtoB magazine or B2B Marketing magazine. Quite a distinction! It also seems that Gyro 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.
With 21st century noise enveloping all consumers (including business ones), Gyro has now had to change their culture entirely after 30 years of helping world-class businesses as they say that business-to-business or B2B is now over and the death was inevitable with modern mobile media. So if you really want to influence business decisions you have to reach and persuade the individual as a new customer and not just the corporate entity they belong too, because an individual is independently minded, highly connected and an emotional human being.
Gyro (as many agencies in the B2C sector already know) says emotion is the key to intimacy between businesses, brands and people. It's there in every choice we humans make either buying a laptop or signing a million pound contract. All of Gyro's work must contain an idea that ignites human emotion for the good of your business.
Work to look out for includes Virgin Atlantic, Shell, Sony, HP, FedEx, L'oréal, Audi, GE, Amex, BBC World News, Bosch, Cisco and DuPont.
Havas as a worldwide group are pretty darn big so one would have expected them to have won an award or two in their time, well they hav(e)as well: Advertising Age's Global Marketers Report had rated them the Largest Global Advertising Agency for five years in a row, Campaign also named them the same during one year – Adweek named Havas Worldwide as one of the top three Advertising Agencies of the Decade, and the GUNN Report named Havas Worldwide as the 2nd “Most Awarded Network of the Decade' in 2011.
When I said large I meant it, as the full Havas Worldwide network is made up of 11,000 employees in 316 offices in 120 cities and 75 countries. The UK office being a particularly strong creative arm and has won a 'TED' which makes it's 'ideas worth spreading', other awards range from D&ADs and Cannes Lions with others spread in-between. When trying to find which part of the group is right for you though, you might have a little trouble tracking the right contact down, be it in on:
Especially as these are just some of the hundreds of Havas business websites, their strapline of 'a uniquely integrated agency' doesn't really match how the business is structured :-)
Do these people need an introduction on this list? I think not… check out the massive portfolio of sublime work, it's almost endless :-)
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so let's have a look right into the Iris of this one then shall we? (awful I know, sorry), Iris believe that there are two types of brands: ones that participate and ones that don't (that are dying). Iris build participation brands, so what are they their eyes? Well it's a brand that consumers want to be a part of; brands that start conversations, invite experiences and build communities that like them – these brands open, accessible, involving and successful.
Iris also hope to do this with relative speed, their Project 72 aims to crack ideas in 72 hours using globally connected briefing structure. Quicker still is their 'Urgent Genius' which offers real-time marketing and content generation to react to trending media themes in under 48 hours. All sounds a bit slow to me as I usually crack projects the first day, but then I guess large agencies are cumbersome beasts :-)
The clients addicted to speed are the likes of: Adidas, Barclaycard, Cannon, COI, Costa, Diageo, Domino's, Food Standards Agency, Gü, Heineken, Kellog's, LOCOG 2012, Nestle, Pepsico, Philips, Reckitt Benckiser, Shell, Sony and Unilever.
Awards wise, their most recent wins include:
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, their HSBC lemonade adverts are great and they also 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, the latest of which are:
For an agency that doesn't normally 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 as Karmarama were Marketing Magazine's Engage Awards Agency of the Year in 2011, pretty good considering they don't enter… If they did they would win a hell of a lot more. Excellent work for Plusnet, Costa, BT, Honda 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. In the last few years alone, Langland have received hundreds of creative awards across almost all of its client list. One year at the IPA Best of Health Awards Langland dominated by winning 43 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 :-)
The Langland award tally (that I could count) between 2010 & 2013 is roughly:
Poor holding website at the moment, but this 10th most awarded agency in D&AD history normally 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 some decent work for charities like the British Red Cross, Angelus Foundation, Shelter and Stop the Traffik. This charity work inspired the group CEO Margaret Johnson to do voluntary work for charities, including the British Red Cross’ women’s philanthropy group, the Tiffany Circle and be awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to creative industries and of course charity work in late 2013. Just put a decent website back up!
One for the Scots here! Leith were awarded 'Scottish Marketing Agency of the Year' for the 2nd year running from the Marketing Society’s Star Awards in 2010, bring us further up to date in 2014 we find that they have won a further 43 awards for effectiveness including 17 golds at the Marketing Star Awards. Both Leith and their 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, which was a world record 10,000 person can-can attempt to keep IRN-BRU as the No.1 in the hearts and minds of Scottish consumers and was very funny!
