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A-List- Most Improved: Y&R New York

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Y&R New York had become pretty much a creative non-entity when Tony Granger was appointed global CCO at the end of 2007. Things started to change, slowly, after Granger recruited ex-TBWA Chiat Day New York CDs Ian Reichenthal and Scott Vitrone in 2008. As of last year, the 87-year old agency was officially back on the creative map. The agency cracked the top five most winning agencies in the Creativity Awards Report in 2010 and was most awarded U.S. shop at Cannes, but, more important, produced award-worthy work for a range of clients across a range of media.

Yep, there was a big, award-winning print campaign involved; the VH1 World of Music series that showed the path to musical superstardom was one of the most awarded campaigns of the year. But the agency's creative output has hardly been one-dimensional. The shop orchestrated a hilarious and hugely buzzed-about campaign for LG to encourage responsible texting among teens. Spots featured James Lipton lending his dignified beard to youngsters with urge them to "give it a ponder;" a digital effort allowed teens of all ages to adopt the ponder beard while video chatting to friends. At the end of the year, the shop also surprised with a stunning spot for LG Kompressor vacuums. A Land Rover campaign eschewed rocks and trees and instead demonstrated how the vehicle protects drivers in more everyday urban situations, like confronting the office sword enthusiast. The shop also orchestrated a virtual pop-up store for Airwalk, a multi-media campaign for Virgin Atlantic documenting flyers' fear of non-Upper Class travel and turned out memorable work for the NHL.

The shop also scored a significant content coup, as Fox renewed its Y'All vs Us series. In 2009, the agency had turned a web site brief for Cellular South into a content-driven integrated campaign that brought high school football rivalries to primetime TV and that also had the agency creating a reality TV series, Head to Head, chronicling one such rivalry.


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