'Best kept secret' no more
Sparkler was crowned Best Agency at the 2011 Research Awards, marking a successful first decade in business. Co-founder Magnus Willis (far left), a former advertising account planner, explains what winning the award has meant for the company.
Why did you decide to enter the Research Awards?
For years we felt we’d occupied ‘best kept secret’ status, and we were happy with that – doing interesting, innovative projects with top drawer clients. But as we approached our tenth birthday, we felt that it would be good to put our heads above the parapet and shine a light on all of our good work. We felt it could benefit us in a host of ways – creating a real glow around us for clients and staff, current and future.
How did it feel to win your category?
Totally amazing – something we’re still getting used to now.
What has winning meant for your team?
It’s had an enormously positive effect. No matter how proud you are of your on-going work or the positive responses you get from clients, there’s something special and unique about this sort of industry recognition – it just puts a spring in your step and that’s true for all of us.
How has winning helped you in your dealings with your existing clients?
After the award there was an outpouring of positivity – countless of ‘about time’ and ‘well deserved’ emails. Since then we feel clients have become more interested in the sorts of work we do with other clients. But otherwise things are pretty much back to normal.
How has winning helped you with your new business development activities?
It’s undoubtedly helped get first meetings and briefs, but of course you still have to work hard to convert those into live jobs. Sadly there’s no cheque that comes with the award.
Any tips for would-be entrants on crafting an award-winning entry?
Think of your audience – chances are they have a pile of entries to work through on a Sunday afternoon. So make it memorable and different. Make it interesting and journalistic. Write with your head and heart. And, if you can, make it short.