Agency A-List 2015

Creativity Innovators of the Year 2015: R/GA London

AOY 1st Runner-Up Is Force to Be Reckoned With - and Not Just in Digital

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A worthy runner-up to Droga5 this year, R/GA London this year pulled off a feat every agency surely dreams of – helping to make a brand so cool that Apple acquires it.

When Apple bought headphone brand Beats this year for $3 billion, Tim Cook described the its Beats Music streaming service as "the first subscription service to get it really right."

The acquisition took place just three years after R/GA started working with the client, and it was the 170-strong London office that worked heavily on the development of Beats music, which curates music to the user's tastes using innovative algorithms.

The Beats Music App became the #1 music app in iTunes on the first day of launch; accolades included Wired calling it "the death of the mixtape." The platform bagged a gold, three silver and two bronze Lions at Cannes.

Although it works with its U.S. parent on the brand, R/GA London's work for Beats wasn't confined to the streaming service; London proved that the agency is no longer just a digital hotshot. It also created broadcast work in league with the best of traditional shop, with a highly successful campaign for Beats' Pill wireless speakers, and ads for the Beats brand. The latter included the stunning pre-FIFA World Cup film featuring Brazilian soccer star Neymar. The film rated no 3 in Creativity's best of 2014 and stood out boldly in the sea of World Cup promotions. It featured Neymar listening to music on his Beats headphones as he goes through his pre-tournament rituals, and also celebrates pre-game motions from fans around the world.

Also around the World Cup, R/GA London helped Google create a World Cup Trends Newsroom with the aim of turning game data into infographics. The London team led tech, design, strategy, planning and creative for the project, basing itself in San Francisco for the World Cup to be closer in time zones to Brazil. It produced over 1000 stories, earning just over 3.4 billion impressions.

Another digital highlight was R/GA's @wherenext? app for Heineken. The Twitter-based tool aims to help consumers make the most of whatever city they are in, by finding out where other people think is hot. Based on a unique algorithm that listens to social activity across Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare, analyzes emerging trends and matches them to users' locations, it left other brands scrambling to follow in its wake with apps targeting the "FOMO" generation.

R/GA London agency says it views digital as "the DNA that flows through all of our work, whether it's a Super Bowl spot for Beats or a Twitter-based mobile service for Heineken." All of which makes it a force to be reckoned with, and an agency we'll be watching closely in future.

See the other Creativity 2015 Innovators of the Year.