Magazine article Marketing

AGENCY 2002: Creative Agency of the Year - Mother

Magazine article Marketing

AGENCY 2002: Creative Agency of the Year - Mother

Article excerpt

Mother showed its growing stature by being credited with Egg's increase in customer numbers and walking away with a wide range of new accounts.

It's hard to know whether Mother became Creative Agency of the year when it scooped the pounds 41m Orange account or when Egg's chief executive credited its advertising for bringing 205,000 new customers to the bank.

Winning the Orange business in October against such strong contenders as BBH, M&C Saatchi and WCRS demonstrated much more than the benefit of maintaining strong relationships with former clients. It proved that Mother's undoubted creative calibre was ready to deliver for the big league what it has brought to so many smaller dynamic brands. 'Muck About', Mother's first tactical work for the brand's picture messaging service, broke in late November and the ads' playful irreverent tone is exactly what would be expected, and desired, from Mother.

The win rounded off a storming new business year for the agency, which saw it also walk away with UK TV and UK Gold, Coca-Cola's Burn energy drink, Castlemaine XXXX, COI anti-drugs, Comic Relief, Siemens, Red Letter Days and Emap's Sneak magazine. All told Mother had scored pounds 81m of new business, more than any other agency, as this supplement went to press - and who could be confident enough to say that's how its year will end?

It's a rare occurrence indeed for a chief executive to put strong financials down to their latest TV ads, but in late July that's exactly what happened for Mother. Egg chief executive Paul Gratton claimed that the online bank's 205,000 new customers were largely the result of 'the Q2 TV advertising campaign outperforming expectations'. Critics muttered about justifying ad budgets and 'balls on the line' after signing off the quirky 'Brilliant Industries' campaign, but the figures bear up Gratton's claims. Awareness of the Egg brand hit a record in October; brand saliency hit an all-time high, ahead of Halifax for the first time in October; and Egg sales rose consistently throughout the year.

For Guinness UDV-owned Pimm's, Mother was able to prove the effectiveness of its ads starring the posh but unworldly Harry in a variety of unlikely situations. The ads aired in London and the South between May and September and significantly lifted brand saliency by the end of the campaign. Recall overtook that of rival summer mixables, while 25-44 ABC1s using the brand in the past four weeks more than tripled immediately following the Harry TV campaign.

Sales of Sneak magazine grew from nil to a weekly average of 93,000 after six months,and following two weeks of advertising, prompted brand awareness was strong.

Such a strong record of effectiveness in 2002 belies the myth that Mother is a creative hotshop whose one joke is more effective with creative awards jurors than actual consumers.

That said, the agency won more than its fair share of accolades in 2002.

At Creative Circle it took Gold for the Dr Pepper 'Emergency' ad, while Supernoodles and the Schweppes series of press ads took a host of silver and bronze awards - as they did at D&AD. At the British Television Advertising Awards Mother walked away with Gold for Supernoodles 'Face Off', a spoof on the musical West Side Story in which the Super Noodles gang take on the puny Salad gang.

The only blot on Mother's copy book in 2002 was the demise of ITV Digital, and the technical loss of pounds 27m in billings. Given the popularity of Mother's ads and the Monkey icon it created for the ill-fated TV platform, blame for this cannot be laid at the agency's door. It handled the subsequent PR over disputed ownership of Monkey with aplomb, making ITV, not for the first time in 2002, look slow, arrogant and greedy.

DELANEY LUND KNOX WARREN

Delaney Lund Knox Warren was one of the most admired agencies in 2002, even if it was just beaten to the top honours. …

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