School Reports 2014: Gravity Road

Bombay Sapphire
Bombay Sapphire

Score: 8  Last year: 7

A rather pleasing year for the content start-up, which, after less than two years, is doing its bit to shorten the unemployment lines with a doubling of its staff list in just 12 months. And what’s driving this work?

Success – and lots of it. It must have been particularly gratifying for its founders to see Gravity Road get the acknowledgment that it deserves at awards events, including Cannes – where it won a silver Lion for its work on The Huffington Post – and the Media Week and Campaign Media Awards. It was even nominated for a Bafta (which it won in 2014) and had a comedy TV show – The Anti-Social Network – shown by Channel 4 on its 4oD site (a shame that the channel did not broadcast it to a wider audience, which must have created some irritation given that it appeared to be very much a labour of love).

This clutch of awards seems to have caught the attention of clients who are looking to move into the content space – and while, to some frustration, Gravity Road hasn’t provided billings or revenue figures, we can only assume that this has translated into a healthy bottom line. New advertisers to come through the door included Agent Provocateur, Heat, Grey Goose and Cadbury, while it extended its relationship with Sainsbury’s and Bacardi. It is for the latter that the agency seemed to provide its most high-profile work – its Imagination film competition for Bombay Sapphire, held in association with the Tribeca Film Festival, which invited members of the public to create film concepts for a script provided to them. This innovative global campaign is now in its second year.

Gravity Road has momentum and a growing body of work that should hold the shop in good stead as it reaches maturity.

How Gravity Road rates itself: 8

Gravity Road's year in a Tweet: @HuffPostUK wins @Cannes_Lions @Campaignmag. @BombaySapphire nominated for @BAFTA. Launch @native_play. Lots of new wins = #megaLOLZ

Gravity Road
Type of agency Full-service content
Company ownership Independent
Key personnel Mark Boyd founder
Mark Eaves founder
Samira Ravin commercial director
David Pattison chairman
Declared income n/s
Total accounts at year end 15
Accounts won 8 (biggest: Grey Goose)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 34 (+100%)

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

Footnote: *indicates where agencies claim the corporate governance constraints of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.