We have another design giant here, Leo Burnett WW was ranked as the 4th Most Awarded Agency Networks in the World according to the 2012 Gunn Report. After that massive applaud, what can I say? or indeed need to say as the awards statistics certainly speak for themselves, so lets have a quick look at some historical awards (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, 84+ CLIOs, 6 Yellow Pencils and 1 Black Pencil from the D&AD (and 67 In-book), 51+ Eurobest Awards, 24+ Awards from the Art Directors Club of New York, 84+ Adfest Awards from the Asia-Pacific region and 159+ FIAP Awards (Latin American awards from The Ibero American Advertising Festival).
Yes but I hear you say... 'the wins above are older awards and an agency is only as good as their recent wins surely?' Well, as you know I update these article on a regular basis (or at least as much as I can as I have to make a living), so here is an update to add to the above of some of their more recent wins:
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.
Mcgarrybowen have been named Agency of the Year by Advertising Age in 2009, and again by both Advertising Age and Adweek in 2011 within a decade of their inception, now an independently operating part of the Dentsu Aegis Network they have the global capabilities to tap into resources at over 300 offices across 110 countries and cover all communications channels around the globe.
MBG are built lean and smart to deliver speed and unique thinking modern clients rely on to build brands and grow businesses, they say they never chase awards but they deceiver them and seem to be doing ok considering their age. Their client centric approach and simple mantra must be working, they listen very carefully and make sure they understand a client’s business. Then create work that does the job and that works. Can we ask for any more than back to bare bones design!
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 Beautiful Simplicity of Thought, it's at the heart of everything they do – from their creative thinking to their structure which breeds a culture of entrepreneurialism, innovation and of course an allergy to bureaucracy. This simple principle has helped them become a AAA* Ranking Agency in the Marketing Week Inaugural Agency Reputation Survey.
There are 12 different businesses in the UK Group and one of their innovations has been to bring together strategists from all the disciplines to sit and work together in our Central Strategy Unit (CSU). The CSU brings together strategists from advertising, brand, PR, CRM, data and digital and enables clients to work with them in a number of different ways - as strategic advisor or as a full service partner delivering everything from strategic thinking to execution across all disciplines.
Recent award wins include Best Digital Agency and Bronze Creative Agency of the year at the 2013 Advertising + Marketing Agency of the Year Awards, a Grand Effie in 2012 and Sport Agency of the Year at Sport Industry Awards 2012, some 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 :-)
The Mill produce award winning visual output to bring directors, creative agencies and visionary brands' ideas to life, after 22 years of innovation The Mill is a recognised for creating seamless visual effects and is the Most Awarded Production Company by the D&AD. Traditionally partnering with studios, The Mill are now offering design themselves and a range of services including creative direction, art direction, character design, type design, print, branding and identity, concept / style frames and storyboarding. Based on their background (their awards pages is a massive 4 pages long), they are definitely one to watch for the future.
If you want to fill few weeks, then take a look at their portfolio as it has over 1,620 showreels at the last count!!!!
Of course the other production company that advertising and marketing agencies use is Unit9 – www.unit9.com
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). Named as IMD's 'Most Successful Agency of the Year' with 3 Golds back in 2011, won an IPA Effectiveness Award in 2012, Mother also won a number of awards at the BTAA British Arrows and 5 Cannes Lions in 2010.
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 Top 10 (Gunn Report) with rankings for the most awarded of agencies of the past 10 years! Incredible performance.
Award winning Mullen Lowe are another fantastic agency network and have a belief in populist creativity, which means that they want their work to be engaging and talked about so that their work then becomes a part of our 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' which got an award for public service advertising, beat that. Maybe a Nobel Peace Prize for an advertising agency next me thinks :-)
ML London previously merged with another award winning agency - Delaney Lund Knox Warren to form the strengthened arm of its UK division before now becoming part of Mullen too. Looking to see some great things from them soon as the 'Ask MA' advert for the Money Advice Service and the Persil adverts are just the beginning....
The main global website has got to be one of the biggest websites I have ever come across, it's massive with over 1600 articles about everything you would like to know about design and of course Ogilvy, so where do I start with such a huge amount of information to digest? Well, they have 450 offices in 169 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 Ogilvy Group's largest awards in the last year or so would be:
O&M are the CLIO Agency Network of the Year 2013
O&M was named Network of the Year for the second year in a row 2013 & 2012 at the Cannes Lions with 155 Lions – 4 Grand Prix (including Titanium & Integrated), 1 Creative Effectiveness Award, 37 Gold Lions, 46 Silver Lions & 67 Bronze Lions.
