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the showcase 2023

Still Top Of The World: adam&eveDDB's 2023

The agency's awards cabinet was stuffed to the, err, Brim in 2023

By creative salon

The beginning of adam&eveDDB’s year was of course dominated by the news that John Lewis had opted to end its 14-year creative collaboration with the agency. However, the creative shop could move forward with its head held high, knowing that their body of work for the retailer stands as the definitive long-term creative partnership in our industry. Oh and it came to define the festive advertisement genre.

But the agency moved elegantly on and the pill will have been sweetened by the fact that a&e was the most awarded UK creative agency across the awards board and led DDB to network of the year at both D&AD and Cannes Lions. And, of course, healthy new business helped.

We caught up new CEO Miranda Hipwell to explore the agency’s year and, below, give Creative Salon’s take on the shop’s 2023.

Miranda Hipwell, CEO at adam&eveDDB, on the agency's 2023

What three words would you use to describe 2023?

Change is Good

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

2023 has been a year of transformation for everyone at Bishops Bridge Road and we’re ending the year feeling proud and happy.

After 14 years creating culture-defining work, we bid farewell to long-term client John Lewis & Partners and welcomed 8 brilliant new clients, including Eurostar, BT Business, Halifax, Savills, SharkNinja and online retail giant, Amazon. We expanded our scope with existing clients including PlayStation, Mars, Volkswagen and Adidas.

We were the most awarded creative agency in the UK, winning UK agency at Cannes Lions, Agency of the Year at D&AD, British Arrows, Campaign BIGs. Our work for CALM, ‘The Last Photo’ was the most awarded campaign at Cannes Lions globally and our work for Unilever picked up multiple Lions with Marmite ‘Baby Scan’ and Pot Noodle ‘Nothing fills a hole’. Our ever brilliant creative leadership team, Richard Brim, Ant Nelson and Mike Sutherland topped creative rankings at Cannes and D&AD. Rick is currently D&AD’s #1 Chief Creative Officer in the world, and Ant & Mike are Cannes and D&AD’s #2 ECDs in the world.

We also continued to prove that our work, works - winning APG Agency of the Year for a fourth consecutive year - something no other agency has achieved.

​​We launched a depth and breadth of creative work across multiple disciplines and audiences, in partnership with our brilliant clients including Lucozade, Quorn, Mars, Marmite, Pot Noodle, Lionsgate+, McCain, Eurostar, Savills, Volkswagen, Aviva, Lloyds Banking Group, Great Western Rail and PlayStation to name a few.

We evolved how and where we connect with clients' consumers - building innovative and effective DDM and agile content studios for Mars and bringing the right message, to the right audience, at the right time with precision solutions for more clients than ever, including VW and Unilever.

We welcomed brilliantly talented people with fresh experience and capabilities, such as Sarah Todd from WPP and Paula Hochberg from TikTok. We also attracted world class creative talent, hiring Cannes Lions Grand Prix winning creative team, Charlotte Upton & Callum McDonald, and welcoming back the wonderful Sali Horsey & Zoe Nash after 3 years at 4Creative.

We upheld our position as industry leaders, with our Chief Creative Officer Richard Brim as President of D&AD, Martin Beverley as Chair of Shortlisting at APG and the legendary Les Binet celebrated 10 years of his seminal advertising book ‘The Long and The Short of It’.

We continued to welcome ‘adam&everyone’ and strengthen our agency culture with our ‘Four&Flex’ approach to working. Our industry leading DE&I initiatives continued to grow, #SheTakesOver launched its first global creative jury and continues to make a positive difference to all-womxn equality in creative production.

What one thing are you proudest of this year?

The strong sense of unity and momentum the agency derived from the tough decision not to re-pitch for John Lewis & Waitrose. Luckily we now count Amazon as a new, exciting client and our teams have a fresh creative challenge.

And what’s been your biggest challenge?

Seizing the opportunities that change has presented.

What are you most looking forward to in 2024?

Continuing to evolve. Creating big, famous, differently shaped ideas that are effective for our clients. Enjoying the journey.

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

Sharp focus on the enduring value of creativity and its impact when lots of change is afoot.

Creative Salon on adam&eveDDB’s 2023

The hole left by the loss of John Lewis in February was filled when adam&eveDDB retrieved the Halifax ad account from New Commercial Arts and won the BT Business account in the same month.

