Magazine article Marketing

Agency of the Year: Design Agency of the Year - Best of the Rest

Magazine article Marketing

Agency of the Year: Design Agency of the Year - Best of the Rest

Article excerpt

Of the agencies leading the field in the final sprint for Design Agency of the Year, Pearlfisher and Landor were well-placed, with both racking up wins and yielding inventive, effective work.

Landor, Marketing's Design Agency of the Year in 2001, has had a cracking year for new business, which saw it reach its acquisition target for 2004 by June. A pitch conversion rate of 70% led to an impressive 23 client appointments, including giants such as Boots. The WPP-owned agency also picked up a share of massive global accounts for HSBC and Samsung.

Existing clients including Walkers, for which Landor handles all packaging work, and Procter & Gamble added to the business tally, with a total of nine incremental no-pitch wins. Landor hired 25 employees this year, taking staff numbers to 87.

A new year meant a new West London office for Pearlfisher, which, after years of steady growth, found that extra staff require extra space. Turnover for 2004 is projected to rise by 30%, after a 21% increase in 2003, and should reach pounds 3.8m by year end - something to celebrate in its new bar.

It is a credit to the agency's devotion to its clients that 15 of its 23 business acquisitions in 2004 were incremental gains. Among the happy customers are Unilever, Superdrug, Green & Black's and Waitrose.

Pearlfisher's work for Waitrose Pure, the retailer's own-brand fragrance-free toiletries range, was one of the success stories of the year in terms of effectiveness. Despite its Waitrose branding, Pure was able to escape the supermarket fetters of its parent retailer for the first time on the back of its revamp. Pure found a second home in parent John Lewis, thanks to a stylish design. This ground-breaking move not only set the standard for other own-brands to follow, it also increased sales by 23%.

On the subject of effectiveness alone, Coley Porter Bell deserves a mention. Its revamp of Kimberly-Clark sanitary protection brand Kotex is another tale of design being asked to lift a brand in decline, without increased spend in any other area of the marketing mix.

Women warmed to the indirect approach created by using assertive feminine objects such as high heels and flowers rendered in bright red. …

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