Top Gunns: The Gunn Report 2011

The Gunn Report collates data from the major awards shows around the world to reveal the year's big winners. Here, Donald Gunn analyses its latest findings.

Nike "write the future" by Wieden & Kennedy
Nike "write the future" by Wieden & Kennedy

Perhaps it's not surprising that Nike's "write the future" (Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam) topped this year's film table. But what's really interesting is that the ad scored the highest total points in the history of The Gunn Report. So that's more than "cog". More than "surfer". A new record has been set.

It follows, then, that Nike was always going to do well in the advertisers table. Top of the pack, it scored the highest points total for 12 years, relegating the previous ten-times winner, Volkswagen, to second spot. Tellingly, a newcomer to the table, Google, came third. (And maybe Google should get a special prize in 2011 for reinventing the demo.)

Another surprise was China's dominance at the top of the print table. The brilliantly art directed Samsonite campaign from JWT Shanghai shows that China's economic rise is starting to be matched by a new creative momentum. Japan and Thailand have always put in strong performances, but now we are seeing China and India coming through.

The US is always very dominant and has been more or less uncatchable since digital became part of The Gunn Report. And, at Cannes, the consensus was that the UK didn't perform well, but we are just seeing other countries catching up.

"The man your man could smell like" was one of the best-known and best-loved campaigns of 2010, conquering in the film category last time round. In 2011, the Old Spice "response campaign" by W&K Portland took the top spot in the digital table.

There was an interesting three-way tie at the top of the All Gunns Blazing table (our name for integrated, innovative, Titanium et al) - Microsoft Bing "decode Jay-Z with Bing" (Droga5, New York), Dortmund Concert Hall "concert milk" (Jung von Matt, Hamburg) and Old Spice again.

One and the same network took the first two places in our agencies table - the first time this has happened. And it was a network with 20 times fewer offices than the rest. Number one was W&K (Amsterdam) and number two was W&K (Portland, New York). W&K in London and in Tokyo also made the top 50. Imagine if W&K had 20 offices.

In our table for agencies in digital (where, by the way, the share of total points going to specialist digital agencies, versus mainstream agencies, declined from 54 per cent in 2008 and 2009 to just 22 per cent in 2011), three of the top four places went to the US. Bartle Bogle Hegarty (New York) and R/GA (New York) took the top spots (along with AKQA in London), with W&K (Portland) in fourth. The next three places all went to Japanese shops.

Finally, in what is the "headline" table for some (especially in New York, Paris and London), agency networks, only six points separated the four networks coming fifth to second. W&K came fifth with 119 points, Leo Burnett fourth (as for past two years) with 121 points, Ogilvy & Mather third (as for past two years) with 124 points and DDB second (as for past two years) with 125 points.

BBDO notched up a grand total of 180 points to become the most-awarded agency network in the world in 2011. In the 13 years of The Gunn Report, DDB has topped the networks table twice, with Leo Burnett and TBWA once each. BBDO won all the other nine times, suggesting its mantra - "the work, the work, the work" - isn't just a slogan but more a way of life. And it sure beats the hell out of "the meetings, the meetings, the meetings" or "the politics, the politics, the politics" as a way to run an advertising agency.

Donald Gunn is the founder of The Gunn Report.

Rank Brand/campaign Agency Ad pts
1 Nike "write the future" Wieden & Kennedy (Amsterdam) 38
2= Heineken "the entrance" Wieden & Kennedy (Amsterdam) 16
2= T-Mobile "welcome back" Saatchi & Saatchi (London) 16
4 Old Spice "questions", "boat" Wieden & Kennedy (Portland) 14
5= Google Chrome "speed tests" BBH (New York),
Google Creative Lab (NY) 13
5= Volkswagen Passat "the Force" Deutsch LA (Los Angeles) 13

Rank Brand/campaign Agency Ad pts
1 Samsonite "heaven and hell" JWT Shanghai 15
2 FedEx "neighbours" DDB Brasil (Sao Paulo) 13
3 Harvey Nichols "accessories
required" Y&R Dubai 12
4= Microsoft Bing "decode
Jay-Z with Bing" Droga5 (New York) 11
4= Land Rover "passport stamps" RKCR/Y&R (London) 11

Rank Brand/campaign Agency Ad pts
1 Old Spice "response campaign" Wieden & Kennedy (Portland) 18
2 Zenith Independent Band
"Sour/Mirror" Masashi Qanta Saquoosha
Hiroki (Tokyo) 15
3= Google Chrome "speed tests" BBH (New York), Google
Creative Lab (NY) 14
3= Mini Countryman "Mini getaway" Jung von Matt (Stockholm) 14
5 Uniqlo "Uniqlo lucky line" Dentsu (Tokyo) 13

Rank Brand/campaign Agency Ad pts
1= Microsoft Bing "decode
Jay-Z with Bing" Droga5 (New York) 17
1= Dortmund Concert Hall
"concert milk" Jung von Matt (Hamburg) 17
1= Old Spice "the man your man
could smell like" Wieden & Kennedy (Portland) 17
4= WWF "save as WWF" Jung von Matt (Hamburg) 14
4= Nike "write the future" Wieden & Kennedy (Amsterdam) 14

