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A Tour of Danish Advertising Agencies

D&AD increasingly recognises creativity from all corners of the globe at the Professional Award. In the article below, Finn Graversen, editor at Bureaubiz.dk, gives us a tour of the independent advertising agencies who are at the top of their game. It's a perfect introduction to the Danish creative scene, and reassuring reading for small, independent and start up agencies around the world.

Finm Bureaubiz.dk Danish Advertising

Denmark is hardly the only country in the world where the birthrate is lower than what can be said to be good. But Denmark is possibly the only country in the world where a travel agency has turned that problem into an award-winning advertising concept.

We’re talking Spies Rejser and their Do It For Denmark and Do It For Mum campaigns. Perhaps you’ve even seen them, as they’ve managed quite a bit of international attention.

Do It For Mum is brand new and is yet to make an impact on the awards scene, but Do It For Denmark has done the rounds and won a long line of Danish national awards, such as the Advertising Effectiveness Award. The campaign didn’t include any paid for advertising of significance and is as such a prime example of how a brand has successfully invested in creative content rather than paid for media.

Watch Do It For Mum

The agency responsible is Robert/Boisen & Likeminded. They are the agency that currently pushes the boundaries the most when it comes to developing creative content that people are happy to share.

Another example is the Generous campaign for the chocolate brand, Anthon Berg. Part of this campaign is The Generous Store, a pop-up shop, where people could purchase good chocolate using the currency of good deeds.  

Watch the Generous Store

Or how about The Valentine’s Day Experiment, which measured oxytocin levels in men’s blood before and after they gave their partners’ a compliment and a box of chocolate (27.5%, in case you were wondering). That went on to win a Grand Prix at the Advertising Effectiveness Awards.

While Robert/Boisen helps set the creative agenda, they are not the best performing as a business; agencies focusing on data and omnichannel lead the way.

However, media agencies are making their creative mark more and more. Several of the big networks have creative departments, with one even acquiring a creative agency - they now call themselves a full-service communications agency. However, none of these have so far managed a creative breakthrough. Perhaps 2016 will be the year?

Another noticeable thing about the development in the Danish market is that the international agency networks have a very small impact on the market - it’s the local agencies that set the agenda. Apart from Robert/Boisen & Likeminded, we’re talking agencies like &Co and Hjaltelin Stahl who are among the most progressive and successful.

&Co has been the most winning, Danish ad agency in our (bureaubiz, red.) ranking of agencies - strongly carried by the Made from Cool campaign for Danish high street brand, Jack & Jones, starring Cristopher Walken, which also won big at D&AD.

Made From Cool, & Co, Wood Pencil, TV & Cinema Advertising, 2014

The other one, Hjaltelin Stahl, is fast on its way to becoming one of Denmark’s biggest agencies on the basis of a strong omni-channel focus. And yet, the agency retains a very strong, creative profile. Having just won back Ikea as a major client - a client they won many awards for a couple of years back for the campaign ‘Quality Tested by Everyday Life’.

Of the international network agencies, Uncle Grey is the one to watch, as one of the best on the creative scene.

In 2015, the agency won at D&AD for their work for Stylepit, whereas one of their more recent campaigns, Canon Gig App, is the one to keep an eye on for this season. It’s an application that the audience at gigs can use to take great pictures. A 4K Canon camera is installed at the concert and then the audience - via a livestream on their mobile - can choose to zoom in and move the camera to take the pictures they want in a much better quality than what they could do on their phone.

Stylepit, Uncle Grey Aarhus, Wood Pencil, Mobile Marketing, 2015

Clearly theere is no shortage of good ideas in the Danish market. Increasingly those ideas are being turned into brilliant creative, by home-grown talent. Let's hope that those fantastic peices of work are recognised by the Judges at D&AD this year.

Anna Sundbom of Danish production studio Bacon

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