Location: New York
Key executive: John Osborn, president-CEO
2010 revenue: N/A
2010 b2b revenue: N/A
Key clients: AT&T, FedEx, GE, Monster, Motorola
Major 2010 campaigns: AT&T, “Rethink Possible,” TV, print, online, out-of-home; GE, “Healthymagination,” TV, print, online, out-of-home; LexisNexis, “You Told Us,” print, online
Comments: Added new b2b clients, including AT&T Enterprise, LexisNexis and Motorola Solutions; expanded work with existing clients such as GE and Monster; roughly one-third of total business is b2b
When ad agency BBDO came together for its annual “town hall” meeting last year, President-CEO John Osborn laid out a five-pronged strategic plan, encompassing digital, analytics, behavior-based communications, diversity and uncovering the “soul” behind clients' brands.
The agency delivered on that plan in a number of ways in 2010. It landed sizable new-business wins from AT&T Enterprise, Motorola Solutions and LexisNexis and was honored with notable awards such as the American Association of Advertising Agencies' O'Toole Award and the Webby Agency of the Year.
It also created innovative marketing programs such as General Electric Co.'s “Healthymagination” campaign and AT&T's “Rethink Possible” effort.
“Healthymagination” included a social media program that generated more than 15 million interactions with videos on YouTube.
“Rethink Possible” drove increases in key brand imagery and brand personality metrics, and AT&T enjoyed its best second quarter ever after the campaign debuted, adding 1.6 million new wireless subscribers.
Also Osborn saw the agency better itself in less obvious ways, most notably in different disciplines within the organization that united to create cross-platform solutions in a way they hadn't previously.
“I saw BBDO coming together,” he said. “It may be one of the positive outcomes of the economic pressures of the past couple of years. It forces us to retrain the way we approach our business. We're much more collaborative, much more team-oriented,” he said.
BBDO's “Healthymagination” work, which included TV, print, out of home, interactive, public relations and events, is a good example of the agency's focus on “less iteration, more integration,” he said.
“That wasn't about coming up with a TV spot and then following with digital. The process there was coming up with a big idea and then finding the right ways to bring that idea to life in ways that would have the greatest impact.”
Unearthing each client's “noble purpose” is essential to successful b2b marketing, Osborn said. “It used to be about driving awareness, but increasingly that's just the price of entry,” he said. “It's increasingly important to get into the why and how. Why does this company do what it does, for what benefit, for what purpose?”
Social media is playing an important role in that development because it makes companies more transparent, he said. “A lot of people are very curious about how companies go about their business. We've gone from a world where the focus has been on what to communicate to being much more multidimensional. It's very important to communicate the rational and tangible benefits of a company, but it's also just as important to communicate the emotional drivers and how the company influences people personally. That can really be helpful in creating a clear-cut point of difference.”
—Mary E. Morrison
RUNNER-UP: BBDO New York
|HONORABLE MENTION: Bader Rutter & Associates|
|WINNER: Stein Rogan+Partners|
|RUNNER-UP: PJA Advertising+Marketing|
HONORABLE MENTION: Digitas