Report by Jim Heekin (below) Chairman and chief executive officer, Grey Group and Grey
In 2010, the revitalization of Grey hit its stride, producing one of the best years in our history thanks to a dynamic creative product, new business success, growth from current clients and an ongoing infusion of world-class talent. Adweek captured our momentum with the cover story entitled ‘Red Hot Grey’.
Our mantra: ‘Grey Famously Effective Since 1917’ became a powerful competitive advantage across the globe. It leverages our 94-year track record of effectively building many of the world’s great brands coupled with our growing reputation for famous work that permeates popular culture.
Grey made significant strides in elevating our creative performance and award recognition through the work of our Worldwide Creative Council, headed by Tim Mellors, vice chairman of Grey Group and worldwide chief creative director. We earned 20 Cannes Lions in 10 categories from 14 countries of our global network. This was our best showing ever, ranking us among the top 10 winning agencies. New executive creative directors were appointed in more than a dozen countries, underscoring the priority we place on superlative creativity.
Grey received important recognition of the multi-platform creative excellence we are achieving. Grey worldwide and Grey New York were named to Advertising Age’s prestigious A-List, comprising the best agencies in the business. Fast Company, the respected magazine devoted to the business of innovation, named Grey New York in its ‘50 Most Innovative Companies in the World’ issue in both 2010 and 2011, the only advertising agency so honored. Creativity magazine, part of Advertising Age, chose Tor Myhren of Grey New York as one of its ‘Creative 50’, those influential and inspiring leaders who have made the biggest impact across all areas of creative culture. And Metropolis magazine called Grey’s new headquarters in New York “the model of a 21st century ad agency.”
New executive creative directors were appointed in more than a dozen countries, underscoring the priority we place on superlative creativity
Grey also delivered one of its best new business performances ever. We expanded our client roster with high-profile new business wins of Panadol worldwide; Red Lobster, DirecTV, Bausch & Lomb, UPMC, The Tuna Council, CB Richard Ellis, Ortega Foods and Cryovac in the US; Sony, Brother, Lucozade, Findus, Schweppes, Schlecker, Santander Bank, InBev and Pfitzer Foods in Europe, Middle East and Africa; Reliance Communications, Chang Yu, Hutchinson Wampoa, Telekom Indonesia and JoEun Sangjo Korea in Asia Pacific; and Hasbro, Mead Johnson, Heineken and SENAC Brazil in Latin America.
The bedrock of Grey is its long-standing dynamic partnerships with global clients. Many of our top clients grew in agency revenue, some by double digits, and we were awarded significant new brand assignments from Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Boehringer Ingelheim, Playtex, Allergan, AXA, Pfizer and Coca-Cola.
Grey’s flagship agency in New York accelerated its forward momentum. Tor Myhren, our award-winning chief creative officer, was promoted to president, the first time a creative executive has held this post. Highly-acclaimed integrated campaigns for CoverGirl, Pantene, Febreze, DirecTV and Canon gained broad recognition and success. Once again, the famous E*TRADE ‘Talking Baby’ campaign set new records for popularity and effectiveness in the Super Bowl as did our work for the NFL. Together, they dominated social media, generating millions of dollars in free publicity and media buzz.
Four Grey New York print efforts were named the most effective magazine ad campaigns of 2010 in their categories: Latisse, Pantene and CoverGirl twice, ranking first on the Affinity Vista index of ad recall, brand association and actions taken. We also produced the single most memorable print ad of 2010, according to Starch, the measurement service, CoverGirl featuring Ellen DeGeneres, with 91% recall.
Grey EMEA, under the leadership of David Patton, compiled a strong new business record fueled by a resurgent creative product. Grey London received the highest score of all Group agencies from Campaign. Both Marketing magazine and Campaign short-listed it for Agency of the Year thanks to world-class campaigns for Honda, Toshiba and the British Heart Foundation.
Once again, Grey’s Eye on Asia proprietary trends study opened a window into consumer psyche and provided valuable insights to marketers across the region. This ongoing effort, spearheaded by Nirvik Singh, chairman and CEO of Grey Group Asia Pacific, continues to showcase Grey’s thought leadership in the world’s media.
Our Worldwide Planning Council, under the leadership of Suresh Nair, director of global strategic planning, continued to build Grey’s pre-eminence in consumer insight. We will soon launch a next-generation communications planning platform that combines strategic planning with channel and digital planning.
Grey remains ranked among the top tier of global advertising agencies because of the reach and resources of our network in 96 countries. Our blue-chip client roster counts one-fourth of all Fortune 500 companies and our capabilities to launch and sustain leading brands are expanding to meet the needs of the new media landscape.
Today we are producing leading-edge creative work across platforms, breaking new ground in brand experience and building relationships. Please go to www.grey.com to see our successful case histories across countries, cultures and the media spectrum.
Grey enhanced its ability to harness the social power of the internet to reach today’s consumers as the democratization of technology continues at warp speed. Our mandate is to place digital at the core of our business. We recruited renowned digital leaders such as Josh Golden, our first chief digital officer at Grey New York; expanded our digital centers of excellence in all regions, building them through investment and acquisition and strengthened our synergy with G2 Worldwide.
We are delivering a seamless, integrated offering that unites the creative expertise of Grey with the activation expertise of G2, resulting in dozens of joint projects and new business wins across the globe.
As we enter 2011, Grey is an agency on the rise. Our talented, passionate, committed employees have wholeheartedly embraced the goal of becoming a truly great agency and our winning strategy has put industry leadership well within our grasp.
