Marketforce, Neil Martin and the Road Safety Commission top 2018 CBWA Creative Rankings

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Marketforce has bounced back to the top of the Campaign Brief WA Creative Rankings with a commanding margin. It's an impressive performance considering the disruption the agency has endured over the past 12 months. Despite the turmoil around it, the creative department continued to deliver good work.

Marketforce was the best performed agency locally at the Campaign Brief Awards, with 5 Finalists and 2 Best of Years, and the second-best performed at the PADC Skulls. However their result was driven by national and international success.

Their haul was led by 'The R Word' digital campaign for Avivo, which picked up a Merit at One Show and finalist at New York Festivals, and Dawson's Garden World 'Kill The Romance' radio, which was a finalist at Clio, One Show and AWARD. The agency also scored a Bronze at AWARD for Lotterywest Oz Lotto radio campaign.
In second place, JWT's result was led by a big points haul at the PADC Skulls, driven by the agency's campaigns for the WA Police Union, plus the TVC for Parkinson's NSW, which was written by the Perth agency's former CD Paul Coghlan. That spot was also a Finalist at AWARD, as was the 'Free Your Think' work for Murdoch University (twice).

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Coincidentally, Coghlan has left JWT to take up the Creative Director role at Marketforce.

In third place 303 MullenLowe's performance was highlighted by a Finalist at Clio, a Bronze at LIA and a Finalist at AWARD for the Road Safety Commission. It also had a very solid result at the Skulls, led by 3 Golds for the Royal Life Saving 'Passwords With A Purpose' outdoor campaign, but surprisingly the agency only figured once at the Campaign Brief Awards - Best of Year Integrated Campaign for Road Safety Commission 'Could Be Cometti'.

The Brand Agency ranks fourth, up one place from last year but still a somewhat disappointing result given the client list the agency has. A Finalist at AWARD for Road Safety Commission 'Small Distractions' outdoor was the agency's only success beyond WA. No doubt new ECD Marcus Tesoriero will be aiming to improve that performance over the next year.

Meerkats is fifth while The Studio at SCA is sixth for the second year in-a-row, another excellent result. As we have observed previously, being Southern Cross Austereo's in-house creative unit means they work largely in one medium for direct clients. Two Silvers at LIA for Water Corporation and Complete DJ delivered most of its points.

Rare, Gatecrasher and Block round out the top ten for agencies.

Encouragingly, another nine agencies scored points to make the list, the first time there has been nineteen agencies appearing in the Rankings. It shows that more people are producing noteworthy work - hopefully a trend that will continue.

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Individually, current and former Marketforce creatives lead the list. Long-serving art director Neil Martin is #1 after being co-creator of most of the agency's point-scoring work, including Avivo 'The R Word, which picked up big points from a Merit at The One Show, as well as a Finalist at New York Festivals.

At equal #2 is new team Hayden Griffiths and Matt Wilson. Formerly at Marketforce, the duo has recently moved to The Brand Agency. They have crashed into the Rankings and served notice that they are the rising stars of the Perth industry. Whether they can follow up their initial success remains to be seen but nevertheless it is an impressive and eye-catching debut.

Last year's #1, Joe Hawkins, is #4 this year. His highlights included a One Show Merit for Avivo 'The R Word' and Bronze at AWARD for Lotterywest Oz Lotto radio campaign. Hawkins has recently left Marketforce to take up the CD role at J Walter Thompson Perth.

His lead team at that agency, Tim Newton and Wilora Keeley, are equal fifth. Besides their WA Police Union work picking up awards, it also put $20,000 in their pockets when 'Triple Zero' won the inaugural Southern Cross Austereo White Horse (formerly Radio Writers Award).

The Brand Agency's Nathan Teoh is #7. A long-serving member of Brand's creative team, Teoh won the PADC Ultimate Diamond Skull in March (although that award does not accrue Rankings points).

Marketforce digital creatives Chris Andrawes and Ben Derham are #8 and #9 respectively, with their work on 'The R Word' garnering most of their points.

Rounding out the Top Ten is Meerkats' Rikki Burns who, besides being a talented creative, continues to emerge as a leader both within the agency and the industry more broadly. Her result was driven by Jester's 'In A Pie' radio campaign and the Synergy 'Future House' installation.

The Road Safety Commission is Perth's top ranked client for creativity, ahead of the WA Police Union. Finalists at Clio and AWARD and Bronze at LIA saw the RSC lead WAPU, while the WA Electoral Commission ranked third.

In total 51 clients generated points in this year's Rankings compared to 43 last year - another encouraging sign that the better work is occurring more widely.

For the sake of the exercise, we looked at how the Creatives and Agencies tables would change if local points from the White Horse, PADC Skulls and Campaign Brief Awards are discounted (as shown in the orange tables).

Only 20 creatives scored points from national and/or internationals shows. Martin still stays at #1 Hawkins moves up from #4 to #2, while The Studio at SCA's Matt Dickson and Mitch Mitchell rocket up to #5. 

Only 7 agencies scored points nationally or internationally and again, The Studio at SCA is the big mover, ranking #2 on that basis.

While the local shows are important, Perth agencies and creatives do need to keep pushing for higher standards of work to remain competitive.

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