Agency A-List: BBH London

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It's tough to sell a newspaper these days, but 30-year-old BBH London doesn't seem to be facing the problems that are marring the fortunes of ink-stained wretches everywhere.

One of last year's best films in advertising came from the London branch of the storied agency, for The Guardian. "Three Little Pigs," directed by Ringan Ledwidge of Rattling Stick updated the classic kids' tale for the new media age and earned accolades across the board and represented the media company's first branding spot in 25 years. The message it conveyed was not a new one--it mirrored the mantra of the newspaper's previous Points of View branding effort from decades before but infused it with the brand's modern day promise of "Open Journalism" approach that marries traditional journalism with citizen viewpoint.

The film was accompanied by graphic print ads that showed, sometimes humorously, how it takes more than just one journalist to provide the 360-degree point of view that the Guardian provides.

From mature media to boyish cologne -- BBH proved it could throw down and do the more sophomoric with the best of them, with its innovative work for Axe (Lynx in the U.K.) A new variant brought women into the mix, with Axe Anarchy For Her and Form Him, via a hotshot, chaotic spot that featured a female cop and a robber. Along with director Tim Godsall, the agency thawed our hearts out with a series of spots for Axe Shower Gel that showed, for once, high-achieving women, and the lengths men would go to to keep up with them. The spots were a bit of a turnaround for the brand, eschewing the T&A approach for one that we think would appeal to a more mature type of man, too.

And then there were the Olympics. BBH and client British Airways had a bigger responsibility this year, considering that the Games were, after all, on their home turf. The "Home Advantage" campaign advised people to do something a bit different--don't travel. Stay at home instead and support Team Great Britain. It was smart branding that made Britons more likely to fly BA next time they did leave home, and the agency reported an 18% increase in "positive sentiment" towards the airline as a result.

Check out the other 2012 Creativity A-List honorees here.

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