Agency A-List 2010

Creativity's Honor Roll: Five Agencies That Stood Out

Highlights From More Top Shops in 2010

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With new CEO Andrew Keller at the helm, CP&B continues to produce some of the most-talked-about work around. Getting Domino's customers to say its pizza tasted gross, then ripping up the recipe and starting again was one of those knife-edge ideas that's either insanity or sheer genius -- and it proved to be the latter, particularly after a taste test that showed customers preferred the new pizza to Pizza Hut's or Papa John's. It all added up to the single best year in Domino's 50-year history.

Promoting Bolthouse Farms' Baby Carrots as if they were junk food also struck a chord in the national media. Truly integrated, the work spanned junk-food-style packaging, vending machines, a video game and online an comedy show. The agency also developed a new product for Kraft, Macaroni & Cheese for the Grill.


U.K.-based digital shop Dare is no stranger to agency-of-the-year-type lists, but even for a shop with its reliably winning ways, the geographically expanding, genre-bending outfit seemed to have an especially fruitful year in 2010. The agency cut an entrepreneurial path with the launch of Remote Palette, a magical app out of innovation unit Dare Labs that turns an iPad and iPhone into a painter's canvas and palette. In support of the launch of the book "The Fry Chronicles" from British writer, actor and tech patron Stephen Fry, Dare built a different e-reading tool, the MyFry app, which allows readers to access it in a nonlinear, theme-based fashion. For the short-lived (but soon-to-be-resurrected) online multiplayer game "APB," Dare transformed a real live gamer into a flesh-and-blood avatar. A merger with agency MCBD and a new management team position Dare as a potential integrated power player in 2011.


Having completed its fourth full year of business, Droga5 reached a new level of maturity, boasting a successful second office in Sydney, a new president -- former Head of Account Management Sarah Thompson -- and about 115 staffers. The agency continued to turn out category-defying and category-creating work for its clients. Its global work for Puma, for example, included the "Hardchorus" effort featuring singing barroom blokes and Puma "Social," a campaign that recast the brand as outfitter of the "after-hours" athlete. The campaign consisted of spots new merchandise, event spaces and a new media property, the Life Scoreboard, a venture with Viacom. For the launch of Jay -Z's "Decoded," Droga5 worked with Bing and reconceived the idea of outdoor.


London produced some of the year's best spots, including "Your Airline's Got It," a splashy Traktor-directed extravaganza for Virgin Atlantic, and a playful Claymation adventure for Land Rover. But the agency also demonstrated a propensity to leave the confines of advertising as we know it. For LG it created the "Young and Connected" mock soap opera, featuring a series of cheeky online shorts to help promote the brand's sponsorship of Channel 4. "The agency also spawned a new venture, record label Two Black Cats Records, to pair its clients with emerging artists. "Lucky You" from the label's first signing, Le Rev, became the centerpiece of the shop's new campaign for GHD hair stylers, featuring a Cinderella-themed music video directed by Floria Sigismondi.


For TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles, 2010 was a year of breaking new ground—whether launching the Apple iPad, Nissan's electric car or, in an unprecedented move, pulling Pepsi out of the Super Bowl to re-engage with a younger generation. Pepsi's Refresh Project was perhaps the agency's most-impressive achievement.

Other creative highlights included a third season of Gatorade's branded-content initiative, Replay, the first edition of which netted two Grand Prix trophies at Cannes, and was the most-awarded campaign at the festival, and, in a year lacking great single spots, a widely admired commercial for video game "Call of Duty: Black Ops" mingled ordinary, gun-toting people with celebrities such as Kobe Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel.

Also on Creativity's A-List: AgencyTwoFifteen, Forsman & Bodenfors, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Mother New York, Pereira & O' Dell, Johannes Leonardo and Y&R New York. For more on all these agencies, see
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