In a first for New Zealand advertising, Special Group has been named Global Creative Agency of the Year and Global Independent Agency of the Year by Campaign UK.
A testament to the strength of New Zealand-owned creativity, it’s the first time ever that a Kiwi advertising agency has achieved the accolade. Special managed to fend off stiff competition from four other finalists: BBH (Singapore), adam&eveDDB (London), The Brooklyn Brothers (US) and Mother (London).
Last year the award was won by legendary American advertising agency Weiden+Kennedy, best known for provocative work with Nike.
Co-Founder and CEO of Special Group Tony Bradbourne says: “The advertising industry loves awards.
“But to win a global award of this scale and prestige, from such a revered and established institution, against some of the biggest advertising firms in the world, is certainly worth celebrating.
“I am so thankful to the entire agency, our dedicated partners, and our brave clients – but most importantly, I’m proud of what this says about Kiwi creativity. For too long we have been dominated by international conglomerates, and now we’ve been able to unanimously prove that New Zealand creativity shines on the world stage – alongside other creative industries like film and our music.”
Special employs 160 staff across four offices in Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne and LA and has expanded its remit from advertising and design to include media and PR.
Creative highlights include the agency’s first foray into Super Bowl commercials for Uber Eats and running a global Tourism New Zealand campaign in 12 markets.
The Campaign Agency of the Year awards are judged by a panel of leading marketing and industry experts.
Campaign commented: “Special Group had an impressive year in 2020 on a number of fronts, despite the impact of COVID-19. It opened two new offices, one in Melbourne and one in Los Angeles, and won 40 new pieces of business including Uber Eats in North America and Canada.”
Bradbourne adds: “In many ways COVID-19 helped us.
“We’ve been able to connect with clients across the globe because everyone now lives in the same places – Zoom, Teams, and Whatsapp. It’s not about where you are geographically based, it’s about how good your thinking and ideas are. And it appears that if you’re after the best advertising ideas in the world, you don’t need to look further afield than New Zealand.”