Uncommon and PHD scoop top prizes at Campaign Agency of the Year Awards

The agency founded in 2017 won the top gong for the first time.

ITV's 'Britain get talking': among Uncommon's top work of 2020
ITV's 'Britain get talking': among Uncommon's top work of 2020

Uncommon Creative Studio has won Campaign’s UK Creative Agency of the Year prize for the first time. 

The agency, which launched in 2017, came out on top in a shortlist that included seven others: six-time winners Adam & Eve/DDB, Droga5 London, McCann UK, Mother London, Pablo, The Brooklyn Brothers and VCCP.

The accolade comes a year after Uncommon was crowned Campaign’s Independent Agency of the Year in 2020. 

The judges praised Uncommon for work that showed a “refreshing approach, fuelled by huge energy, passion and determination”. Its output included ITV’s mental-health campaign, “Britain get talking”’; helping BrewDog shift from producing beer to hand sanitiser early in the Covid-19 pandemic; and B&Q’s new brand platform, “Build a life”. 

Mother won silver in the category, while The Brooklyn Brothers took home bronze. 

PHD UK was crowned Media Agency of the Year. It beat two-time winner Manning Gottlieb OMD, as well as OMD UK, Essence, Goodstuff, M/SIX, MediaCom UK and Zenith.

The Omnicom shop’s 2020 highlights included working with Channel 4 and the British Heart Foundation to create a special one-off episode of 24 Hours in A&E, developing media executions to boost Confused.com’s standing in the motor insurance comparison market and helping McCain outperform its category by 26% in lockdown.

Mother is Campaign’s UK Independent Agency of the Year. Judges praised the shop for “very clear objectives aligned to the agency values, resulting in impressive creativity, record revenues, and team wellbeing and belonging at the forefront”.

VCCP was named Integrated Marketing Agency of the Year, for achievements including winning one of the most high-profile UK pitches of 2020, Walkers. In total it added 65 clients across the group in 2020.

Wunderman Thompson took home the Customer Engagement Agency of the Year prize for the fifth year in a row (the first three of which were as Wunderman, prior to its merger with J Walter Thompson).

Gravity Road is Digital Innovation Agency of the Year, while Momentum Worldwide is Brand Experience Agency of the Year. Croud won Performance Marketing Agency of the Year and Taylor Herring is the top PR Agency

In accolades recognising individuals, Havas London chief executive Xavier Rees was named Advertising Agency Head of the Year, while his colleague, chief creative officer Vicki Maguire, was chosen as Creative Person of the Year.

Tim Irwin, chief executive, EMEA of Essence, won Media Agency Head of the Year.

Katie McCambley, joint head of account management at MullenLowe London, is Campaign’s Account Person of the Year

Meanwhile, Lucky Generals co-founder Andy Nairn was named Strategic Planner of the Year for the second year running. 

The EMEA Agency of the Year winners were also announced. Winners included:

  • McCann Worldgroup Europe as Creative Network
  • PHD EMEA as Media Network
  • Oliver as Digital Network
  • Mark Lund, president of UK and Europe for McCann Worldgroup, as EMEA Agency Head
  • McCann Worldgroup Europe's global ECD Adrian Botan as Creative Person

Benjamin Braun, chief marketing officer of Samsung Europe, who was chair of the judges, praised all the agencies that entered the awards.

“Even a pandemic could not quash the brilliance of our industry,” Braun said.

Ayesha Hazarika, the broadcaster and columnist, was host of the virtual awards ceremony.

View the full list of winners at https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/aoty.

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