Rank Rank Agency Winner Winner Winner Winner Total
2010 Pts TV Pts Pts Pts
print digital AGB
1 - Wieden & Kennedy
(Amsterdam) 37 - 7 6 50
2 3= Wieden & Kennedy
(Portland, New York) 22 1 12 10 45
3 1 AlmapBBDO (Sao Paulo) 11 23 4 4 42
4 11= Del Campo Nazca
Saatchis (Buenos Aires) 21 6 3 6 36
5 11= Jung von Matt (Hamburg,
Berlin, Dortmund) 5 3 5 19 32

Rank Rank Agency Pts
1= 19 AKQA (London) 13
1= - Bartle Bogle Hegarty (New York) 13
1= - R/GA (New York) 13
4 8 Wieden & Kennedy (Portland) 12
5 9= Dentsu (Tokyo) 11

Rank Rank Agency Film Print Digital AGB Total
1 1 BBDO 75 59 15 31 180
2 2 DDB 38 58 16 13 125
3 3 Ogilvy & Mather 59 38 12 15 124
4 4 Leo Burnett 52 34 10 25 121
5 11 Wieden & Kennedy 69 2 32 16 119

Rank Rank Agency Winner Winner Winner Winner Total
2010 Pts TV Pts Pts Pts
print digital AGB
1 2 Nike 33 - 30 15 78
2 1 Volkswagen 23 24 12 6 65
3 - Google 15 2 28 10 55
4 - Old Spice 12 - 12 8 32
5 20= WWF 6 3 4 8 21

Rank Rank Director Pts
1 17= Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (UK) 26
2 - Chris Milk (US) 18
3 1 Thanonchai Sornsriwichai (Thailand) 17
4 11= Henry-Alex Rubin (US) 16
5 - Fredrik Bond (UK, US) 15


Nike 'write the future'

Nike eclipsed all other sports brands during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, thanks to a magnificent three-minute film by Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam that was the perfect mix of fantasy and football. Showing Wayne Rooney living in a caravan and including a cameo by Homer Simpson, the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed spot was pure entertainment. It contributed to Nike's number of Facebook fans quadrupling and orders for its products rising 7 per cent globally.

Samsonite 'heaven and hell'

This witty print and outdoor campaign by JWT Shanghai promoted the Samsonite Cosmolite suitcase. The campaign focused on the product's extreme durability. The striking imagery starkly illustrates the contrast between the "heavenly" first-class passenger area on a flight and the "hellish" baggage hold beneath. The suitcase emerges from the hold unblemished. Its many awards included the Press Grand Prix at Cannes 2011. It was written by Marc Wong, art directed by Hattie Cheng and Rojana Chuasakul, and illustrated by Surachai Puthikulangkura.

Old Spice 'response campaign'

This social media campaign featured Isaiah Mustafa, the star of the "the man your man could smell like" ads, interacting with fans via YouTube videos. The campaign, by Wieden & Kennedy Portland, went on to clock up more than 94 million views, making Old Spice the most-viewed sponsored channel on YouTube of all time. Old Spice's Twitter following increased 2,700 per cent, its Facebook fan interaction went up 800 per cent and the traffic to oldspice.com went up 300 per cent.

It was written and art directed by Jason Bagley and Eric Baldwin. The work's awards included a Cyber Grand Prix at Cannes last year.

Microsoft Bing 'decode Jay-Z with Bing'

Droga5 won the Outdoor Grand Prix at Cannes with this work for Microsoft Bing. Combining the promotion of Jay-Z's memoir, Decoded, and Microsoft's search engine Bing, the agency placed every page of the book out in the real world before it hit the shelves, using often unconventional out-of-home activity along with an online hunt via Bing. The campaign kicked off at the Delano hotel in Miami, where a page was fully reproduced on the bottom of its swimming pool, with footnotes imprinted on towels on the surrounding lounge chairs. People who were not in the locations could find them via an online game the agency developed using Bing. Every day, five to ten of the book's pages were revealed in different locations in the real world and online. The work was written by Adam Noel and art directed by Jon Kubik.

Dortmund Concert Hall 'concert milk'

The German advertising agency Jung von Matt encouraged people to experience the 2010/11 classical music season at the Dortmund Concert Hall with their sense of taste.

Based on scientific research on classical music and milk production, members of the orchestra performed classical music to cows milking in a dairy shed. The milk produced was sold in shops as "Dortmund Concert Milk" and offered in nine varieties. Each bottle contained information about the Dortmund Concert Hall season. The "concert milk" campaign scooped a silver Design Lion and silver Integrated Lion at Cannes last year.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the man behind the feature films Amores Perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Babel (2006) and Biutiful (2010), is the first Mexican director to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and by the Directors Guild of America for Best Director. His body of work has received 12 Academy Award nominations. Inarritu directed the multi-awarding-winning "write the future" film for Nike, which set new standards in the provision of entertainment across channels and scooped the Film Grand Prix at Cannes last year.


BBDO had a hugely successful 2011, and the awards were in abundance across the network. It is the most-awarded network in The Gunn Report for the sixth year running and at Cannes for the fifth year running. BBDO was also the most-awarded network last year for the fourth year running in The Big Won and at the Clios. Its awards included the first-ever Effectiveness Grand Prix at Cannes, which Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO scooped last year.