the showcase 2022

A new shot of confidence: TBWA\London's 2022

The agency got the shake-up it needed to yield results

By creative salon

Like a whirlwind, Larissa Vince swept into TBWA\London at the beginning of the year to replace Sara Tate.

Her arrival reunited her with CCO Andy Jex, with whom she'd had a successful and proven relationship at Saatchi & Saatchi. Vince wasted no time shaking up TBWA, which has languished for too long. We caught up with her to discuss the agency's year.

Larissa Vince, chief executive, TBWA\London

What three words would you use to describe 2022?

Eventful, exciting, exhausting

Talk us through some of your agency’s highlights this year?

TBWA is built on collective spirit, so our people are always the major highlight. Not just the brilliant ones we already had, but some new people too - from Sandie, our new CSO to Melody Sylvester, our new CPO who’s just joined us to supercharge production, to Bhrena, who’s one of the best young planners I’ve ever worked with.

I’m also really proud of our adidas team, who have taken on a lot of new briefs this year with passion and commitment, and have made some great stuff including the Fed Kits campaign, which saw us re-write the rule book on how you launch a new kit before a World Cup.

Our Nissan team brought the brand to life in the Metaverse in just 8 weeks from brief to launch, the pladis team won a Gold Effie for Mini Cheddars, the design team won a pitch to refresh the iconic brand that is Marie Curie. Too many examples to mention everything, but all the highlights are down to our people.

What one thing are you proudest of this year?

Being quoted by Jean Marie Dru was a very proud if surprising moment.

And what’s been your biggest challenge?

I think there is one imperative for agencies right now and that’s change. The way that people interact with brands continues to change, and the needs of our clients are in almost continual (and understandable) flux.

That creates a need for us to change too. The biggest challenge is managing that need in a way that isn’t scary or unsettling for our people. We are building an innovative operational model here that allows is to be flexible and nimble, focus on what we’re good at while also offering excellence in all disciplines to our clients. Change is always a brilliant opportunity for innovation.

What are you most looking forward to in 2023?

Same every year - I can’t wait to see all the brilliant work that we have percolating in the agency out in the world. Plus Forest staying in the Premier League.

And what one change would you most like to see in our industry next year?

I’m a bit obsessed right now with confidence levels in our industry. It started a while back, when I was chatting to a friend who is CEO of a start-up business. He’d just run a pitch to find an agency and he said he found it extremely weird how all the agencies he saw were so apologetic about what they do.

I’d love to see us all get a lot more visibly confident about the brilliant impact that we as an industry can have on businesses and brands. We do great, effective work and we should be proud of that work, even if it’s been done by another agency!

Creative Salon on TBWA\London's 2022

TBWA\London has needed a shot in the arm, a kick up the bracket and a dose of excitement for some time. In 2022 it got all three with the arrival of Larissa Vince as chief executive whp in typical no nonsense fashion set about shaking the agency up.

In came Sandie Dilger from Ogilvy as chief strategy officer to complement her and Andy Jex, among a smattering of other hirings including Melody Sylvester from Engine. There was also evidence of new business momentum with the shop picking up the Ginsters advertising account.

Creatively there were some bold plays - Nissan's first venture into the relative unknowns of the metaverse was particularly striking, as was its campaign for McVitie's.

Creative Salon Says: Larissa Vince now has her pieces in place to kick-on in 2023. As a powerful and passionate advocate of advertising, she has given the agency a voice - and now a team - that was perhaps previously lacking.


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