Anomaly is the creative boutique established by former TBWA global COO Carl Johnson and five partners in 2004. Jointly headquartered in New York and London, it likes to describe itself as a "new model" agency. advertising is just one of the disciplines practised by the company, which has also dabbled successfully in product design, public relations and numerous other fields. It also partners with several entrepreurial start-ups, offering advice and expertise in return for equity investments. It is, for example, co-owner and co-creator of cannabis retailer Dosist. Although it tended to focus for several years on smaller, often more offbeat brands, the agency moved into the big time at the end of 2009 with the capture of the European marketing account for Sony (until 2012). Other international clients have followed. Global Johnnie Walker was a major win at the end of 2014, and the agency has continued to scale up steadily with a string of major additional account gains. (Johnnie Walker moved for a while to sister 72andSunny before returning at the end of 2019). In 2016 it won all 14 new business pitches for which it competed, earning the title of Agency of the Year from AdAge. MDC Partners acquired a majority stake in the agency in 2011 - it acquired full control in 2018 - and the agency opened an additional office in Amsterdam later the same year. Toronto followed in 2012, and then Shanghai from late 2013; and more recently Berlin and Los Angeles. The agency operates several satellite units including Hispanic agency Last Silo, launched in 2016. Johnson became global executive chairman in 2018, passing over the role of CEO to Karina Wilsher, previously COO. Co-founder Mike Byrne is chief creative officer. AdAge estimated global revenues of $189m in 2019, making it the single biggest agency within MDC Partners, overtaking Forsman & Bodenfors, 72andSunny and CP&B. Under the newly created Anomaly Alliance, forged in 2020, the agency is partnered within MDC by PR agency Hunter, branding business Mono, experiential specialist Relevent and digital shop YML.
Capsule checked 14th May 2020
Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets
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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:
Adbrands Daily Update 3rd Jul 2020: "The Great Meal". Coca-Cola's new global campaign from Anomaly is one of the brand's best for years, certainly it's most grown-up. We've been here before with Coke; the idea that "Together Tastes Better", and that getting along is more important than doing your own thing. This latest iteration, though, drops some of the tricksy attention-grabbing that, for example, marked that last ad featuring Natasha Lyonne and battling superheroes. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to identify it as a Coke ad at all until quite late on. Instead the ad celebrates one of the few positives about the lockdown experience (one it seems we shall get to know even better in the coming months): the family meal, wherever in the world it takes place. Does Coke make that meal taste better? Well, probably yes for some. But we can allow some artistic license here. A fine husky voiceover too from up-and-coming actress Soleil Patterson.
Adbrands Daily Update 24th Jun 2020: "Buds Are Back". Oh, the power of a great song! Plus some adorable animals. With commercials production still mostly in lockdown, Anomaly's Canadian outpost have done a fine job of make-do-and-mend to let Budweiser celebrate - let's hope there's cause for it - the re-opening of US bars. The new spot blends clips and out-takes from a selection of past Super Bowl ads featuring the famous Clydesdales and their puppy sidekick. Frankly, they've done such a good job you'd think it must all be new footage. But the real engine of the spot is Queen's matchless 'Don't Stop Me Know'. Just call me Mr Fahrenheit.
Adbrands Daily Update 30th Apr 2020: "New Drinking Buddies". Interesting to note that, as the initial shock dissipates and we all get increasingly used to lockdown, those creative juices are really starting to flow. No surprise to find that the best of these home-confined ads are inspired by alcohol, either in front of the camera or (doubtless) behind it. Anomaly NY creative director Mark Sarosi shot most of this ridiculously entertaining spot for Diageo's Bulleit bourbon in his own home, using fixtures and objects around the house. The whole thing feels delightfully spontaneous and hand-made - um, because, it is - so all credit to Diageo for going with it as a proper ad.
Adbrands Daily Update 17th Mar 2020: "What Your Mama Gave Ya / Nerds". Anomaly NY's ads for Diet Coke are still a little too heavyhanded with their hard sell for our taste, but at least they're getting slowly better, or at least more inventive. And they're a vast improvement on the horrendous to-camera product endorsements that preceded them. Remember them? "Look, here's the thing about Diet Coke: it's delicious and it makes me feel good..." Bleuurgh. At least Anomaly is getting the chance to sprinkle a little creative pixie dust on the blunt demands originating from Coca-Cola marketing department, who seem to fear that Diet Coke drinkers are becoming a social minority who need some ammunition to fend off the social media trolls. OK, say the new ads, so maybe we are mummy's boys or nerds, but what's wrong with that? Mummy's boys and Nerds rock, dude!
Adbrands Daily Update 1st Oct 2019: "You Are Your History". Here's a fine campaign from Anomaly's Berlin office, custom-built to relaunch genealogy service Ancestry in Germany. Local director duo Dorian & Daniel also helmed the excellent collection of spots for Ancestry Canada, one of which we featured here earlier this year. Back on home turf they present a compelling albeit romanticised capsule of one average German family's life over the course of the 20th century. According to the press pack, the agency spent six months researching local history to build up a credible and authentic account from that tumultuous period.
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