London-based agency adam&eveDDB has been named as the European agency of the decade at Lions Live as a reflection of consistently agenda-setting, memorable and effective work.

Known for creating the much-loved John Lewis Christmas advertising that has been consistently effective over the course of a decade, the Omnicom-owned agency has ranked in the top 10 agencies at Cannes for seven years and has featured in the top five for six years.

Twice in the last decade, it has been named by Cannes Lions as agency of the year, globally. One of those years, 2014, it came away with four Grands Prix.

Created in 2012 from the merger of the independent Adam & Eve and DDB London, it was intended to bring about a return to the glory days that the network had created under BMP DDB in the 1970s and 80s.

For WARC, the John Lewis Christmas campaign (UK) is a long-time darling for the way it has illustrated key marketing lessons about effectiveness over the long term. It also took the Grand Prix in Creative Effectiveness in 2016 for Monty's Christmas.

Though all papers about the agency’s work on the brand (and there are many) are worth reading, its IPA entries provide a helicopter view of the development of a strategy that was not only subtly integrated but made the brand so famous that the John Lewis Christmas advert became an event in its own right.

Ultimately, it’s a story about how fantastic creative is the biggest boost you can bring to a campaign, and that in a world in which brands must earn attention, emotion works.

Fame has also featured as an important tool in some of the agency’s most successful campaigns. For Marmite, the British salty spread brand owned by Unilever, it already had a great platform: that of lovers and haters, which was really famous.

The bigger problem was that parents who don't like Marmite were not feeding it to their children as they thought they also wouldn't like it. To counter this, the brand established the idea that liking or not liking was affected by genetics and could thereby be tested to see if they were a lover or hater. Not only did the campaign reverse a long-term decline but also grew sustained sales over the course of the rest of the year.

What these campaigns indicate is that much of the agency’s best work commits to a creative idea that builds on the brand at hand rather than reinventing the wheel. Prior work was a springboard for fame, creating memories over the long term.

Adam&eveDDB edged in front of AMV BBDO, which took second place, and Ogilvy Paris in third.

Sourced from Lions Live, WARC