Here’s what Marketing had to say about us…
After only three years on the scene, Work Club has conquered all comers to be named Marketing’s Digital Agency of the Year 2011.
Led by former Agency Republic chief executive Martin Brooks, Work Club has prevailed, due in large part to its recognition that cutting-edge creative digital work still has a place at the forefront of brands’ marketing strategies.
The judges said that Work Club demonstrated a fantastic combination of creativity and effectiveness across a range of businesses and produced clever, innovative and engaging campaigns.
Against the backdrop of longer-established digital agencies being distracted by mergers or acquisitions, Work Club has, along with several other shortlisted agencies, proved definitively that independent digital agencies remain well-placed to push the industry forward.
Highlights of 2011 included defining technology brand Sharp’s long-term pan-European strategy, based on measuring the passion of football fans in the run-up to UEFA’s Euro 2012 tournament.
Work for Ballantine’s whisky (see box), Kraft and the McLaren F1 team also caught the judges’ attention. As well as winning Sharp’s European account, Work Club recorded new-business wins from BBC Worldwide, Old El Paso and Nature Valley.
The agency has applied a sound business approach to marketing - an area in which many digital shops are found wanting. The businesslike Brooks acts as a counter-balance to the increasingly recognised creative talents of Andy Sandoz and Ben Mooge. The fact that all six founding partners are still in place shows that the agency has also had stability.
This combination has led to Work Club being named lead agency for six brands in 2011, proving that digital agencies can lead, while ad agencies follow.
The judges also praised Work Club for its significant contribution to societal issues. A campaign for the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA) helped stop the introduction of a US-style ‘mega dairy’, or factory-farm milk production, to the UK. The ‘Not in my cuppa’ campaign also helped build the WSPA brand.
The agency’s commitment to the industry was lauded, too. In 2011, Work Club created the CSR-driven White Pencil for D&AD - the organisation’s first new award in 50 years.
As the digital industry matures, some agencies will be bought, while others will reposition as above-the-line outfits. Where Work Club has struck gold is in recognising that what brands want is innovative marketing, and delivering this by developing digital as the basis from which all else is derived.
FOCUS ON BALLANTINE’S
Pernod Ricard-owned Ballantine’s is the world’s number-two Scotch whisky brand. Its primary market is Spain, where ‘Scotch and cola’ is a popular drink with young adults. Work Club was asked to connect the brand with young consumers internationally through a global campaign. The promotion centred on the ‘Leave an impression’ strapline, using technology for a modern twist.
Work Club employed artists to ‘leave an impression’ during a series of four-hour, live-streamed videos upon which consumers could comment through Facebook. Tattoo artist K.A.R.L. created ‘the world’s first animated tattoo’, which changed its appearance when QR codes were read by smartphones; ice sculptor J.A.M.I.E. created an ice robot with LEDs that moved through stop-frame animation; and 45.R.P.M. created unique animated graffiti with spray cans, screens and uploaded photos.
Ballantine’s achieved a 109% increase in Facebook ‘likes’, while the tattoo video attracted nearly 2m views on YouTube, with a total of 3m views for all videos associated with the campaign.