DAVID is Goliath: The Top 10 Agencies of 2020

By Brett McKenzie on Jun 24, 2020

"Moldy Whopper" shakes up our annual agency Top 10 list


What happens when a whopper of an idea is spread across three different shops in three different cities? The One Show 2020's Global Agency Rankings becomes the Wild West, with perennial favorites knocked out of the Top 10 list, and other agencies having their Cinderella stories told before the world. Why, it's the closest we got to the unpredictability of March Madness this year. But in the end, only one agency stands the tallest.

Based on points assigned for Gold, Silver and Bronze Pencils, alongside Best of Disciplines, the Green Pencil, the SDG Pencil, the Penta Pencil and Best of Show, here are this year's top ten agencies, including how they fared the year before.

 

SEE COMPLETE 2020 RANKINGS

 

#1. DAVID / Miami

LAST YEAR: #54, +53

Title

Stevenage Challenge

Agency

DAVID / Madrid + DAVID / Miami + Burger King / Miami

Client

Burger King

Annual ID

OS_SM20_001G

Category

2020 Social Media: Stunts & Activations

 

Make no mistake, "Moldy Whopper" was a gargantuan hit for DAVID Miami and other agencies this year. But as big as it was, you need even more amazing work to earn the top spot on our agency rankings, and this year, DAVID came through. "Stevenage Challenge", another incredible project for Burger King, earned the agency five Gold Pencils and a Best of Discipline in Social Media, and some impressive work for Coca-Cola and Heinz propelled DAVID to the very top, jumping 53 spots from how they fared in 2019. This isn't a David meets Goliath story, but rather a David is Goliath one.

 

#2. McCann / New York

LAST YEAR: #4, +2

Title

An Empowering Partnership

Agency

McCann / New York + McCann Worldgroup + Microsoft / Seattle

Client

Microsoft

Annual ID

OS_PP20_001P

Category

2020 Penta Pencil: Penta Pencil

 

McCann New York is one of those powerhouse agencies that are always creating phenomenal work, which is why they've been on this top ten list every year since 2017. And even with Burger King and its agencies bumping a number of perennial favorites off of this year's list, not only is McCann still here, they even moved up two spots from last year! Their work for Microsoft, Donate Life California and March For Our Lives all won multiple Golds, and their longstanding relationship with Microsoft earned them the extremely rare Penta Pencil.

 

#3. INGO / Stockholm

LAST YEAR: 174, +171

Title

50/50

Agency

INGO / Stockholm

Client

Burger King

Annual ID

OS_DI20_102M

Category

2020 Direct Marketing: Non-traditional & Guerrilla Marketing

 

Hitting harder than an Ingemar Johansson right hook, the Stockholm agency that bears the legendary boxer's nickname was certainly punching above its weight this year, jumping an astonishing 171 spots to end up ranking #3. Of course, this is due to their amazing contributions to the success of "Moldy Whopper", but hey, they also scored a Merit for a separate Burger King project. Every single point counts, and it was that project that nudged them ahead of #4...

 

 

#4. Publicis / Bucharest

LAST YEAR: —

Title

Moldy Whopper

Agency

INGO / Stockholm + DAVID / Miami + Publicis / Bucharest + Burger King / Miami

Client

Burger King

Annual ID

OS_PR20_002G

Category

2020 Public Relations: Media Relations

 

If ever there was a demonstration of how a single exceptional idea can change your fortunes, it's Publicis Bucharest and "Moldy Whopper". This is their first appearance in The One Show Top 10. In fact, their last appearance in the rankings was in 2017, where they placed #392. Enjoy your well-deserved place in the sunshine, Publicis! We hope to see you and your incredible thinking in the rankings next year.

 

#5. Scholz & Friends / Berlin

LAST YEAR: #58, +53

Title

The Tampon Book: a book against tax discrimination

Agency

Scholz & Friends / Berlin

Client

The Female Company

Annual ID

OS_CE20_001G

Category

2020 Creative Effectiveness: Single Country or Region / Consumer / Brand

 

Germany always does well at The One Show, and it's quite often a collective effort, with multiple agencies bringing home Gold Pencils. This year is no different, but Berlin's Scholz & Friends is the 2020 German star, finding itself in the #5 spot on the global rankings. It's easy to see why: 16 Gold Pencils for its work for The Female Company and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, with "The Tampon Book" also winning three Best of Discipline honors. Prost, Scholz & Friends!.

