Campaign Agency of the Decade shortlist: Bartle Bogle Hegarty

This week, Campaign is publishing (in no particular order) its shortlist for Agency of the Decade and showcasing the best work from these contenders over the past 10 years. The final agency to make the cut is BBH.

Clowns: ad won Campaign’s Creative Grand Prix in 2017
Clowns: ad won Campaign’s Creative Grand Prix in 2017

From car-driving clowns to The Guardian’s "Three little pigs" spot, Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s outside-the-box approach to advertising has earned it Campaign's Agency of the Year twice in the past decade.

2010: Yeo Valley 'Rap' 

BBH hit the ground running with its first campaign for Yeo Valley, featuring a group of rapping farmers known as the "Yeo Boz".

The quick-lipped farmers sang about cold milk, tractors and wind turbines, repping Yeo Valley’s dairy products. It was created by Simon Pearse and Emmanuel Saint M’leux, and directed by Julien Lutz through Flynn Productions.

2011: Weetabix 'Fuel for big days'

BBH's first work after winning Weetabix saw the brand splash £7m on its "Fuel for big days" campaign.

Positioning the cereal as the "ideal start for dealing with a busy day", the ad followed a nuclear family as they debated over who had the most stressful day ahead.

Described by Campaign as "simple brilliance", the work was written by David Kolbusz and Ed Cole, art directed by Dominic Goldman and Lewis Mooney, and directed by Guy Shelmerdine.

2012: The Guardian 'Three little pigs'

Highlighting its open approach to journalism, The Guardian launched a two-minute epic retelling a classic children’s story.

Covering the story from a journalistic perspective, the ad took a well-known tale into strange new directions, concluding that the pigs were "conspiring to commit insurance fraud, framing the wolf in an attempt to cover their tracks".

It was created by Matt Fitch and Mark Lewis, and directed by Ringan Ledwidge through Rattling Stick.

2013: Axe/Lynx 'Fireman'

Axe (known in the UK as Lynx) launched a heroic spot to promote its latest deodorant, Apollo.

The ad followed a fireman who ran into a burning building to save a woman. However, the pair’s potentially fatal meet-cute is cut short when an astronaut appears, distracting the women and promoting the tagline: "Leave a man, come back a hero."

It was created by Wesley Hawes, Gary McCreadie, Diego Oliveira and Caio Giannella, and directed by Tim Godsall through Biscuit Filmworks.

2014: Dulux 'Colour prohibition'

Dulux took inspiration from the Prohibition era with the aesthetically stunning "Colour prohibition".

Set in a 1920s cityscape where colour was illegal, the ad followed the public’s efforts to smuggle tins of paint without being caught by the police. 

After a team of bootleggers were shut down by gun-wielding cops, one city-dweller stole a tin to paint her house bright blue, leading her neighbour to fall in love with her.

The work was created by Martha Riley and Richard Glendenning, and directed by Christian & Patrick through Park Pictures.

2015: Tesco 'Every little helps' 

Tesco’s first campaign with BBH saw the supermarket revive its "Every little helps" strapline, with the help of Gavin & Stacey’s Ruth Jones.

Following the comic experiences of a family as they powered through the weekly shop, the campaign hoped to highlight Tesco as a brand that was "on the customers’ side".

The ads were created by George Brettell, AK Parker, Matt Moreland and Chris Clarke, and directed by Daniel Kleinman through Rattling Stick.

2016: Samsung 'School of Rio'

2016’s Olympic and Paralympic Games prompted Samsung to revive its "School of..." concept starring Jack Whitehall.

The series of five spots saw Whitehall interact with Olympians Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sir Steve Redgrave and Ellie Simmonds as he attempted (and ultimately failed) Olympic sports including cycling, boxing and rowing. 

2017: Audi 'Clowns'

2017 will go down in history as the year of the clown. While the cinematic release of Stephen King’s It saw terrifying clowns stalk street corners across the globe, Audi sent in the clowns for a multimillion-pound campaign.

The ad followed a cavalcade of clowns as they caused mayhem on the streets, with all potential road accidents avoided thanks to Audi’s tech-savvy cars.

The soundtrack was a cover of Stephen Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns performed by Irish singer Lisa Hannigan, while the work was written by Doug Fridlund and art directed by Mikael Alcock. 

2018: Justice4Grenfell 'Three billboards for Grenfell'

Three billboards: Ad aimed to keep Grenfell fresh in the minds of the public

Almost one year after 2017’s Grenfell Tower fire in London, Justice4Grenfell – the campaign group for the survivors and families – launched a campaign with Bartle Bogle Hegarty's BBH Labs inspired by Ocsar-winning film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Comprising three red billboards and located outside parliament, the work read: "71 DEAD", "AND STILL NO ARRESTS" and "HOW COME?"

2019: Heinz 'Celebrating 150 years of Heinz'

Heinz marked its sesquicentennial (yes, that’s the word for it) with a ketchup-loving spot, set to the tune of I Like It by comedy duo Mike and Bernie Winters.

The spot showed spot-smeared plates from different eras and cultures to show how Heinz has stood the test of time, regardless of what’s for tea.

It was directed by Dom & Nic through Outsider.

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