Marketing Agency of the Year 2012: Ad Agency of the Year - BBH

Marketing, December 12, 2012 | Go to article overview

Marketing Agency of the Year 2012: Ad Agency of the Year - BBH


The agency has regained the crown it was once so used to wearing, after a stand-out 12 months in which its creativity was matched by the returns delivered for its clients, writes Alex Brownsell.

Remarkably, for an agency with such a prestigious reputation, it has been seven long years since BBH was last named Marketing's Ad Agency of the Year. That previous win, in 2005, was its third in five years, a golden run that include scooping the inaugural prize in 2001.

It is particularly apt that BBH should return to the summit of UK advertising in this, its 30th year, when its two remaining founders, John Hegarty and Nigel Bogle, agreed to sell their remaining 51% stake in the agency to Publicis Groupe. In reclaiming the throne from younger upstarts such as VCCP, it shows that BBH is taking to its new-found elder statesman status with aplomb.

In a stand-out 12 months BBH has excelled in effective creative output for clients such as Unilever, Diageo, Audi and British Airways, as well as its much talked-about 'Three Little Pigs' campaign for The Guardian.

'This was a year in which BBH made mastering the art of effective creativity look easy,' noted one judge.

In the case of BA, the agency hit a sweet spot with its tongue-in-cheek 'Home advantage' concept, encouraging consumers to stay in the UK during the Olympics in support of Team GB. A memorable ad depicted a BA plane crossing Westminster Bridge, while social-media activity was based on the hashtag #homeadvantage.

BA marketers were pleased with both results, suggesting an increase in positive sentiment and a greater inclination to fly with the airline.

For Unilever, BBH helped Lynx - or Axe, as it is known internationally - to deliver strong results for its Excite and Anarchy fragrances. In the case of Excite, its 'Angels' ads delivered total brand growth of 4.76%, returning EUR2.36 for every EUR1 spent on media.

'This is clearly an agency at the top of its game,' one judge said 'After 12 months of producing impressive business growth and work that demonstrably helped its clients' business blossom, this agency justifiably exudes confidence. …

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