Top 20 Planning Departments in Advertising Shortlist (Droga5, FP7, Adam & Eve, AMV, W+K, Ogilvy, Grey, McCann)

Since starting the Planning Dirty newsletter I’ve wanted to find out which agency were doing the best planning in the world. This led me to compile a shortlist of agencies who were consistently winning planning (IPA, Effies, Jay Chiats) and creative awards (Gunn Report). Below is the start of the shortlist of ten agencies, next step I would love recommendations for other agencies to include on the shortlist and then will take it to a vote on the newsletter.

Droga5 New York (CSO Jonny Bauer)

Droga5 New York in the last 5 years crossed over from small independent agency to being one of the biggest agencies in New York. Planning has been at the center of the agency process however they keep a low profile in the media when it comes talking about what they do.

However the results speak for themselves they have had a good showing at the Jay Chiat’s winning across categories from Under Armour I Will What I Want, Airwick ‘Home Is In The Air’, Newcastle Brown Ale ‘If We Made It’, to the Clinton Foundation ‘Not There’.

Adam & Eve DDB London (CSO Alex Hesz)

Adam&Eve are the planning powerhouses of the UK. They have picked up the Grand Prix for the IPA Effectiveness Awards for the last three times with (John Lewis in 2016 and 2012 and Foster’s in 2014) That is in no small part to having Les Binet heading up effectiveness for the agency.

Les is one half of the power duo of Field and Binet that have helped shape advertising effectiveness over the last ten years with their pivotal IPA papers such as ‘Long and Short of It’ and ‘Marketing in the Era of Accountability’.

FP7/DXB Dubai (CSO Tahaab Rais)

Consistently one of the top two agencies in the global Effies Index for the past three years. They were the most effective agency in the world last year. They did this on the back of fully integrated campaigns for Fanta, Coca Cola, SmartLife, Emirates and Sony which all picked up Golds in multiple categories at the MENA Effies.

In an ongoing battle with FP7 to be the most effective agency in the world according to the Effies Index.

Sancho BBDO Colombia (CSO Andres Carvajal)

They are the leaders in advertising effectiveness in South America winning the last four years at the Effies South America. Last year they were able to create iconic work for Visa, Pepsi, Pernod Ricard

Grey London (CSO Matt Tanter)

The agency was behind one of the best performing works last year at Cannes the double Grand Prix winner Volvo Paint. They also consistently perform well at the IPA awards, they were the 2014 IPA Agency of the Year and last year they continued that good form with awards for Sensodyne, Sixt, Volvo and McVite’s. 

This year, Grey London has also changed the name of their agency for 100 days to Valenstein & Fatt in a move to highlight its jewish founders and highlight prejudice that exist in the industry.

BBDO Clemenger Australia (Paul Rees Jones & Kit Lansdell)

The agency consistently performs well in both creative and planning awards. In the last month they were named most awarded agency in the world for D&AD and they also had a clean sweep of the APAC Effies Gold along with sister agency BBDO Colenso.

Their iconic work for Bond’s ‘The Boys, TAC ‘Meet Graham’ and Snickers ‘Hungerithm’ have been global standouts for the last 12 months.

McCann New York (CSO Steve Zaroff)

In terms of transformations, McCann New York has had the biggest in North America over the last 3 years. They have gone from another one of the big network agencies to consistently producing the most talked about pieces of advertising every year. This year it is Fearless Girl, last year Field Trip to Mars. They have been consistently leading the network charge on thought leadership papers under McCann’s Truth Central.

Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam (CSO Martin Weigel)

Wieden+Kennedy’s Amsterdam office has always been a strong point in their network. Producing a lot of the iconic European Nike work.

They have one of the most thought provoking and generous with their time CSO at the helm Martin Weigel. Martin blog Canalside View has been dropping pearls of wisdom for the past 7 years. This is all coming to head soon with Weigel about to author his first book.

AMV BBDO London (Joint CSO Bridget Angear & Craig Mawdsley)

AMV consistently have a great showing in the IPA awards which arguably are the most rigorous planning awards globally. Last year they were able to pick up awards at the IPA for Snickers, Guinness, Pepsi, Sainsbury. Equalling the number of awards with Agency of the Year Adam&Eve.

Ogilvy New York (Head of Planning Colin Drummond)

Ogilvy has made a name for itself as being able to deliver business strategy not just advertising. Going upstream in client organizations they often have a great showing at the planning awards doing much more than just creative work.

New York is the hub for this thinking and it shows in the planning awards that they pick up every year for key clients like IBM, Kimberly Clark and American Express.

I’m interested to hear what others think should be on a shortlist for best agencies for planners, if you have any recommendations let me know.

Next week on the newsletter I’ll have a vote and report back the results. Sign up to the Planning Dirty newsletter to vote and get the latest planning tools and resources fortnightly.