Currently London's most admired agency, Adam&Eve DDB was created in 2012 from the merger of the existing DDB London office with fast-expanding independent Adam & Eve. Despite a long-established reputation for creative excellence, the performance of the London outpost of DDB Worldwide had declined significantly since the mid 2000s. Under its previous name of BMP DDB - and before that as Boase Massimi Pollitt - it had been one of the star agencies of the 1970s and 1980s. However, it struggled during 2006 with management problems and a string of account defections. Stability was restored in 2007, but although its creative output remained strong, DDB London seemed unable to restore its lost billings. It continued to tumble down the UK agency rankings. Those concerns were finally erased with what was effectively a reverse takeover of DDB London by Adam & Eve, a plucky independent that had launched four years earlier as a breakaway from what was then RKCR/Y&R. The merged Adam&Eve DDB has retained a position ever since as the UK's most admired creative agency, winning an unprecedented four Grand Prix at the 2014 Cannes Lions festival, and several more in the years since. A&E's four founding partners - CEO James Murphy, chief creative officer Ben Priest and planning partners David Golding and Jon Forsyth - stepped back from the business in 2016 following substantial earn-outs. However, Murphy remains chairman and oversees an American outpost of Adam & Eve. Tammy Einav and Matthew Goff are now co-CEOs; Richard Brim is CCO supported by ECD Ben Tollett. DDB UK Ltd is the parent entity for Adam&Eve DDB, digital satellite Tribal London and production unit Gutenberg. It reported billings of £206m in 2017, gross profit of £78m and net of £6.8m. Nielsen (in Campaign) estimated billings for Adam&Eve DDB of £334m in 2017. That year it was the first agency ever to be named as Campaign's Agency of the Year four times in a row.
Capsule checked 31st October 2018
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Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Nov 2018: Ads Of The Week: "A Boy & His Piano". Well here we are. That annual Christmas milestone has been reached: the new John Lewis - sorry, John Lewis & Partners - ad is out. At first glance, Adam&Eve DDB has proved the doubters wrong. After last year's surprise disappointment, the 2018 Christmas ad is pretty damn wonderful: a celebration of the joy of giving while also providing some form of meditation on one of this country's most beloved musical icons, now just about to embark on his UK Farewell tour. We said 'at first glance' only because we suspect this ad won't look quite as original once the forthcoming 'Rocket Man' biopic is released next summer. There's a different cast and crew for the ad, so it's all original footage, not a clips compilation or promotional tie-in; nevertheless, the similarities are striking. But our Elton is clearly in the mood for some nostalgic reflection just now, and Adam&Eve DDB has managed to strike while the iron is hot. That rumoured (but denied) £5m paycheck probably helped too. All those reservations aside, this is a great film; a worthy successor to previous showstoppers from this retailer and its agency. It's ads like this that justify the fevered anticipation for each year's John Lewis Christmas ad.
Adbrands Social Media 14th Nov 2018: "Hotel Mauritz Ep 1". H&M's Christmas campaign, from Adam & Eve DDB, will encompass six 30-second spots set in the fictional Hotel Mauritz. (Fun fact: H&M stands for Hennes & Mauritz; Hennes - "Hers" in Swedish was the original womenswear business, which acquired Mauritz Widforss menswear in the late 1960s). Here's the first of the series, featuring the quirky and always watchable American actress Aubrey Plaza. It's fine, but not really up to some of this retailer's (or its agency's) past hits. It remains to be seen how the series plays out. A new episode will drop each week until Christmas.
Adbrands Weekly Update 4th Oct 2018: Ads of the Week "Five & the Missing Jewels". For Great Western Railways, which serves London and the South West of England, Adam&Eve DDB had the bright idea last year of resurrecting Enid Blyton's "Five" gang of prepubescent adventurers. That might not sound like such a great concept unless you were brought up on those books, but actually it worked rather well, even for non-believers, and this follow-up is even better. A major contributing factor is the excellence of the animation, sharper and more detailed than the first ad, and looking like it could almost have been an out-take from Disney's classic 101 Dalmations. The story is superior too - the Five are on the trail of a dastardly jewel thief this time, rather than naughty old Timmy the dog - and the picture-postcard rendition of Bath's Roman Baths, Clifton suspension bridge, and especially a magically compressed London skyline is very fine indeed.
Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Sep 2018: Ads of the Week: "Champions Rise". You might need to break out the headache pills after watching this frenetic, brain-busting new spot for EA Sports' FIFA 19 game. It looks like Adam&Eve DDB assigned creative oversight to a group of highly skilled but hyperactive teenagers on speed. Fast-paced doesn't begin to describe it, but you might just spot cameo appearances from the cream of Premier League football and its international counterparts. The roll call includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr, Kylian Mbappe, Kevin De Bruyne, Paulo Dybala, Pep Guardiola, Steven Gerrard, Alessandro Del Piero, Quavo and Joel Embiid etc etc etc. Phew... now we're going off for a lie-down.
Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Sep 2018: Ads Of The Week: "Bohemian Rhapsody". After last year's disappointingly weak Christmas ad, John Lewis comes thundering back to full form - and so does agency Adam&Eve DDB after a few less impressive offerings - with a spectacular musical version of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. The reason is the launch of the John Lewis Partnership's revamped brand identity, in which department store John Lewis and supermarket Waitrose have adopted a shared "& Partners" tag to reflect the fact the business is actually owned by its staff - known internally as "partners". Yes, well that's the reason, but the ad far transcends such matters, as an ordinary school concert is transformed with some wholly brilliant staging. It's the best Christmas ad John Lewis never made; and no doubt will inspire numerous head teachers to try something similarly ambitious for 2018's end of year concert...
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