campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 12 December 2008 12:00AM
The former Hal Riney and Goodby Silverstein & Partners creative has had a stellar year heading Bartle Bogle Hegarty's already successful move into digital. Work for Mentos, Lynx and, in particular, the three Barnardo's TV and online ads that broke towards the end of the year show the value to agencies of creatives who understand how to make film and online work brilliantly together.
2. James Hilton
AKQA has really come into its own in 2008, thanks to both Hilton and his fellow creative director, Daniel Bonner. But it is Hilton whose creative stamp is on some of the agency's best work of the year - Fiat's eco:Drive widget and the Pot Noodle "wool boy" viral, for example. He has also overseen a fantastic series of campaigns, including Pot Noodle "tipping pot" and Nike's Alex Ferguson and Cesc Fabregas work.
3. Andy Sandoz
Digital creatives tend to settle better in ad agencies than the other way around, but when Sandoz paired up with the ex-Mother creative Ben Mooge, a winning partnership was born. The combination of Sandoz's experience in digital and Mooge's traditional ad background is a compelling one, and the agency's work for Nokia, in particular, provides plenty of evidence that the mix is working.
4. Dave Bedwood
One half, along with Sam Ball, of the original top digital creative team at Lean Mean Fighting Machine, Bedwood is still number one on the wish list of every chief executive looking for a top-class digital creative director. The long-overdue decision to let go of its obsession with banners has had a positive impact on the agency's output this year, and on Emirates campaigns in particular.
5. Sam Ball
It's hard to separate Ball from his partner at LMFM, but his irreverent attitude and huge sense of fun is the driver behind a lot of the agency's more lighthearted campaigns. One of the longest partnerships in digital, and still one of the best.
6. Flo Heiss
Heiss' design background makes him a digital wizard, and he can come across as a bit of a diehard techy. But don't be fooled - although he's missed having a traditionally trained partner since James Cooper moved to New York, Dare's work still rates among the best in the business, with campaigns for Sony ("Walkman project") and Sony Ericsson ("who is Johnny X?") of particular note.
7. Seb Royce
One of the UK digital creative old school, Royce remains as passionate about his agency's creative output as he was at the beginning - although can have a tendency to take himself a bit too seriously. Creative highlights this year include "desktop Keeley" for The Sun. Now with the glue chief executive, Mark Cridge, set to take a group role at its parent company, Isobar, Royce's focus on the creative product at glue will become increasingly important.
8. Fernanda Romano
Romano only hit these shores in February, when she joined JWT as a creative director from Lola, but she's already plugged right into the UK scene - she seems to know everyone in digital, and everyone seems to know her. Her background is impeccable - ten Cyber Lions in total and the Cyber Grand Prix in 2005 - but she's yet to make her mark in London, and question marks remain over how much freedom she will have to exercise her undoubted talent at what remains a very traditional ad agency.
9. Gavin Gordon-Rogers
The baby-faced creative director can come across as a bit inexperienced, but his talent is undisputed - in fact, it is Gordon-Rogers and his creative partner, Gemma Butler, who have turned Agency Republic from one of the least, to one of the most creative London digital agencies. Another strong year in terms of output, including the Pimm's "it's sunshine o'clock" and Smart car campaigns.
10. Steve Vranakis
One of the first and still one of the best digital creatives, Vranakis recently paired up with Darren Bailes to take on the day-to-day running of the VCCP creative department. The agency has made a bold bid to embrace digital this year, throwing its hat into the ring on a number of pitches, but the volume and quality of digital work has not quite hit the heights of 2007.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk