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Boiling down the 180 ads we featured over the course of the past year to pick just four "favourites" is an almost impossible task. But a man's gotta do what a man's gotta
do.... Wieden & Kennedy's Write The Future for Nike was unquestionably the defining ad of the World Cup and unbeatable on almost every level, including imagination, wit, excitement, social comment and suspense. Probably the finest spot of the whole
year in fact.
Wieden & Kennedy triumphed again with its campaign for Old Spice, which established Isaiah Mustafa as one of the most recognisable faces (and bodies) on the planet.
It also prompted numerous spoofs - always the hallmark of an effective ad - including alternative versions from Sesame Street's Grover and The Sun's newspaper "Page 3 Stunna" Rosie Jones. W&K's subsequent social media campaign for Old Spice, in which Mustafa
reappeared in hundreds of individually crafted spots addressing specific comments from fans on YouTube was arguably the most impressive demonstration to-date of the power of one-on-one marketing in the age of social media.
Here in the UK, indie Adam & Eve punched well above their weight with what became one of the most talked-about campaigns of the year, delivering heart-tugging sentiment and
humour for the nation's much loved John Lewis department store. That it's "just an ad" is irrelevant. It's a perfectly pitched emotional snapshot of the life and times of one (imaginary) woman in the 20th century.
And finally, the Sussex Safer Roads campaign by Daniel Cox and Sarah Alexander was a powerful and memorable evocation of the ties of family in a time of crisis. Enormously
effective, and a deserving winner of the popular vote for the first YouTube Ad of the Year.
Many, many other ads just missed out in our selection of the four best of the year. Among those on the shortlist were MCBD's "Miss chief" for Hovis, DDB
Toronto's "Salty" campaign for Knorr, Ogilvy's Conan O'Brien ad for American Express, Saatchi's Welcome Home for T-Mobile, Crispin Porter Bogusky's "Really?" for Windows Mobile, RKCR/Y&R's
Maurice Binder pastiche for Virgin Atlantic, Mother's Cats for Ikea and DDB Paris's Hugh Jackman and Lalo Schifrin spots for Lipton.
Inevitably, the very act of picking four great ads on 45 separate occasions during the course of the year tends to highlight the brilliance of some agencies - and indeed clients - over
others. So we thought we'd go back over the past year and see who really stood out. There was no question whatsoever about which agency stood out as the year's most creative. Work from Wieden & Kennedy appeared no less than 16 times over the course of the year, including four spots for
Nike, making it one of the two most frequently
featured clients. Stella Artois also notched up four appearances, contributing strongly to Mother's nine visits to the Ads of the Week arena.
Among other individual agencies, the creative stand-outs were TBWA\Chiat\Day and Fallon (US and UK), both of whom were featured
seven times. RKCR/Y&R London and Goodby Silverstein appeared five times apiece. Aside from W&K, the most featured network was BBDO, with 13 separate appearances, by five of its offices. BBDO NY was featured four times; AMV BBDO London three times.
However, the most impressive network-wide performance came from DDB, which contributed
11 ads of the week, spread widely between no less than eight separate offices. Y&R also did well, with ten network outings. As already mentioned, the London office contributed half of these, but New York was also a strong performer with three. TBWA also notched up 10
appearances, though largely because of its US outposts. Another strong network performance came from Saatchi & Saatchi, with nine Ads of the Week split between five different offices around the globe. Ogilvy produced seven of our Ads of the Week.
How about the other
networks? In descending order they were Leo Burnett (four), Crispin Porter Bogusky, Grey and Euro RSCG (three each), and Publicis and M&C Saatchi (two each). JWT, McCann and Lowe managed only one. Oh, and no appearances at all by
Draftfcb, although we almost selected
their work for Honda in Australia on two separate occasions... Close but no cigar.
On the brand side, after Nike and Stella Artois, the next most featured were McDonald's, Volkswagen and Old Spice, each of whom appeared three times. At a corporate level, Volkwagen Group took six slots in total as a result of three additional ads for
Skoda and Seat; Unilever had five (for Knorr, Lipton and Dove); Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Cadbury took four apiece.
We'll be updating our Facebook page with new ads over the holidays. New this week are spots by BBH for Audi, by SapientNitro
for Foot Locker and by TBWA\Chiat\Day for Infiniti. If you're at a loose end over the next two weeks, drop by and say hello. Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you again next year!
