AKQA and Wieden+Kennedy lead London agency digital boom

One of the many things the ad business ought to thanks the late Steve Jobs for is Apple’s invention of the iPad. This and its thousands of attendant apps is proving a mighty boon in turbulent economic times.

When specialist digital agencies hove into view a decade or so ago the traditional agency business was slow to react. Ultimately it did, to great effect, to the point now where there are only a handful of significant independent digi outfits left standing. One such, though, is AKQA and it has not just survived as an independent entity (despite continuous rumours that it’s about to be bought) but taken the fight back to agencies by rowing in on their above-the-line (as we used to call it) patch.

AKQA has also become quite an apps factory in its own right and one of its latest is for De Beers’ Forevermark diamonds brand. This is built around a 3D ‘diamond’ that purports to demonstrate all the sparkly qualities of the expensive stone and also lets you try diamond jewellery on at home (virtually of course and alas).

Just the job for that last minute Christmas shopping.

Meanwhile, back at Wieden+Kennedy London, the agency has produced a new HTML5 game with production wizards B-Reel for the launch of the 2012 Honda Civic. The game has already attracted over 45,000 players, loads of blogs and Facebook likes and even the odd award.

W+K London hasn’t had the best of years, losing Nokia and the Guardian newspaper and being rather overshadowed on the European stage by W+K Amsterdam.

But it has a big new new campaign for mobile network Three launching next year and, hopefully, some more brilliant ads for Honda. Mind you, if it keeps producing online campaigns for Honda that pull so well it may find the TV budget coming under pressure, clients being clients..

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.