Facebook, Amazon most innovative companies

23 February 2010

NEW YORK: Facebook, the social network, and Amazon, the online retailer, were the most innovative companies of last year, a new report has argued.

Fast Company, the business magazine, assessed thousands of organisations worldwide, analysing both their ideas and the creative executions used to support them, to produce its latest annual ranking, available in full here.

Facebook took the top spot, having recently announced that it has 400 million members worldwide, with almost a quarter of this audience accessing its pages via their mobile phones.

The Palo Alto-based platform added a range of fresh options for brands and advertisers over the last 12 months, and also strengthened its position relative to Twitter, the microblogging service.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, said "what 2009 was about for us was making the site better and growing users."

Amazon was in second place, thanks to major successes like the continued growth of the Kindle, its eBook reader, and the launch of a similar "app" for Apple's iPhone.

The web pioneer also expanded its online music and video range, and moved into data storage and other IT services, signing up customers like ESPN, the sports network, and eHarmony, the internet dating site.

Apple was in third, with the unveiling of updated versions of the iPod Touch and iPhone 3GS among its highlights of 2009, while Google was in fourth, having branched out into mobile and social media last year.

Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment firm, was in fifth, and leapfrogged Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens to become the second-biggest player in its sector in 2009.

First Solar, the renewable energy specialist, PG&E, the utilities group, Novartis, the pharma giant, Wal-Mart, the retailer, and Hewlett Packard, the PC manufacturer, made up the top ten.

Grey New York was regarded as the company in the advertising and marketing industry that demonstrated the most effective original thinking in 2009.

It won 17 of 19 new business pitches last year, taking accounts for BMW, DirectTV and the NFL in the process, and built up its own production unit, allowing it to make TV and internet ads in-house.

Firstborn, a digital agency, took second spot in this category, and was credited with delivering unique work for brands like Ford's Mustang and PepsiCo's SoBe.

Crispin Porter + Bogusky was in third, with Burger King's Whopper Sacrifice campaign on Facebook, and Best Buy's "twelpforce" on Twitter, helping the shop retain its reputation for ground-breaking solutions.

Unilever was the only client-side member of the advertising and marketing top ten, recognised for initiatives such as its "reverse upfront", as well as for becoming more "digitally ambidextrous".

Dyson took the honours in the consumer products competition, for goods such as its Air Multiplier bladeless fan and a handheld vacuum powered by the "world's fastest motor".

Nike was in second, with introductions like Converse All Stars shoes, which can be customised by shoppers, and the formation GreenXchange website showing the broad scale of its ambitions.

Data sourced from Fast Company; additional content by Warc staff