Get A Look At The Brilliant Independent Agencies In The Running For B&T Awards

Get A Look At The Brilliant Independent Agencies In The Running For B&T Awards

In today’s edition of our B&T Awards finalist showcase, we’re canvassing the bad-ass world of the independents, where we take a peek at the calibre of entries for four of the best.

With just a few weeks left until the awards, and the B&T office scrambling to get our outfits sorted (not to mention the night itself!) there’s barely a handful of tickets left, so if you’re yet to grab any, see here.

Today, we look at the entries from AFFINITY, The Monkeys, Cummins&Partners, and The Royals. Enjoy!


AFFINITY isn’t merely independent in terms of ownership; we’re independently charting our own, unique path to meet the changing needs of both brands and consumers.

Over the past four years we’ve actively used data to strengthen our creative intuition and build initiatives that help transform brands and business.

We believe today’s agencies must not only be good at delivering insightful, effective ideas but they now must become reputable experts in data, customer experience and technology as well. AFFINITY is a pioneer in this changing of the guard.

The past year represents growing acceptance of our bold approach. After only beginning to enter competitions such as these just over 12 months ago, we are already Australia’s most awarded data-driven agency.

So, if this industry is to embrace progress and celebrate agencies of the future – AFFINITY is proof positive of a new kind of independence.

AFFINITY is an independent data-driven media, CX and Ad Agency and is honoured to be a finalist in the B&T Agency of the Year Awards.


Cummins&Partners had their best ever year in 2016 – a year that marked their fifth birthday as a proudly independent agency.

On the work front, Cummins&Partners delivered modern, innovative and highly effective creative:media thinking for big brands – including saving Tropfest with CGU; introducing the ‘World’s Best Biscuit’ for the Australian Red Cross Blood Service; relaunching John West as the world’s most sustainable ‘unlimited’ tuna; reinvigorating the iconic Chiko Roll as the ultimate one-handed driving snack; celebrating fans through the ages as part of a massive season launch campaign for the AFL; and even harnessing social media support for Andrew Denton’s efforts to legalize voluntary euthanasia with their BetheBill campaign.

To deliver on their increasingly diverse agency model, Cummins&Partners have continued to hire some of the best and brightest – including James Greet as Chief Media Officer (the first C-level media executive to join an Australian creative agency); Matt Morgan as Head of Customer Experience to deepen their CRM capability; Wendy Mace as Creative Director; and luring John Corpuz, one of Australia’s hottest young talents, back from NYC as Connections Planning Director to better link creative and media thinking.

And they continue to create wider impact by taking on some of the real industry issues – like gender balance in senior management positions (4 of their 8 founding partners were women) and creative; and championing sciences in marketing through their ongoing involvement in initiatives like MSiX.

All of which has added up to impressive double-digit growth and profit in 2016, driven by strong client retention and staff retention rates as well as an enviable new business record. In fact, in 2016 Cummins&Partners won a new brand on average every 10 days – including Energy Australia, John West, QT Hotels and Chiko Roll, and adding media planning to their creative duties on Tourism Western Australia.

The Monkeys

Our purpose is to make provocative ideas happen. Our ideas live within advertising, entertainment, technology and design.

Advertisers have historically spent far too much time and money saying what they want to say, rather than what an audience wants to hear. So for a brand to stand out in today’s competitive market it has to surprise people, engage them and reward them for their time.

So we try and surprise the world with provocative ideas. Over the last 12 months we have done this with some of Australia’s finest brands.

Repositioning Telstra from a telecommunications company to a technology company with Telstra ‘Thrive On’ was arguably one of the biggest brand launches in 2016. In fact the year saw us become the lead brand agency on both Telstra and Qantas.

We created the most talked about and shared campaign of 2016 for Meat & Livestock Australia, Operation Boomerang – a campaign that won the Grand Effie, MLA Client of the Year and The Monkeys Agency of the Year at the Effies.

Other campaigns of note included a man riding horses singing Darrly Braithwaites The Horses, for Bingle.

We also overhauled the UBank brand with a new identity and brand campaign, revealing a new guiding principle ‘Just The Bank You Need’ which got Australians’ thinking about their needs and wants.

Launched a new platform for HCF, Health Comes First, that represents how HCF is founded on the principle of mutuality, and helped HCF stand out from the other big insurers.

Also, sustaining the upward trajectory of the IGA brand under the campaign idea ‘It Pays To Shop Independent’, which made Australians’ want to shop locally with comedian Shane Jacobson.

We then built on the success of the Blackmores brand with new product launches under the Be A Well Being platform, and continued Sydney University’s ‘Leadership For Good’ campaign, introducing a virtual experience that followed five students throughout a day at university.

We created new technology ideas, our own product, and entertainment formats, included a documentary on iconic surfwear brand Mambo which airs on the ABC in November.

And to top it off we continued to win agency of the year awards, creative awards and most importantly more Effies than any other agency in Australia. At the same time our business grew revenue by 20 per cent and profits by over 30 per cent.

All in all our best year ever.

The Royals

The Royals are an independent communications business with an office in Melbourne and Sydney, however we operate as one agency. And we’re really serious about that.

Our philosophy is this – we think modern marketers need an agency partner that is stocked with minds continually researching, learning, experimenting, trying things. An agency fuelled by passion and curiosity.

This insatiable appetite to know more is the basis for our desire to be ‘the most interested agency in the world’. We believe that if we’re perpetually interested, we can create the kind of work that has the right impact on consumers.

In the past year we have:

  • Launched content publishing sites for Campari and Deakin University.
  • Developed a Google for Work customer content series that’s received almost 7m views.
  • Redesigned the ‘White Pages’ brand and relaunched the business to its customers.
  • Relaunched The Australian Financial Review for Fairfax.
  • Convinced hard-core gamers to buy Intel SSD’s with some really geeky films.
  • Launched our Y-Media Lab – a stand-alone department aimed at solving business problems with technology. No ads.
  • Launched ‘Everybody Knows’ – a Royals-owned site about cultural interestingness.
  • Recruited an additional 25 amazing people to help us be the most interested agency in the world for our clients.
  • Won business from Mercedes-Benz Commercial, Shine Lawyers, Melbourne Racing Club, Powershop, City of Melbourne, Lion Nathan, Google, Snack Brands, plus the entire Campari portfolio (Wild Turkey, Skyy, Campari, Aperol, Appleton Estate Rum), in competitive pitches.
  • Grew revenue in FY16 by 47 per cent.
  • Increased our FY16 profit by 27 per cent YOY.
  • Ranked 45/100 on BRW’s Fast Starters list in 2015.
  • Taken The Royals to Byron for a well-earned break. Good times.
  • Taken a group to SXSW in Austin. Always inspirational.

Thanks as always to our fab sponsors – it’s going to be one hell of a party!


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