FCB posted impressive numbers in 2018: Domestic revenue surged nearly 16 percent and globally the agency grew 10 percent. On the new-business front, FCB won more than 130 pitches, including about 100 from its thriving health-care network.
But inside FCB, the figures that mean the most are 4, 5 and 6. Those are the highest scores that creative work can receive under an internal creative scoring system Global Chief Creative Officer Susan Credle installed after she arrived three years ago from Leo Burnett. Under the system, work that scores a 4 is considered proactive, 5 means it
creates behavior and 6 translates to a “never finished idea”—meaning it establishes a platform that can be built on.
FCB leaders gather twice a year to grade work submitted from across the agency network. “It’s actually influencing the way people feel about the company,” Credle says. It helps employees “understand the vision of the company, where we are headed, what’s expected of them. ... If we can be provocative, create behavior in people and build a long-term platform, we are probably doing the best work we can do for our clients.”
In 2018, the Interpublic Group of Cos. shop produced a lot of client-pleasing work. That included “The Whopper Detour” for Burger King, in which it geo-fenced about 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants across the country. When consumers were within 600 feet of a McD’s, they could order a one-cent Whopper through BK’s app. The effort from FCB New York sought to turn McDonald’s ubiquity into an asset for Burger King.
The team asked, “‘How do we use McDonald’s size to our good?’” Credle says. The work drove 6 million app downloads while gaining widespread media attention and drawing 2 billion impressions globally, the shop says. Marcelo Pascoa, BK’s global head of brand marketing, praised FCB’s ambition, telling Ad Age last year, “We love ideas that when the idea gets to us we say, ‘How the heck are we going to pull this off?’”