Adweek has sent us its list of ‘Agencies that make today’s best ad campaigns’ – ie the world’s top hotshops – and it’s pretty interesting. Some of them were on our radar, others not. Most, but not all, are owned or part-owned by big holding companies but that’s the way of the world these days.
No American contenders, which is interesting.
Anyway, here we go:
BETC – Paris
Launched 20 years ago as an offshoot of Euro RSCG, now Havas, BETC’s work became the stuff of global fascination. In 2009, Evian’s “Roller Babies” became the most downloaded commercial in the world. Last year, “The Bear,” a spot for Canal+, received more awards than any other commercial, while Evian’s “Baby & Me” was the year’s most viewed online campaign.
Forsman & Bodenfors – Gothenburg
F&B has not only become Scandinavia’s best-known agency but has also developed a global reputation after winning 85 Cannes Lions, including its recent sweep for Volvo Trucks’ “Epic Split” starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. F&B was also named Independent Agency of the Year at this year’s festival.
Arcade – Singapore
Arcade shares the global ambitions of its Asian clients, creating work that travels not just through the region but also around the globe. Arcade launched Unilever’s Clear shampoo in North America; created the first Android concept store in the world in Indonesia, which has become the blueprint for a global retail rollout; and introduced beauty brand Motions in South Africa. It all caught the attention of Publicis Worldwide, which acquired a stake in August.
Fred & Farid – Shanghai
Founded in Paris, this agency is now considered one of the hottest shops in mainland China, capturing the possibilities and lightning speed of business there. The digital agency, located in an old opium warehouse on the Bund, communicates 24/7/365 with Parisian staffers through a wall of giant screens, with details on all projects shared among all employees across the six-hour time difference.
Ogilvy & Mather, India – Mumbai
Now working with both local and global clients like Vodafone, Unilever and IBM, Ogilvy, based in Mumbai, is not only the country’s largest agency but also its most award-winning, having been recognized with the highest honors of the Advertising Club of India for the last 16 years, in addition to accolades picked up at Cannes, the Effies and The One Show.
Africa – São Paulo
São Paulo shop Africa was one of the big local ad players behind this year’s World Cup in Brazil, creating the games’ official logo and producing work for clients like Itaú Bank, Brahma beer, Budweiser and Vivo telecom. But while the 12-year-old agency enjoys a high profile in Brazil and has on several occasions been selected as one of the country’s most admired companies by national media, it doesn’t have the global reputation it might have earned by now. One reason is Africa’s early avoidance of awards shows. When it bent that rule in 2007 and finally entered work in Cannes’ Cyber competition, it became the second most-awarded agency in the category.
McCann – Melbourne
In 2012, McCann Melbourne’s “Dumb Ways to Die,” a rail-safety campaign, quickly went viral, generating in its first two weeks more than 700 media impressions and $50 million worth of free global mentions, all for an animated public service effort that cost a fraction of a standard TV ad to produce. The previously under-the-radar office became, in 2013, the industry’s most-awarded agency, taking home a record five Cannes Lions Grand Prix and bringing some much-needed attention to a global network undergoing its own reinvention.
Adam&Eve/DDB – London
Though in business for just two years, the merged shop won Agency of the Year honors at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity thanks to work like Harvey Nichols’ “Sorry, I Spent It on Myself” holiday campaign, which swept this June’s Lions. After Omnicom’s acquisition of hot indie Adam & Eve, management took over DDB London, reviving the network office. A crop of new business quickly followed, including Virgin Atlantic’s global creative, Sony’s consumer electronics in Europe, and the global launch of Haig Club, a new Scotch from Diageo and David Beckham. The agency also earned attention for work like “End Marmite Neglect” for the savory spread and John Lewis’ “The Hare & The Bear.”
Grape/Hungry Boys – Moscow
One of the first digital agencies in Russia, launched in 2002, Grape has over the last three years been ranked as one of the country’s top interactive shops. It has made its name working on behalf of clients like Unilever, PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson and Mondelez, all marketers looking for long-term agency relationships and the kind of full-service digital creative, planning and media offerings provided as part of WPP’s global interactive unit Possible.
Scangroup – Nairobi
WPP unit Scangroup is Africa’s largest marketing services group and an industry powerhouse on the continent, ringing up more than $45 million in revenue last year. (In 2006, it became the first marketing communications company to be listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.) Through international partnerships, Scangroup has become a pioneer in African digital, mobile and Internet marketing.