In the news this past week: Brands &
Reckitt Benckiser established a commanding presence in India with the acquisition of local company Paras Pharmaceuticals, a specialist in OTC healthcare and traditional ayurvedic remedies. RB is paying GBP 460m for the business, a whopping multiple of more than 30 times last year's
earnings. That's quite an exceptional price, but one which RB justifies by the soaring growth within India's fast-developing healthcare market. Paras is already one of India's leading advertisers. Its brands include cold treatment D'Cold, pain intment Moov and anti
fungal cream Itch Guard. It is RB's second major acquisition this year, following in the wake of SSL, maker of Durex and Scholl.
Japanese group Suntory expanded its European drinks business with the acquisition of local rights to Sunny Delight, the
once-infamous juice drink brand. The brand will join the portfolio of Orangina Schweppes, the French soft drinks company acquired by Suntory in 2009. Sunny D will continue to be marketed in the US by private
equity-owned Sunny Delight Beverages Co. Meanwhile GlaxoSmithKline strengthened its sports nutrition business with the acquisition of protein-based sports drink Maximuscle for GBP 162m.
There will be no happy Christmas for Calisto Tanzi, founder of Italian dairy giant Parmalat. The 72-year-old was sentenced to 18 years in prison for a decade-long fraud which led to Parmalat's collapse in 2003 with debts of €14bn. At the time, it was Europe's biggest
ever bankruptcy, wiping out the savings of more than 100,000 ordinary shareholders, many of them pensioners. Tanzi's brother Giovanni and several other former executives of the firm were also found guilty on charges which included the widescale falsification of documents
designed to hide the size of the group's debts. Following its collapse, Parmalat was broken up and relaunched under new management. The Tanzis and other defendants were ordered to pay a total of €2bn in compensation to the new Parmalat group. Tanzi is
unlikely to serve jail time. He plans to appeal against the judgement, a move which is likely to delay execution of the sentence for several years at least.
Diageo is in talks to acquire Turkish drinks company Mey Icki, maker of the country's top-selling
Yeni Raki. An anise-flavoured spirit similar to pastis or ouzo, raki is considered Turkey's national drink. Mey Icki also sells a variety of vodka, whisky and cognac brands and has more than 50% of the Turkish spirits market. The business could fetch a price
of between $2bn and $2.5bn.
McDonalds came under attack in the US from the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest, which has filed a class action lawsuit in California against the fast feeder to stop it from offering toys with Happy
Meals. CSPI claims that the toys trick children into eating food that can do them harm. It follows a ban recently imposed by regulators in the city of San Francisco, where no restaurants may now offer gifts meals for children containing high levels of fat or sodium.
McDonald's denies accusations of deception and said it would vigorously defend "our brand, our reputation and our food" against the latest lawsuit.
In another health-related case, Dannon, the US arm of global diary giant Danone, agreed to pay $21m to settle a state and federal
investigation into charges that it had exaggerated the health benefits of probiotic yogurts and dairy drinks such as Activia. It must drop all claims that the yogurts can reduce the chance of getting a cold or flu. In addition, the company may not promote the digestive benefits of the
product unless it also points out that consumers need to eat at least three servings daily to obtain that benefit.
Deutsche Telekom and Vivendi of France agreed to end a long battle for control of Polish mobile service PTC Era. DT has held a 49% stake
in that business for several years, but Vivendi claimed rights of control under an agreement with the company's former controlling shareholder, local electricity supplier Elektrim. That dispute has raged throughout for more than a decade, eventually prompting the bankruptcy of
Elektrim, and also allowing PTC Era to be overtaken by rival mobile services. Under the new agreement, Vivendi will surrender its claim in return for a cash payment of €1.25bn. As a result, DT will be able to take full control of the business and expects to rebrand it
as T-Mobile during 2011.
French group PPR, owner of Gucci, Puma and the FNAC consumer electronics chain, said it was in negotiations to sell furniture chain Conforama to Steinhoff International of South Africa. PPR has gradually been divesting
lower-margin retail businesses in order to focus its attention of fashion and apparel brands.
Peter Duffy, head of marketing for Audi UK, is leaving to join low-cost airline EasyJet as marketing director. Britvic appointed Pamela Bower-Nye as
international marketing director, with responsibility for the group's expanding presence in Ireland and France.
In the news this past week: Agencies
MDC Partners has bought a majority shareholding in creative boutique 72andSunny for an undisclosed sum. Although the Canadian marketing group has continued to
expand over the course of the past few years with smaller purchases, this is the first sizeable deal for a major independent in several years. Headquartered in Los Angeles, 72andSunny also operates a second office in Amsterdam, where its celebrated "Next Level" viral for Nike Soccer,
helmed by Guy Ritchie, originated last year. Other notable clients include HP, K-Swiss and BlackBerry. Under its new arrangement with MDC it plans to widen its international footprint, becoming a third lead brand alongside MDC's two other flagships Crispin Porter &
and Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners.