The agency also kicked off an extremely fruitful award season by winning Agency of the Year at the D&AD Awards 2023. A host of coveted Pencils were awarded for the ‘Last Photo’ campaign for Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a widely acclaimed and powerful piece of work that also drove several other award wins. The campaign leant in to the insight that suicidal behaviour is often hard to notice, displaying photos and videos of seemingly happy people who later died by taking their own lives. Will Grundy, the head of planning and driving force behind the work, added: "There's an amazing, deep human insight at the heart of the campaign in terms of what suicidal does and doesn't look like. And the work has been executed with such care, craft and bravery in terms of the shape of the campaign."

Adam&eveDDB was also awarded D&AD Pencils for John Lewis’ ‘The beginner’ (the agency’s last Christmas campaign for the brand), Coors Light’s ‘Chillboards’ and Camelot’s ‘A Christmas love story’.

Richard Brim, the chief creative officer at adam&eve DDB and this year's D&AD President, said he felt “very privileged” to have his agency’s CALM work feature so much in the awards.

As for Cannes Lions, thanks to amazing work led by Brim and ECDs Ant Nelson and Mike Sutherland, adam&eveDDB took home the most Lions (19) of any UK creative shop this year. Once again, its work for CALM led the charge, winning a Film Grand Prix. Four Lions were also distributed for the agency’s humorous Marmite campaign ‘Baby scan’, with two Lions awarded for adam&eveDDB’s Pot Noodle ‘Nothing fills a hole’ campaign, one Lion for the Frontline19 'Hopeline' radio work and one Lion for the John Lewis & Partners ‘Home of thoughtful giving’ campaign.

As well as Cannes and D&AD wins (and British Arrows), thanks to wonderful strategic work led by CSO Martin Beverley the agency also bagged a Stephen King Strategy Agency of the Year at the APG Creative Strategy Awards for the fourth year in a row - something no other agency has ever achieved - further strengthening the agency’s positioning as ‘the home of planning’. Adam&eveDDB also won APG gold, silver and bronze awards for its CALM, Schmackos and Skittles Pride work respectively. "The main reason for the continued success is that we are lucky to have brilliant talent, putting their brilliant minds to some brilliant brands and businesses," Beverley said.

Leaving awards and accolades to one side, summer also heralded change for the creative shop when it was announced that Omnicom network DDB would merge its New York office with adam&eveDDB. Richard Brim, who was promoted to global CCO as a result, told Campaign that he believed the merger would help the London-based shop really break the Big Apple.

The agency also brought in some fresh new faces, strengthening its planning and creative departments: Sarah Todd, client strategy and integration lead; Paula Hochberg, creative director; Charlotte Upton, art director and Callum McDonald, creative copywriter. Creative duo Sali Horsey and Zoe Nash also returned to the business having spent three years at 4Creative.

In June, managing director of Wieden + Kennedy Helen Andrews was also appointed as chief executive of adam&eveDDB, taking over from Tammy Einav who moved up to become the agency's executive chair. But four months later Andrews left her post and Miranda Hipwell stepped up to the plate.

In terms of new business, the agency also won Eurostar, Savills, SharkNinja and a place on Amazon’s European roster and also increased its scope of work with brands PlayStation, Mars, Volkswagen and Adidas.

For Sony's PlayStation, adam&eveDDB created an impressive host of global campaigns such as 'Live from PS5 - Bringing You The Extraordinary', 'Feel It Now', 'Feel A New Real on PlayStation VR2' and 'NBA 2K24 - Get Ahead Of The Game'. The 'Feel It Now' campaign specifically was built around the ever-quickening heartbeat of a player as they traversed the powerful experiences found on PS5.

Other notable pieces of work include the humorous campaigns for Temptations (‘Cats lose their cool’), Lionsgate+ (‘Life uncensored’) and Marmite (‘First-timers’); the emotional campaigns for Camelot (‘Pockets’) and Savills (‘We know what it means to move’) and the vital regenerative farming McCain campaign. The agency also produced unqiue Christmas campaigns for Mars Petcare brands Temptations and Greenies.

Creative Salon says: It has been a year of change at adam&eveDDB, but what the agency actually does - its innovative, strategic thinking, its creative craft - has been as excellent and effective as ever. This is, after all, the world's most creative agency! And it remains the home of some of the industry's most impressive and nicest people. With a new homegrown CEO in place - Miranda Hipwell - and Tammy Einav still engaged in making this the best agency in the UK, Richard Brim, Martin Beverley and the crew will be full throttle again in 2024. We can't wait.


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