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Strategic Planner of the Year 2020: Andy Nairn

Lucky Generals' co-founder has made it two in a row as he takes the 2020 award.

Strategic Planner of the Year 2020: Andy Nairn

Co-founder, Lucky Generals 

For the second year in a row, Andy Nairn has been named Campaign’s Strategic Planner of the Year. He continues to speak out on a range of vital issues facing the industry, such as diversity, start-up culture and effectiveness.

He advised brands of the need to put action before words, demonstrating this with #BuyYourPubARound, a campaign aimed at saving people’s locals during the pandemic by encouraging punters to put money behind the bar for some much-needed cashflow. The campaign received national press coverage and inspired a more formal AB InBev campaign.

Judges described Nairn as “outstanding”. They were particularly impressed by how his creative and strategy work has focused on charitable initiatives, most noticeably for the Co-op, which features emotive campaigns highlighting food poverty and the plight of hungry children. These contributed to the client’s phenomenal growth, with Co-op’s market share reaching its highest level in almost two decades. 

There was other meaningful pro bono work, including for script writer, film director and philanthropist Richard Curtis, aimed at getting people to question where their pensions are invested, and the development of a new brand identity, positioning and advertising for environmental research charity Earthwatch. 

Nairn made his mark on the diversity front, too, launching recruitment initiative “The Barracks”, which is aimed at combating a lack of socioeconomic diversity within the industry. 


Finalists

Martin Beverley, chief strategy officer, Adam & Eve/DDB

Beverley strategically led 15 new business wins across 8 new sectors in 2020 as well as helping to deliver the agency's largest number of campaigns in a year ever. But his influence on the agency in 2020 went above and beyond awards and business wins. He put people’s wellbeing first and embedded D&I into the heart of the strategy department, while overseeing a team of 33 working from home. 

Richard Huntington, chief strategy officer, Saatchi & Saatchi

Huntington made some bold strategic moves over 2020, helping Direct Line retire its most effective campaign and replacing it with one that is already outperforming it within six months of launch. This was tempered by more reactive strategic choices, helping the likes of BT and Marie Curie respond to lockdown challenges. Huntington’s expertise also brought in some major new business. 

Gen Kobayashi, chief strategy officer, Engine Creative 

Kobayashi joined Engine Creative at the start of the pandemic. In that time, he has made his mark, bringing together a team of strategists across a broad range of backgrounds including CRM, brand, communications strategy and content. His broader contribution to the industry has included a focus on promoting greater diversity within the strategy discipline.

Michael Lee, chief strategy officer, VCCP

Lee’s focus on providing escapism, optimism and entertainment during the most challenging months of 2020 led to several highly successful and memorable campaigns, including Meerkat Music’s Take That virtual reunion and Domino’s Staycation Domination campaign. He also bolstered the agency’s performance marketing expertise, hiring the agency’s first-ever chief data officer.

Dylan Williams, chief strategy officer, Droga5 London 

Williams helped guide Droga5 London to its strongest-ever annual growth, building on the agency’s reputation for thought leadership, cutting-edge creativity and commercial effectiveness. There was growth from new business wins and an expansion of work from existing clients including Barclaycard and Amazon, with campaign highlights including the agency’s first Super Bowl spot “Before Alexa” for Amazon.

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