The year 2015 marked stellar performance on both business and creative output counts for the Grey Worldwide network. A slew of restructuring moves, consolidated and integrated strategies, as well as investments into cross-disciplinary platform-agnostic talents have begun to bear fruit for the agency, and culminated in tripling its record of award-winning campaigns at the prestigious Cannes Lions Festival within the span of only a year. The final tally, a whopping 113 Lions, was split across 21 gold – in addition to four across the Innovation and Product Design categories – 36 silver and 48 bronze trophies.
The network nabbed four Grand Prix accolades, two of which were for Volvo’s “Lifepaint”, and one for each of the Volvo “Greatest Interception Ever” and SoundCloud’s “Berlin’s Sound of Wall”. Largely contributing to the network’s massive record at the Lions was the wide swath of markets contributing to the wins; offices in 18 countries scored across 20 categories, including film, radio and outdoor, as well as mobile and creative data. “No one at Grey, if the truth be known, thought that we would have a showing of that magnitude,” says Grey Group CEO Jim Heekin.
The agency also nabbed a total of 12 Clios, three of which were Golds; two went to SoundCloud out of its Düsseldorf, Germany, office, and one to the Ministry of Tourism & Transport for the country of Ecuador from Maruri Grey.
The wins bring to life Heekin’s decade-long philosophy to transform the agency into an industry leader powered by forward thinking talents – among which Tor Myhren is leading the network’s creative global output and transformation in his second year. They also mark the second time in three years that Adweek names Grey its Global Agency of the Year. In 2013, this honor was granted to the network owing to two factors, says Heekin: “[Winning] Gillette and the inordinate success of our New York and London agencies. In 2015, the difference is the depth and breadth of what we have. We’ve had five or six big multinational account wins – big, famous brands. And creatively, it’s coming from everywhere. It’s not just London and New York. We are deeper and broader in terms of talent and the number of offices that have gotten on the success train. That’s the difference. To me, that’s the biggest thing.”
Myhren has played an integral role in this transformation, convening a Creative Council of top creative directors from around the world to score offices on a point system, and holding poor performers accountable and responsible of improving their output.
Coupled with its creative horsepower push were robust new business wins, acquisitions and performance across all regions this year – notably with the global assignments from Emirates Airline, Motorola and Pandora Jewelry.