Global Digital Innovation Agency of the Year: AnalogFolk (UK)

Shop beat shortlist of five to secure prize.

AnalogFolk: delivered successful project for Tommy Jeans
AnalogFolk: delivered successful project for Tommy Jeans

AnalogFolk had its most successful year in 2019. This was no mean feat, given how many plates it managed to keep spinning in order to evolve, innovate and broaden its offering. The agency showed boldness by launching fresh initiatives and bringing in key talent, while sustaining a strong new-business record and doubling its profits compared with 2018.

On the work front, AnalogFolk produced some meaty transformation projects for key clients, such as Diageo, Dyson and HSBC. For Nando’s, it built the restaurant brand’s first ecommerce platform using cutting-edge tech to handle spikes in customer demand. The agency also tripled the size of its BT account by adding digital innovation to its existing customer engagement brief. 

But what was particularly impressive about AnalogFolk’s output was the breadth and diversity of the work on offer. For Nike, it delivered two platform firsts: it brought the brand to TikTok for the first time for the "Stop at nothing" campaign in Italy, encouraging young women to get moving by watching and repeating dance routines. The work delivered more than 100 million views and 46,000-plus user-generated routines posted in response, and attracted a plethora of free media on TV, newspaper and online channels.

The agency also demonstrated that it could deliver in the increasingly important ecommerce space within social media, an arena where many digital agencies’ futures could be won or lost this decade – as shown by work for Tommy Hilfiger. The clothing brand wanted to set its Tommy Jeans products apart online, so the agency strove for "realness" as it sought to engage style-conscious Instagrammers by mirroring their digital behaviours and approaches through a new channel, @TommyJeans. The channel more than doubled its follower target and quickly became the brand’s highest-performance ecommerce channel, having exploded from zero to 125,000 Instagram followers. 

All the while, AnalogFolk managed to double its investment in research and development – something that brought in significant revenue. It launched an agency-wide manifesto, "Stay restless",  to drive change and expanded its partnership with Microsoft to add skills for staff in the realm of artificial intelligence.

It also made strong appointments following the departure of London managing director Ete Davies (who secured a bigger job at Engine). Co-founder and global chief executive Bill Brock stepped in to take the UK reins himself before finding permanent replacements for both Davies and himself as London and global leaders respectively. Enter Guy Wieynk, the well-known agency boss, who started a consultancy after his stint as Publicis Worldwide EMEA chief executive, whom Brock anointed as global chief executive. Meanwhile, Wieynk’s fellow AKQA alumna Anna-Louise Gladwell took Davies’ place as London managing director.

Judges' comments included "The submission completely stood out as the agency provides holistic solution, some great innovation and big wins in 2019" and "Very good paper – good results and a breadth of good work; impressive people initiatives and data too".

Finalists

Accenture Interactive (Japan)
Huge (US)
Mindshare (Indonesia)
Mindshare (Vietnam)
Reprise (Hong Kong)