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Another league table to top for creative adland

As an industry so often considered arbitrary and unaccountable, the ad business loves league tables and score cards and Top Tens. Who’s won the most awards, who’s scooped the most new business, what are the nation’s favourite ads? If adland can marshal what it does into a table or a chart, everyone knows where they stand and can expect a bonus on the back of it.

So you won’t be surprised to learn that there’s a new ranking of the world’s best commercials production companies, as dictated by the Palme d’or results from last month’s advertising festival in Cannes. The production league table will no doubt already be influencing the selection of directors for forthcoming commercials.

Expect MJZ to get a boost in bookings, as its US office tops the chart, thanks in no small part to director Tom Kuntz’s work for Old Spice. If you haven’t seen this ad, check it out online.

The Wieden & Kennedy Portland commercial, called The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, stole the show at Cannes, taking the film Grand Prix. It’s a brilliant example of how great advertising can rejuvenate a tired brand. Kuntz, of course, has excellent form. He’s directed the wonderfully weird Skittles ads for US TV, and was behind last year’s Eyebrows ad for Cadbury here. As a director of comic commercials, he’s hard to beat right now.

As usual, US production companies dominate the Cannes chart, which is a tally of how many Cannes Lions award-winners each production company had worked on. And as proof of how fickle fortune can be, though, last year’s chart-topper, Thailand’s Phenomena, was nowhere to be seen in this year’s Top Ten.

Instead MJZ USA was followed in the table by Hungry Man, Smuggler and Biscuit Filmworks, all American firms. The UK’s first entry is RSA Films at number five, with Knucklehead at number seven and Blink at number ten.

Does any of this really matter though? Well, in a climate where advertisers are less keen on taking risks than ever before, a recognised track record is a big reassurance for nervous clients. However, topping a league table is now little more than an insurance against an empty order book. The days of charging a premium on the back of such recognition are, for the moment, a fading memory.

Posted 04 August 2010 by Claire Beale
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