More Agencies of the Year. Canada's marketing magazine handed that accolade to indie Sid Lee, best known internationally for its work for Adidas. Campaign India named
& Mather as its Agency of the Year, with Leo Burnett as runner-up. Mindshare was both Media Agency of the Year and Digital Agency of the Year. DDB Group Asia Pacific was Network of the Year for that region, with PHD as Media Network of the Year. In
Germany's annual ranking of most creative agencies by awards, Jung von Matt was this year's winner, with Serviceplan and Heimat in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
Some significant personnel moves. As was already widely anticipated, Dina Howell, formerly VP, global media & brand operations at Procter & Gamble, was named as the
new global CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi X, that network's shopper marketing division. She replaces Andy Murray, who moves up to the role of chairman. JWT finally filled the vacancy of chief creative officer at its New York office, tempting back Peter Nicholson, a
former ECD there until 2007. That role has been vacant since the departure of Ty Montague earlier this year. Lance Jensen, one of the two founders of US creative boutique Modernista, is leaving the agency to become executive creative director of Interpublic-owned
Hill Holliday. Co-founder Gary Koepke remains chairman. Meanwhile, Rick Carpenter stepped down as
president of DDB Chicago in a continuing overhaul of that agency's North American management team. Mark O'Brien, DDB's newly appointed regional president, will step in until a
fulltime replacement can be appointed.
In the UK, Jane Ratcliffe moved up to a new role as chairman of the local outpost of MediaCom. She was succeeded as chief executive by Karen Blackett, previously director of operations for EMEA region. James Leggett was named as managing director of
Ogilvy London; and Charlie Wilson and Emma de la Fosse were named as joint creative heads for the local outpost of OgilvyOne.
WCRS parent company Engine Group acquired its second US digital agency, in the shape of Noise, a specialist in youth marketing with offices in New York and San
the same time, Engine has quietly restructured its UK subsidiaries, merging three of its corporate communications agencies and shuttering financial advertising unit Totem. WPP has been bulking up its US business marketing subsidiary KBM Group with a series of strategic
acquisitions. Digital data shop i-behavior was snapped up last month, followed by CRM agency Marketing Direct this month. KBM, previously known as Knowledgebase Marketing, is a unit of Wunderman.
Regional British media agency Robson Brown appears to have been saved from extinction as a result of a deal with Think BDW, part of The Mission Marketing Group. Robson Brown was closed earlier this month by administrators after it lost its key client,
bed retailer Dreams. However the Robson Brown name and image has been acquired by Think BDW for a nominal sum, and the business is to be resurrected with around half its previous staff.
In account assignments, Hasbro called a review of US media, out of MediaCom; Capital One called a review out of MediaVest. Chipmaker AMD is reviewing
pan-European creative, while Expedia awarded its business in the region to Ogilvy. The Australian outpost of Ikea named Three Drunk Monkeys as its new creative agency. Diageo made some changes to its global roster, shifting Tanqueray
gin to Mother and Captain Morgan rum to Anomaly. Snackmaker Diamond Foods awarded creative and media on its nut and popcorn portfolio to Deutsch LA. BBH resigned the eBay account in Europe after just six months because of
what it said were changes in marketing strategy at the online auctioneer. In the UK, Santander reappointed Engine Group and lead agency WCRS after a review. For all other appointments, subscribers can access the
full Adbrands Account Assignments database here.
In the news this past
Time Inc appointed Randall Rothenberg, previously CEO of the US arm of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, as its first ever chief digital officer, with responsibility for
building growth across all the group's titles. Time is America's biggest publisher with a portfolio which includes People, Sport Illustrated and Fortune, as well as the eponymous weekly news magazine.
Also this week, Time magazine named Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg as its Person of the Year. That choice was controversial, but nothing like as controversial
as the popular vote from Time readers, who selected WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by a wide margin. Time's managing editor Rick Stengel said "In a sense, Zuckerberg and Assange are two sides of the same coin. Both express a desire for openness and transparency.
While Assange attacks big institutions and governments through involuntary transparency with the goal of disempowering them, Zuckerberg enables individuals to voluntarily share information with the idea of empowering them. Assange sees the world as filled with real and
imagined enemies; Zuckerberg sees the world as filled with potential friends. Both have a certain disdain for privacy: in Assange's case because he feels it allows malevolence to flourish; in Zuckerberg's case because he sees it as a cultural anachronism, an
impediment to a more efficient and open connection between people."
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