Effie Worldwide announced that O&M is the most effective agency network for the second consecutive year 2013 & 2012 where they were awarded 137 awards including 2 Grand/Platinum, 48 Gold, 63 Silver and 53 Bronze.
In the DMA Echo Awards OgilvyOne won 4 Gold, 13 Silver and 11 Bronze awards.
London International Awards (LIA) has announced that O&M is the 2013 Network of the Year for receiving 125 awards including one Grand LIA, 28 Gold Statues, 40 Silver Statues and 57 Bronze Statues.
*(Oglivy & Mather have 9 agencies in the UK covering all disciplines).
OMD… well what should I say about them? You are only as good as your last bit of work, right? Well I think this screen grab says it all really and they should change their name to OMG instead :-) Optimum Media Direction (OMD) only gained their first Gold Cannes Lion back in 1999 and since then they have been named: 'Global Agency of the Year' by Advertising Age in 2003, 2005 and 2009; 'Global Media Agency of the Year' by Adweek in 2006, 2009 and 2011; and the same by the Gunn Report in 2006 and 2007. Of course that is on top of the recent accolade of the most Awarded Global Media Network in the Cannes Lions, an amazing position to be after that initial win a mere 14 years ago.
If you would like to see some of OMD's competition then I have assembled a further 6 award winning media agencies at the base of this article.
Mullen Lowe Profero are a strong agency that aim to create ideas that people want to belong to and they predominantly use 'digitally marketing' driven creative combined 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 Agency of the Year at the British Interactive Media Association (BIMA) 2011, 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, and 7up.
As of 2016, Profero are now a part of the Award Winning Mullen Lowe.
Proximity are the Direct and Digital Marketing arm of BBDO (and we all know how massive an award winner they are), they are great at what they do and are award winners in their own right, generally no one comes close -- see what I did there :-)
Proximity combine smart data handling, strategic insight and compelling creative to create value for their clients, or at least that's what they say… the awards they have tend to back this up as Proximity are ranked the No.2 DM agency in the UK and No.9 of Global DM Agencies Top 10 List according to the Big Won Report in 2012. Also they won 6 trophies in 2012 for work on VW, DMA and Royal Mail, making them the most awarded agency for the 6th year in a row at the Caples Awards. Others include 8 awards at the 2012 DMAs: 4 Golds, 2 Silvers and 2 Bronzes, a Gold at the International Echo Awards and a Silver at the Campaign Big Awards also in 2012.
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*. The Groupe 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 actually look at some of the awards that contribute to the report totals it is truly mind-blowing, in Cannes alone they as a Group regularly win around 100 Lions per year, year in year out.
Although the Publicis Groupe are the parent network to some of the other amazing agencies in my articles (Fallon, BBH, Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi and Razorfish), I thought I would still include the main arm of their venture Publicis as they are a series integrated communications companies in their own right beyond the parent 'Publicis Groupe'.
Publicis (aka not the Groupe) totalled 29 of the Lions mentioned above by itself in 2011 and won medals for 23 campaigns, 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 to be awarded the main Network of Angels Trophy.
More recent Publicis London Wins include: an LIA and Campaign Awards in 2013 and a Campaign BIG Award in 2012.
*(The main parent Publicis Groupe is the 3rd Largest Communications Group Worldwide that spans 108 countries and employs approximately 60,000 professionals).
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 Thinkbox adverts, really funny! (PS. Thankfully they got rid of the spoof website link in which you could go down the yellow brick road, it was a waste of time and not even funny even with it's irony of following alternative agencies down the yellow brick road).
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 a simpler wording and far less pretentious). Of course they do do what they say, paining the town Black with Guinness, work for Toyota and Visa. Oh and the advert for Walls Sausages with the little talking dog in a ring box is so funny!
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. TBWA is also ranked as the most creatively recognised 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 if you are up north with TBWA Manchester, or go global with TBWA. Look out for the fantastic adverts they have created for John Smiths – 'No Nonsense Beer' starring Peter Kay on the TBWA London's website.
TMW pitch themselves as an 'Intelligence Influence Agency' and have won a heap of awards for their direct / interactive marketing, they are ranked highly by Marketing's direct leagues and are respected 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.