 

#6. FCB / Toronto

LAST YEAR: —

Title

Project Understood

Agency

FCB / Toronto

Client

Google AI / Canadian Down Syndrome

Annual ID

OS_DC20_001G

Category

2020 Digital Craft: Use of Smart Devices & Voice Assistants

 

Canada had an exceptionally good year at The One Show, placing second in the overall country rankings (and really, with its sheer volume, nobody is knocking the US out of the #1 spot.) Leading the 2020 charge is FCB Toronto, making the Top 10 list for the very first time, primarily on the strength of the awe-inspiring "Project Understood." This project, created for Google AI and Canadian Down Syndrome, racked up 11 Gold Pencils and two Best of Discipline wins..

 

#7. FCB / Chicago

LAST YEAR: #203, +196

Title

Most Dangerous Street

Agency

FCB / Chicago + Lord + Thomas / Chicago + Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence / Chicago + FCBX / Chicago

Client

Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence

Annual ID

OS_DE20_034G

Category

2020 Design: Spatial Design / Experiential & Immersive

 

2020 has been an amazing year for FCB offices located on the Great Lakes! Right behind their Toronto counterparts on the Top 10 list, FCB Chicago made a phenomenal 196-spot jump from last year to find themselves ranked #7 in the world. They were fortunate to have such an amazing client in the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, who gave their blessing on two very different but equally stunning projects. "Most Dangerous Street" and "The Gun Violence History Book" won a combined 19 Pencils, with the former also earning a Best of Discipline for Experiential & Immersive.

 

#8. BBDO / New York

LAST YEAR: #22, +14

Title

Back to School Essentials

Agency

BBDO / New York + Smuggler / New York

Client

Sandy Hook Promise

Annual ID

OS_SM20_033S

Category

2020 Social Media: Craft / Use of Visuals

 

What's a global agency Top 10 list without the fine folks at BBDO New York? That would be our 2019 list, where BBDO made the rarest of slips down to the #22 spot. But all is right with the world, as they have returned to One Show glory, courtesy of 16 Pencils — including eight Golds — for the likes of Sandy Hook Promise, Monica Lewinsky, and THINX. Glad to have you back in the Top 10, BBDO! We'll keep your seat warm for 2021.

 

#9. Goodby Silverstein & Partners / San Francisco

LAST YEAR: #70, +61

Title

Lessons in Herstory

Agency

Goodby Silverstein & Partners / San Francisco + GS&P Social / San Francisco + Elevel / San Francisco + GS&P Labs / San Francisco

Client

Daughters of the Evolution

Annual ID

OS_MO20_001G

Category

2020 Mobile: Applications

 

One of the things that we like about Goodby Silverstein & Partners' Pencil-winning work this year is that it was done for a wide variety of clients. Their work for Daughters of the Evolution, PayPal, the Dali Musem, Doritos, and Xfinity — with a Best of Discipline win for "Herstory" — demonstrate that they don't have just one good idea — they have several. It was enough to put them at #9 in the world on the 2020 rankings list.

 

#10. TBWA\Media Arts Lab / Los Angeles

LAST YEAR: #6, -4

Title

Bounce

Agency

TBWA\Media Arts Lab / Los Angeles + Pulse Films / Los Angeles + Framestore / Los Angeles

Client

Apple

Annual ID

OS_MI20_037G

Category

2020 Moving Image Craft: Innovation in Moving Image Craft

 

When Apple is your client, you can't help but make beautiful ads. That's why TBWAMedia Arts Lab is one of only two agencies to remain in our Top 10 list from last year. And while the breathtaking practical effects of "Bounce" gets most of the attention — as well as a Best of Discipline win — TBWAMAL proves once again that it has just enough other tricks up its sleeve to round out our Top 10 in the world.

 

SEE COMPLETE 2020 RANKINGS

Tags

Share To

Related

"Thank U, Next"
Next Creative Leaders Spill the Tea
Notpla: Packaging That Disappears
Our Countries, Tis Of Thee: The Top 10 Nations of 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Us