Campaign’s Agency of the Year Awards returned as an in-person event for the first time since before Covid, with 400 guests attending the black-tie dinner at The Brewery in Moorgate in the City of London.
The awards celebrated 2021’s best agencies, with Uncommon Creative Studio picking up two top prizes: Creative Agency of the Year – for the second year running – and Independent Agency of the Year.
Goodstuff Communications, which was also an independent until its sale to Stagwell Group in January, came out on top in Media Agency of the Year after triumphing in a highly competitive shortlist.
Neverland became Campaign’s inaugural Start-up Agency of the Year, a new category for 2021.
Publicis agencies scored highly in the People categories as Karen Martin, chief executive of BBH, and Natalie Cummins, chief executive of Zenith, won heads of agency for creative and media respectively.
Debbie Klein, group chief marketing, corporate affairs and people officer at Sky, was chair of judges for the UK Agency of the Year Awards and two dozen marketers took part in the judging.
She said in an address at the awards ceremony: “Some of the judging decisions were incredibly difficult. We had differences of opinions but, in the end, we landed on some really strong winners.”
Klein, who has high-level agency experience as a former CEO of Engine in Europe and Asia, said three themes emerged during the judging process:
- Agencies delivered business results that were “nothing short of spectacular” and showed “the agency business is certainly alive and well and thriving” after two years of the pandemic.
- The “quality of the work” impressed. “We saw tons of great creative” and “ambitious, innovative, new thinking for brands”.
- There were “some really big improvements” around people, well being, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability. Some agencies are “far ahead of their clients,” Klein noted.
Campaign runs the Agency of the Year awards in markets around the world, including the United States and Asia-Pacific, as well as the Global AOY awards.
Below is the full list of categories – click on the links to find out the winners:
Brand Experience Agency
Customer Engagement Agency
Digital Innovation Agency
Integrated Marketing Agency
Performance Marketing Agency
PEOPLE & TEAMS:
Head of Agency (Creative/Advertising)
Head of Agency (Customer Engagement)
Head of Agency (Digital)
Head of Agency (Media)
New Business Development Team/Person
Corporate Communications/Marketing Team