Do clients want a universal agency in these multi faceted times? Well, UMWW are back on the Ad Age Agency 'A' List as the 'Comeback Agency of the Year' back in 2011, so it seems they are trying. The worldwide group is multi award winning, and so is the UK arm with a recent Cannes Lion in 2013, a Gold and a Grand Prix at the Drum Marketing Awards 2013, Campaign Media Awards, Marketing Week Engage Awards, NMA Effectiveness Awards and Marketing Society Awards for Excellence under it's agency belt, so all looking good for the future.
What's their work like? There are only a few projects on their work page for Fullers, Dodgers, Windows Phones and The Royal Mail. UMWW 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 as I want to see the other stuff you did for Xbox Forza, H&M, Bing, The Carbon Trust, Halo and Xbox.
The UMWW catch phrase is 'Curiosity Works', so how can we be curious if there isn't anything to see? :-)
By Carruthers, I think we have another good one here :-) VCCP has won a fair amount of IPA Effectiveness awards, New Media Effectiveness Awards, gained a Euro Effies Gold for the Most effective integrated campaign in Europe in 2013 and have plenty of Marketing Week Effectiveness Trophies to match. But why all these effectiveness awards? Well VCCP don't class themselves as an advertising agency but more of a transformation agency, WTF? Well put simply they exist to transform the fortunes of their clients and they do that very well, examples include: helping O2 move from 4th to 1st in market share 36 months after launch… and helping easyJet’s share price fly from £4 to £14 in 24 months.
They don't just win Effectiveness Awards however, they are also Campaign’s 'Advertising Agency of the Year' for 2013 (haha), won 3 Cannes Lions 2013, was Marketing Week 'Agency of the Year' 2010, voted as Marketing's 'Creative Agency of the Year' 2009, has masses of BTAAs (British Television Advertising Awards), Marketing Society Awards for Excellence, Star 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', developed the 'Be More Dog Campaign for O2 and the funny tongue-in-cheek campaign for Coors Beer starring legend Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Here we have Wavemaker… it’s a merger between MEC and Maxus. They are thrown into the mix as an award winning media planner and buyer as quite frankly advertising and marketing agencies can't really be without them (although most big design agencies do have their own internal departments), and of course some clients use them direct to avoid costly agency mark ups. One of the partner firms, MEC were named Media Agency of the Decade by Media 360 in 2013 beating off the likes of Carat, Mediacom, ZenithOptimedia and PHD at a huge ceremony in the O2 in London.
If you would like to see some of Wavemaker's competition then I have assembled a further 6 award winning media agencies at the base of this article.
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 awards list is massive which is especially amazing considering the agency has only been going 6 years. We Are Social class themselves as a conversations agency but as we know, conversations between people are nothing new – they have just refined it in the digital sphere.
It’s no surprise that we humans are spending less time consuming broadcast media (tv) and more time conversing within social media. People talk about products on 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 it's advertising sometimes 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...
I'm totally happy to almost end this article with an agency that is as good as 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' and 'Cog' concepts (Campaign Magazine awarded Wieden + Kennedy London 'Campaign of the Decade' for it) to the hilarious series of adverts for Cravendale Milk, the 'Just Do It' campaigns for Nike, the tiny dancing horse for Three.
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 the 9th most Awarded Advertising agency in D&AD history, Campaign Network of the Year, Adweek Global Agency of the Year 2012, Cannes Agency of the Year 2012 (and Independent Agency too), Creative Review Agency of the Year 2011, Blades Digital Agency of the Year 2011, Webbys Agency of the Year 2011, New Media Age: UK’s most respected agency 2011, The Advertising Age Agency of the Year in 2010 and the UK’s #1 Digital Agency 2010 (Pitch/YouGov Survey). Need to know any more? No, didn't thinks so :-)
Y&R class themselves as the UK's most creative and effective agency, how? Well while it's nice to see that they have been creatively recognised, they are proud of their effectiveness and have compared 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, Y&R has:
Ok, so the hard facts are that they have been IPA's Agency of the Year, Marketing Week's Agency of the Year and voted Most Effective Creative Agency by Client in the UK 2012, 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, I would say it's up to you to decide but the Gunn Report did it for you by naming them top creative UK agency in 2010, 3rd in 2011 and 5th in 2012.
That aside, I like their creative mantra - 'What brands need most is energy!' and this certainly shows in some fantastic work for the BBC, the Home Office, Land Rover, Lloyds, M&S, Virgin and Volvic.
Now you are fully up to date with award winning advertising and marketing agencies, how about knowing who the award winning media agencies which help put their creations out in the public are? Well how about taking a peek at this quick compilation: