APG Creative Strategy Awards 2017

In association with Google

This year we asked you to show us how creative strategic thinking can have a transformational effect on business, brands and culture.


These winning cases show not only how transformational brilliant strategy can be, but why it's at the heart of breakthrough creativity.

Congratulations to you all!

Gold & Grand Prix



Agency: BBDO New York and BBDO San Francisco

Planned by: Alaina Crystal and Crystal Rix


Imagine the Possibilities

Barbie is an icon, but one that had started to lose its appeal and sales. This paper demonstrates how simply spotting, reclaiming and reinterpreting the brand’s original raison d'etre for today’s cultural conversation lead to landmark product innovation and communications.

Special Prize:

Denise Williams Prize for Best Performance to the Judges



Beats by Dre

Agency: R/GA, London

Planned by: Simon Wassef and Stephen Pirrie

How the power of music led Beats to victory

Once upon a time Beats by Dre weren’t cool. Now they’ve been bought by Apple for US $3bn. This paper shows how that transformation happened, thanks to strategy identifying the most emotionally powerful thing about music wasn’t tech specs, it was giving you the ability to focus. And then focusing on that, long-term.

Special Prize:

Long-Term Thinking

Cancer Research UK

Agency: Anomaly UK

Planned by: Ant Harris and Stuart Smith

Battling Cancer Right Now

Cancer UK is a big important charity doing big important work to eradicate the ‘Big C’. This paper demonstrates how planning realised big was the enemy, and that the key to unlocking more response was to get smaller and more intimate in creative, in media and in the production. The result was 400+ ads with 39% increase in donations.

Special Prize:

The Nursery Prize for Best Brand-Building Insight

Change Please (The Big Issue)

Agency: FCB Inferno, London

Planned by: Chris Baker

Change where you buy your coffee and change the world   

Change Please is a new coffee brand launched in partnership with the Big Issue that was inspired, refined and successfully launched thanks to a planner who spotted an opportunity to help homeless people by changing where and how people shopped for coffee - and then made it happen.

Special Prize:

Google Planning Innovator Award


Agency: MEC UK

Planned by: Pete Buckley and Richard Bartlett

"Fellow parents! If you want a shock, download the Sugar Smart app!!!”

In order to reduce the amount of sugar children consumed, Change4Life focused its core messaging on a digital app – a world first for public health marketing. This paper shows how strategy was central to the initiative through identifying the importance of visualising sugar, and making it personal to people.


Agency: Now, London

Planned by: Amelia Wood and Kate Waters

Bringing Out the Scientist in Kids

Explorify is a new digital service aimed at inspiring the next generation of children to be scientists. This paper shows how brave strategic thinking went against convention from education experts to shape innovative product design, branding, customer experience and launch strategy - with huge success.

Special Prize:

Firefish Prize for Unconventional Thinking

John Lewis Christmas

Agency: adam&eveDDB

Planned by: Martin Beverley, David Golding, Les Binet and David Bratt

The gift that keeps on giving

In recent years, John Lewis has won a very special place in peoples hearts for its Christmas communications as much as for its exceptional retail experience. This paper demonstrates how incisive new thinking positioning the brand as ‘the home of thoughtful gifting’ at Xmas directly lead to communications which have kept raising the creative bar year after year and transformed the business’ long-term fortunes.

Special Prize:

ITV Prize for Best Commercial Impact



BBC Asian Network

Agency: 101 London

Planned by: Clare Hutchinson

How cultural immersion inspired the sound of a new generation

BBC’s Asian Network radio station had falling listener numbers. This paper shows how planning went on a journey of cultural immersion to get under the skin of how young British Asians defined their generation through ‘bothness’, and then rebuilt the station’s entire remit & identity around this truth resulting in a record number of listeners.


Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, London

Planned by: Marie Maurer

These girls did, so others could

Dove’s ‘campaign for real beauty’ is one of the most celebrated campaigns of the last decade. This is the story of how the brand changes culture rather than just reflecting it, thanks to restless planning that identifies new cultural orthodoxies to challenge in order to answer the question ‘what do we want the truth to be.’

John Lewis Insurance

Agency: adam&eveDDB

Planned by: Tom Sussman

From trading off the brand's name, To learning how to transplant the brand's heart

John Lewi