School Reports 2013: Creature London


Score: 7  Last year: n/a

Among the great sweep of start-ups of recent times, Creature London has already made a rather large impression. The 16-strong band, toiling away in Shoreditch, managed to get themselves on some very tasty pitchlists, beat larger rivals in the process and also produced some promising work.

The year started well, with Creature picking up a brief from Adidas to create a campaign to launch a new trainer in its Adidas Originals range. It triumphed in a pitch against Mother and Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and the resulting "Space Diver launch" TV ad by the former Mother creatives Ben Middleton and Stu Outhwaite was a powerful statement of intent. This was followed by a nice spot featuring Snoop Dogg. While its Radio Times activity proved to be a bit of a lame duck, there is already much to be proud of from the diminutive agency’s creative department.

Other fiercely contested wins included, Jordans, Ryvita and, while Creature also found itself pitching for Kerrygold, Macmillan Cancer Support and Giffgaff against established rivals, showing that the new-business function had got off to a very impressive start.

Sweeter still was landing a place on the £10 million Carling shortlist that revealed it wasn’t just quirky or niche brands that were interested in the Creature approach – larger advertisers were too.

Away from the advertising arena, Creature exercised its creative muscles and lived up to its mantra of "making stuff" with a theatre production of Eugene O’Neill’s play The Hairy Ape and the launch of a brand of honey. Similarly quirky – but essentially harmless – stunts can be expected over the coming months. But if this manages to keep Creature and its talented team winning new business and producing distinctive advertising, then who would really begrudge them the odd self-indulgence?

Creature London
Type of agency Advertising
Company ownership Independent
Key personnel Dan Shute managing partner
Ed Warren strategic and creative partner
Stu Outhwaite creative partner
Ben Middleton creative partner
Zoe Verrion business partner
Declared income £410,543 (2011)
Total accounts at year end 9
Accounts won 9 (biggest: Adidas)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 16 (n/a)

Score key: 9 Outstanding 8 Excellent 7 Good 6 Satisfactory 5 Adequate 4 Below average 3 Poor 2 A year to forget 1 Survival in question

How Creature London rates itself: 6

"What a year. There’re a few more of us than there were 365 days ago, we’ve won some stuff, and we’ve made some lovely work for some rather ace new clients. We’ve also published a book, produced a play, taken our own musical to Edinburgh, made a baby, and persuaded a bunch of angry bees to ignore the weather and make some honey. We’re all knackered, a little bit proud, and stupidly excited about 2013."