G2 Worldwide (Activation Marketing)
Report by Joe Celia (below) Chairman and chief executive officer, G2 Worldwide Vice chairman, Grey Group
G2 Worldwide had a very successful year in 2010, highlighted by positive growth and continued evolution across the entire organisation. Our accomplishments were driven by G2’s focused and energetic worldwide staff, who contributed to the expansion of our relationships with key clients, as well as the addition of important new clients and assignments to our growing portfolio of businesses.
G2 has been devoted to helping our clients progress beyond traditional forms of marketing communications to more measurable forms that are better targeted and interactive
Since our inception as the first specialised agency network to launch globally with a dedicated focus on brand activation, G2 has been devoted to helping our clients progress beyond traditional forms of marketing communications to more measurable forms that are better targeted and interactive. More than ever before, the marketplace recognises the critical need and value of branding beyond advertising. And today, G2 is firmly established as a top global player in this increasingly important space.
G2’s top 20 clients accounted for the lion’s share of our total global revenue, and the strength of our client relationships is a testament to the intelligence and commitment of G2’s worldwide staff.
In 2010, we continued to build upon our partnerships with our stable of key multi-market clients:
- We expanded our global relationships with GlaxoSmithKline’s Panadol brand in Asia Pacific, EMEA and the US.
- From a strong base in the US for Heineken, we won new assignments in the UK and Russia, as well as expanded our engagements with Heineken in the Caribbean and Central America.
- In the EMEA region, we won new business assignments from Commerzbank AG and Paradores Spain, and expanded our client portfolio within the automotive and financial services sector.
- In the US, we won the agency-of-record business for Aetna B2B, expanding our already strong partnership with the premium insurance brand.
- Across the globe, we gained incremental assignments from P&G and BAT for a range of brands.
In addition to strong ties with existing clients, G2 also added a number of new clients/brands to our roster:
- In Asia Pacific, G2 Japan won creative duties for Nippon Becton Dickinson, in addition to several other high profile assignments from new and existing clients throughout the region.
- In the US, we experienced noteworthy business development successes, with wins including the digital agency-of-record assignment for Hertz; the promotional/experiential assignment for Southwest Airlines; and direct mail and digital duties for Capital One US Credit Card Services.
- And we welcomed new multimarket relationships with LG and Vodafone.
Our reputation within the industry continues to grow, especially as a strategic partner to clients and agency collaborators, thanks in no small measure to our newly launched positioning, ‘Maximizing Brand Commitment’, along with a suite of tools and processes. Our new proprietary planning process, G2 Pathfinder, maps consumers’ purchase decision journeys onto which we overlay compelling creative ideas, synthesising them into innovative, powerful and focused communications plans that determine when, where and how to communicate most effectively.
We were ranked No.5 in the 2010 Promo 100, and ranked No.2 in the Retail Specialty area of the same list. We were ranked in The Hub’s annual Top 12 agency report for Shopper Marketing excellence. And we were once again named to B2B Magazine’s Top Agencies list.
Around the world, G2 agencies garnered award recognition for our creativity and innovation, including a Gold POPAI/OMA Award and the P&G Beauty and Grooming Best Digital Innovation Award – Mobile Innovations for CoverGirl; a Gold REGGIE for Heineken’s Dos Equis brand; a Gold Effie for Campbell Soup Company; a Gold at the Promotion Marketing Awards of Asia for Shell from G2 Malaysia; and a Gold Award from New York Festivals for the Diesel/Rockin’ Dots transit campaign from G2 Japan.
We had a good showing at Cannes in 2010, with G2 Argentina winning three Lions Awards for Playboy, while G2 Japan was shortlisted twice in the Outdoor Lions Category.
A key priority in 2010 was continuing to build our senior management ranks, and we strengthened our worldwide leadership teams in virtually all regions across the globe.
There were major additions and elevations in EMEA: Pietro Leone, who served as COO for G2 EMEA since 2009, was elevated with the added responsibilities as CEO of the region. Building on the strength of G2 EMEA’s UK presence, Tim Hipperson joined as CEO, G2 UK. Stefan Kniess was elevated to the new role of CEO, G2 Germany, unifying G2 as an independent entity, co-existing with Grey under the Grey/G2 Group in Germany.
In line with our dynamic growth strategy, we reinforced our total communications offering and expanded our global capabilities through the acquisition of Greater China’s leading shopper marketing consultancy, DPI, which has been renamed G2 DPI.
We continued to expand our digital capabilities in South America with a strategic partnership between G2/Grey Argentina and 451, a leading interactive shop in Latin America, consolidating digital operations of the two companies.
For the third year in a row, G2 devoted its global pro bono efforts to Save the Children. In 2008 and 2009, G2 partnered with the charity to build a school in Mali, Africa and establish a community well to provide clean drinking water. In 2010, G2 sponsored 10 children around the world, launching a Facebook campaign to drive awareness and donations.
Looking ahead, we will continue to bolster our communications planning offer, led by Jim Taylor, our global communications planning director based in the G2 EMEA headquarters. Additionally, Jonathan Dodd, global chief strategy officer, continues to drive greater prominence for our shopper marketing capabilities around the world.
Maximizing Brand Commitment for our clients has long been at the heart of what G2 does. In 2010, we put into place the right tools and the right people to ensure that the next decade of our history will be as fruitful and productive as our first.