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February 16, 2010

Australia/NZ Digital Agency Index: Campaign Brief and Bannerblog


Australia & NZ Digital Agency Index

The Official Hot + Cold Agency list for Digital Agencies in Australia & NZ

Presented by Campaign Brief and Bannerblog.

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Well the first Digital Hot+Cold is over and no one can say it wasn't a democratic process. Agency inclusion, judging criteria, the jury and even the way it will be displayed was shaped over many (read: MANY!) emails between the 20+ agencies involved in Creative Social.

Update Feb 18: We've made a tweak to the list and we now present the Digital Hot List. Showcasing only the hottest digital agencies in Australia.

Three agencies who didn't enter are also in this list. Sapient Nitro, Bullseye and Tribal DDB Sydney. If you are from these agencies and would like to be removed contact us.

It's surprising there has never been a wide spread audit of the agencies doing digital in Australia. This list will educate, anger, surprise and hopefully generate friendly rivalry and discussion between agencies.

The agencies were judged across 3 criteria;

  • Awards: 10% (self explanatory)
  • Name: 5% (Does the agency look after its own brand) and
  • Work 85% (Based on purely the creative).
  • The criteria for "Technical" will be added next round to allow the chart to be viewed by creativity and technical separately.
  • Size was determined by number of full time staff.

It was important for the jury to compare apples to apples, so all agencies are separated into 3 subgroups, Full Service, Digital Agency and Digital Production, to reflect the nature of the digital side. We also added the Indie marker to show who is independently owned.

There is little doubt this list will cause debate but that will only prove how important the list is. It is the most detailed analysis of the landscape of digital creativity in Australia & NZ today. We hope to see more agencies submit entries in the next round especially those from QLD, SA and WA oh and NZ.

Note: The following agencies asked not to be included: Amnesia, HOST, Webqem, Deepend, The White Agency. If you are wondering where they are that's your answer.

Of the 50+ agencies listed here 34 entered. As this is the first year and less established than the Campaign Brief agency rankings we feel this is a good result.
Full Service agencies have fought back over the past year to command a large stack in the rankings.
Very few agencies have >50 staff with even less >75.
Visual Jazz is the largest "Digital Agency" at 98 people.
MARK is the largest full service with 98 people in their digital department.
No one is super hot! The last 2 hot bars are still empty.
This digital list looks the opposite of the ATL agency list.
Youngest Agency is Future Buro.
Smallest is Droga5 at 3 people.

Missing Agencies:
We made every effort to ensure we got this first round of the list right but we have missed a few agencies.

The following agencies have been noted as missing;

  1. Ogilvy
  2. Areeba
  3. Lemonade
  4. Citrus
  5. Lowe Rivet
  6. Three Drunk Monkeys
  7. @www
  8. Freestyle Media
  9. Igloo
  10. OneDigital

We'll be looking at doing another induction round in <3 months. This will cover any mistakes and also allow the abstaining agencies to put forward their entries. We'll also attempt to introduce the "technical" aspect into the rankings to allow agencies to be ranked via creative or technical.

The Breakdown
Here is a breakdown of the agencies and the scores as of Feb 2010.

Agency Name Score Size Agency Type Indie
Soap 79 34 Digital Agency Yes
Resn 76 13 Digital Production Yes
AIM Proximity 74 55 Full Service  
Tribal DDB NZ 72 23 Full Service  
Tequila 71 38 Full Service  
Holler 68 27 Digital Agency  
Clemenger BBDO Vic 67 20 Full Service  
Mojo 67 65 Full Service  
Pusher 67 9 Digital Agency Yes
MARK 66 98 Full Service  
Droga5 63 3 Full Service  
JWT 62 36 Full Service  
Clemenger BBDO NSW 61 45 Full Service  
Visual Jazz 59 98 Digital Agency  
Boffswana 57 11 Digital Production  
Saatchi & Saatchi DGS 57 23 Full Service  
Wasabi 57 9 Digital Production Yes
Leo Burnett 56 18 Full Service  
Design Royale 55 8 Digital Production Yes
BMF 54 30 Full Service  
Profero 53 27 Digital Agency Yes
Sapient Nitro 53 15 Full Service  
Circul8 52 9 Digital Agency Yes
Tongue 52 42 Full Service  
Bullseye 51 35 Digital Agency  
Future Buro 51 6 Digital Production Yes
Reactive 51 46 Digital Agency Yes
DT Digital 50 67 Digital Production  
Sputnik 50 74 Digital Agency  
Tribal DDB Vic 50 29 Full Service  
Tribal DDB SYD 50 40 Full Service  

The Jury
The 8 judges were picked from a hat from a pool of 22 and come from both small digital agencies and large multi nationals.

Matt Stern: CD Profero
Damian Royce: CD CLEMENGER BBDO Melbourne
Paul Jeffress: Group Creative Head: The White Agency
Tim Buesing: CD Holler
Lyndon Hale: ECD: Tongue
Mike Crebar: CD Pusher
Joel Thomson: CD Digital Publicis Mojo
Kevin Ferry: CD Bullseye

Some quotes from the judges below

Joel Thomson, the Creative Director of Digital at Publicis Mojo, said
"I'm certain it's exactly what clients are searching for; some sound direction in choosing the right agencies to partner with. We wanted to see work that had more relevance in the real world, than the award world alone; the hot agencies were hot for the right reasons."

Tim Buesing CD of Holler said
"It was really important to focus on 2009 and not be influenced by how cold or hot you thought some agencies were in 2008. Some of the traditionally "hot" places have definitely cooled off a bit."

Kevin Ferry CD Bullseye said
"The playground has now become much more competitive from the bigger shops and more specialist boutiques gaining a foothold in the online space. Interesting to see how it will shape up in the coming months."

Damian Royce CD of Clemenger BBDO said
"With the line between agency and digital agency well and truly blurred, it's great to see who was doing the best (and most awarded) digital work in 2009. Some of the usual suspects are up there, but more interestingly we can see a few agencies that aren't widely known for producing great digital ideas sitting at the warmer end of the index. Of course, that could all change again next near."

Please comment below on your thoughts for this index.

This process is evolving so don't expect to see the criteria/structure stay the same.

If you would like to be included in the next round please email us at submit [@] bannerblog[]com[]au


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