The results of The Drum Awards for Agency Business have been announced, with The Elephant Room and Hey Honey winning top accolades.
These awards seek to recognise agencies that excel through strong workplace culture and effective management to achieve outstanding results. This year’s panel included senior figures from an international array of agencies, such as Goodstuph, Ogilvy, The Unmistakables, MediaCom UK and BBDO Asia.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, The Drum revealed the results in a virtual ceremony as part of the Agencies4Growth festival. Catch up with the video below if you missed it.
You can find out more about some of the winning work below.
This year’s Grand Prix was awarded to The Elephant Room, an inclusive agency that actively seeks out new perspectives from diverse audiences. The agency also won Best Approach to Diversity and Inclusivity. It relies on non-traditional talent networks to recruit and collaborate with diverse talent at all stages of the creative process.
The judges said this commitment to diversity was well thought out, creating a lasting community and deep societal change. “The Elephant Room is a springboard for new generations and communities to leverage skills and talents. Their approach opens communication and stops people from being pigeon-holed. Everyone is together.”
Chris Kenna, chief executive officer and founder of brand advance was a big fan. ”By being a unique mix of old-school and new-school they are able to make great work, but to also make the industry better.
”They make us all stand up and be accountable, and just do things bloody good.”
The chair of this year’s jury was Nicky Bullard, chairwoman and chief creative officer at MRM. Nicky, the first female creative to become chair of a UK marketing agency, is a fierce champion of the customer, an equality campaigner, and passionate about effectiveness. ”It’s only great work if it works,” she said.
What does she look for in a favourite entry? ”They have to show their financial performance (these are business awards!), their diversity efforts, their culture and a certain uniqueness.”
And the agency that did that best was Hey Honey, a social creative agency based in Amsterdam that also won Independent Marketing Services Company of the Year (0-100). ”Their business performance was outstanding, achieving growth in these difficult times. I admire the way they bring people into the business from less privileged backgrounds, and their unique company structure split into ’shakers’ and ’makers’.”
One their clients said: ”Every time we come into the agency for a meeting Hey Honey inspire us.”
The judges’ unanimous response was: ”I bet it’s great to work there.”
Other winners included Stein IAS, who clinched Marketing and Advertising Strategy of the Year for the second year running, as well as Leadership Team of the Year and Network Marketing Services Company of the Year (100-300 Staff)
Stein IAS value what they call ‘unconventional wisdom’, and have invested heavily in staff development, company culture, technology, marketing and advertising. The jury said “their ability to put in place an inbound business that really works is testament to the soundness of their strategic approach. An agency driven by thought leadership, with multiple awards and huge revenues. Their profits are very strong, and they are winning new business even today.”
Ethical agency Media Bounty won Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy of the Year, impressing the judges with their diversity of corporate social responsibility initiatives and strong implementation. “They showed vision and commitment to restore trust in the industry, intricate ethical standards and work culture of non-compromising stance on mattes of ethics and transparency.”
The award for Best Growth and Expansions Strategy went to Altair Media. Spotting an opportunity to drive growth for the business to revolutionise one area of their offering, they were unable to find the right technology. To deliver on their approach, they invested in developing their own.
The judges described their solution as “innovative, a head-to-toe reimagining of how to leverage technology for success.”
To see the full list of winners and check out more award-winning work, visit The Drum Awards for Agency Business website.