The Directory Big Won Creative Rankings 2011: Colenso BBDO, Auckland ranked #5 agency; Clemenger BBDO Melbourne ranked #10; Australia ranked #4 country, NZ ranked #9


Thumbnail image for WORTHINGTON-GARRETT-CANNES.jpgColenso BBDO, Auckland is ranked an impressive #5 in the annual The Directory Big Won Creative Rankings 2011.

The agency, headed by creative chairman Nick Worthington (far left) – who is ranked #1 ECD in the world in 2012 – and managing director Nick Garrett (near left), was also ranked #1 direct agency in the world.

Australasian shops took the top 3 spots in the direct agency in the world chart, with Draft FCB New Zealand at #2 and Clemenger BBDO Melbourne at #3. In addition, BMF Sydney was placed #6 and Mark/M&C Saatchi Sydney was ranked #8..

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne was ranked #10 agency in the world, #3 direct agency in the world and equal #4 in the top Alternative/Innovative Agency chart. The agency’s ECD Ant Keogh was ranked #4 ECD in the world.

Draft FCB New Zealand took the #21 agency in the world spot and ranked #2 direct agency in the world. Agency ECD James Mok was ranked #7 ECD in the world.

Majority Aussie-owned Droga5 New York was raked #2 in the top Integrated Agencies chart, Leo Burnett Sydney was ranked #3 and Grey Melbourne was placed #9.

Australia was ranked #4 country, behind the USA, UK and Germany, with New Zealand taking the #9 spot.

The 2011 rankings are compiled from some 6,000 awards won by 4,048 campaigns on behalf of 2,461 clients by 1,302 agencies rewarding the efforts of 272 Chief Creative Officers, 690 Executive Creative Directors, 2,373 copywriters and 2,472 art directors.

2012 was certainly a big one for the BBDO network: BBDO New York regained No.1 status from sister agency AlmapBBO Sao Paulo, No.1 in 2010, by winning awards for ten separate brands in TV, Press, Radio, Direct Marketing, Integrated Media, Digital, Mobile, Design and Alternative & Innovative categories.

The ‘traditional’ agency no longer exists. All agencies are driven by decreasing budgets and by the migration of audiences to find solutions to their clients’ problems in areas other than the ‘traditional’ response of TV and print.

So we see DDB London, a regular top agency in the Big Won rankings of the past through its press and TV now ranked the 5th most successful Digital agency in the world and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO similarly achieving a Top 10 ranking as a digital agency and Colenso BBDO Auckland listed as the No.1 Direct agency in the world.

Screen shot 2012-01-11 at 8.28.22 AM.jpg

Screen shot 2012-01-11 at 8.18.35 AM.jpgScreen shot 2012-01-11 at 8.34.29 AM.jpgThough there are many new media categories – with Mobile and Branded Content set to be separate categories in 2012 at more awards shows than just Cannes – the single most popular category remains Press. And in 2011 the most awarded piece of work in the world was a print ad, ‘Heaven and Hell’ for Samsonite, via JWT Shanghai (pictured left).

Droga5, New York’s ‘Decode Jay-Z’ campaign for Bing was ranked #2 campaign across all media. Leo Burnett Melbourne’s ‘See the Person’ campaign for Scope was ranked #9; Colenso BBDO Auckland’s ‘Yellow Chocolate” campaign for Yellow was ranked #11 and Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne’s ‘Break Up’ campaign for NAB was ranked #16.

Executive Chairman of Clemenger BBDO, Robert Morgan, says the rankings affirm the Clemenger Group’s commitment to creativity across all mediums: “Today, ideas are no longer categorised into silos and the Big Won recognises this. BBDO is all about The Work, The Work, The Work. Combined with our international Effies successes during 2011, the Big Won shows unequivocally that great work works.

“The Big Won ranking is seen as one of the most desirable listings in the world because it takes into account an agency’s performance in award shows across all media categories and disciplines. The Report takes into account over 6,000 awards won by 1,300 agencies across the globe,” Morgan said.

“As Australia and New Zealand’s most creative agency network, we are enormously proud to be an integral part of the best creative network in the world, BBDO.” 

The case for creativity

In 2011, James Hurman, Executive Planning Director of Colenso BBDO Auckland, published “The Case for Creativity”. With a statistician’s eye, he has scanned the 2011 Big Won rankings and written a short essay on the results, as he sees them.

He notes that many of the world’s most creative campaigns are also among the most effective:

Out of 4048 creatively-awarded campaigns in 2011, the USA Grand Effie (Old Spice The Man Your Man Could Smell Like) was the 10th most creatively-awarded. The Asian Marketing Effectiveness Awards Platinum (Yellow Pages’ Hidden Pizza Restaurant) was the 40th most awarded. And the IPA Effectiveness Awards Grand Prix (Colombian Ministry of Defence’s Operation Christmas campaign) was the 85th most awarded.

In my part of the world, the New Zealand Effies’ Most Effective Campaign of the Year (NZ Ministry of Health’s The Journal) was the 19th most creatively-awarded campaign in the world, and the Australian Grand Effie (Tontine’s Dated Pillows) was the 64th most awarded.

This presents a case for uncovering the world’s most creatively-awarded campaigns so that we’re able to discuss them, learn from them, and understand the nature of the sorts of communications that will truly stand the best chance of cutting through, engaging and persuading today’s consumers.”

My own research in 2011 showed that the world’s most creatively-awarded agencies won, on average, two and a half times as many effectiveness accolades as less creative agencies. Those findings were corroborated when Effie Worldwide and Warc released their Effie Index, showing BBDO (for many years the Big Won’s most creatively-awarded agency network) to also be the world’s most effective network.

Again these findings are played out in this year’s rankings. The Big Won’s top agency, BBDO New York, is the #2 most effective US agency in the Effie Index (behind Wieden & Kennedy, another top performer in The Big Won). The runner-up, Almap BBDO, won the 2011 Grand Effie in Brazil for their work on Pepsi. #4, Hamburg’s Jung Von Matt, are also #4 in Germany for Effectiveness. Colenso BBDO at #5 is New Zealand’s Effie Index #1. And AMV BBDO is #6 in the Big Won and #3 in the UK in the Effie Index.”

The full text will be available at

Screen shot 2012-01-11 at 8.53.59 AM.jpgThe value of creative awards, then, is not in bolstering the fragile egos of creative people but in indicating which campaigns have, in all likelihood, given their clients real return on investment. And the value of the Directory Big Won rankings is in identifying which agencies are most likely to generate remarkable commercial results for their clients.

The Directory Big Won Rankings has been tracking awards across all media categories since 2006 and ranking agencies by the quantity and quality of creative awards won. Prior to that, as The Won Report, it was an annual analysis of awards won specifically in the field of Direct Marketing.

The Big Won is edited by Patrick Collister, publisher of Directory magazine and former Executive Creative Director of Ogilvy London.