Top Gunns: The Gunn Report 2013

Metro trains' "dumb ways to die" was a ubiquitous presence in the 2013 Gunn Report. The campaign took high positions in all the ads league tables, claimed a number one for McCann in the agencies list and propelled Australia to second place in the countries table for the first time ever, Donald Gunn writes.

Donald Gunn
Donald Gunn


The winning score of 63 points was one of the highest ever recorded, and not one but two agencies managed this tally. It was the first-ever tie for top position in the agencies table. The joint winners were McCann (Melbourne) and Wieden & Kennedy (Portland and New York), but the basis for their triumphs were very different.

Of McCann’s 63 points, all but two came from one single campaign: Metro trains "dumb ways to die".

What is totally unprecedented is that this same campaign was top or nearly top in all four of The Gunn Report’s ads tables. "Dumb ways to die" was the winner in film and digital, joint third in print and second in All Gunns Blazing (integrated, non-traditional media, titanium et al).

W&K’s 63 points, in contrast, came from just about the broadest range of blue-chip brands and clients that any agency could ever hope to boast – Nike, Southern Comfort, ESPN, Old Spice, Procter & Gamble, Oreo, Laika, Dodge and Delta Air Lines among them. W&K also topped the agencies table in 2012.

The UK’s three highest-ranking agencies were all in the global top 20. Bartle Bogle Hegarty came joint fifth, Ogilvy & Mather London was 13th and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO came joint 15th. For O&M London, it was its first time in the top 50 agencies table since 1999 (when it came 45th).

The most-awarded agencies in the world 2013
2013 2012 Agency Winner
pts film
pts print
pts digital
pts AGB
1= McCann (Melbourne) 18 8 15 22 63
1= 1 Wieden & Kennedy (Portland, New York) 42 10 11 63
3 4 AlmapBBDO (São Paulo) 18 19 10 47
4 21= Ogilvy Brasil (São Paulo) 9 10 7 17 43
5= 3 Bartle Bogle Hegarty (London) 25 6 2 4 37
5= 9= Clemenger BBDO (Melbourne, Sydney) 20 5 6 6 37


For the eighth year, BBDO was the top network. Its mantra is: "The work. The work. The work." Results suggest that this isn’t just a slogan but a way of life. It sure as hell beats "The meetings. The meetings. The meetings" or "The politics. The politics. The politics" as the way to run an agency.

The most-awarded networks in the world 2013
2013 2012 Network Winner
pts film
pts print
pts digital
pts AGB
1 1 BBDO 88 44 39 34 205
2 3 Ogilvy & Mather 43 59 29 40 171
3 2 DDB 56 38 28 25 147
4 4 Leo Burnett 36 40 10 45 131
5 10 McCann 40 28 30 31 129


The most-awarded in the world 2013
Rank Brand/campaign Ad pts
Film ads
1 Metro "dumb ways to die" McCann (Melbourne) 32
2 Southern Comfort "whatever’s comfortable – beach" Wieden & Kennedy (New York) 26
3 Carlton Draught "beer chase" Clemenger BBDO (Melbourne) 20
4= Axe/Lynx "Susan Glenn" Bartle Bogle Hegarty (New York) 18
4= Leica M Monochrom "soul" F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi (São Paulo) 18
Print ads
1 Expedia "luggage labels" Ogilvy & Mather (London) 18
2 Harvey Nichols "pelicans" Y&R (Dubai) 17
3= Coca-Cola "#Cokehands" Ogilvy & Mather (Shanghai) 15
3= Metro "dumb ways to die" McCann (Melbourne) 15
3= The Sunday Times "Rich List" CHI & Partners (London) 15
Digital ads
1 Metro "dumb ways to die" McCann (Melbourne) 28
2 Nike "Nike+ FuelBand" R/GA (New York) 24
3 Adidas Neo "window shopping" TBWA\\Helsinki 14
4= Google/Lego "build with Chrome" M&C Saatchi/Mark (Sydney) 13
4= JFK Presidential Library and Museum "clouds over Cuba" The Martin Agency (Richmond, Virginia) 13
All Gunns Blazing
1 Hemoba/Vitória FC "my blood is red and black" Leo Burnett Tailor Made (São Paulo) 39
2 Metro "dumb ways to die" McCann (Melbourne) 27
3 Nike "Nike+ FuelBand" R/GA (New York) 18
4 Sport Club do Recife "immortal fans" Ogilvy Brasil (São Paulo) 17
5 Samsung Life Insurance "bridge of life" Cheil Worldwide (Seoul) 16


The most-awarded countries
2013 2012 Country Total pts
1 1 US 334
2 3 Australia 209
3 2 UK 193
4 5= Brazil 183
5 8 France 100

For every one of the previous 14 years we have run the report, the countries league table has been topped by the same two markets: the US and the UK. They have been in that order every year except for 2006, when the UK had a "dream hand" (with the likes of Guinness "noitulove", Sony "balls" and Honda "grrr" and "impossible dream", plus the Harvey Nichols calendar in print).

In 2013, however, Australia came marching into second place with 209 points. This put it behind the US with 334 points, but in front of the UK with 193 points, Brazil with 183 points and France with 100 points.

Australia’s score represents a remarkable growth curve (58 points in 2008, 64 in 2009, 75 in 2010, 106 in 2011 and 132 in 2012). The agencies spearheading this growth were McCann, Clemenger BBDO, George Patterson Y&R, Leo Burnett and Havas Worldwide.


The most-awarded advertisers
2013 2012 Advertiser Total pts
1 3 Nike 57
2 1 Volkswagen 54
3 19= Axe/Lynx 35
4 4 Coca-Cola 32
5 2 Google 30

Donald Gunn is the founder of The Gunn Report, which is the global index of creative excellence in advertising. It encapsulates overall performance measures for the world of advertising in January to December 2013. The Gunn Report combines the winners’ lists from the most important advertising awards contests around the world – 46 of which are included in the 2013 report.


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