Last year, the Maxxcom-backed agency ranked 40th among the top 50 agencies in the Gunn Report, an annual tabulation of award winners from the top international and national creative competitions.
The Miami-based shop scored heavily with the BMW Mini print and TV campaign, along with work for Ikea and the American Legacy Foundation, said Donald Gunn, a former Leo Burnett Co. creative director and longtime analyst of award-winning creative work.
In a superb year for U.S. agencies to bring home creative prizes, several other U.S. shops staged comebacks. Havas' Arnold Worldwide Partners, Boston, moved up to No. 4 from No. 18 last year and Publicis Groupe's Fallon, Minneapolis, jumped to No. 12 from 35. Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners had fallen off the top 50 agency offices chart last year, but campaigns for General Motors Corp.'s Saturn and Hewlett-Packard Co. brought the San Francisco shop back up to No. 22 this year. Crispin Porter displaced last year's most-awarded agency, independent Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, but Wieden still finished in third place behind TBWA, Paris.
At the global-network level, BBDO Worldwide kept the top spot for the second year in a row but Omnicom sibling TBWA Worldwide was a serious challenger for the top slot for the first time.
"TBWA had three agencies in the top 10-in France, the U.K. and the U.S.-and that's unprecedented," Mr. Gunn said. "But the winning network also needs global coverage. All TBWA's points came from 10 countries. BBDO had award-winning work from 24 markets."
Mr. Gunn monitors 32 TV and 20 print competitions to rank the best-performing networks, individual offices, countries, commercials and print ads (gunnreport.com). By Mr. Gunn's point system, the U.S. garnered almost twice as many points this year as the next-highest scorer, the U.K.
The single most award-winning commercial was Peugeot's "Sculptor" by Havas' Euro RSCG Mezzano Costantini Mignani, Milan, Italy. In the spot supposedly set in India, a young man batters his cherished car with blowtorches and elephants until it resembles the Peugeot he saw in an ad. The No. 2 spot, "Metamorphosis" by Interpublic Group of Cos.' VegaOlmosPonce, Buenos Aires, traces the Axe Effect that renders men who use Unilever's Axe body spray irresistible all the way to the grave, creating lust among the maggots.
The most awarded print ad was a Levi's campaign from Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Singapore, with the headline, "Classic men's jeans now recut for women." The ads show the naked torsos of a man and a woman emerging from the waist of the same pair of jeans.