Creative Ranking 2020: Four Wins

No, this is not last year's edition. It's actually fact: Jung von Matt Limmat wins the creative ranking for the fourth time in a row. Only one other agency has managed that before.

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A lot of things got mixed up, were cancelled or postponed in this corona-battered year 2020. A lot, but not everything. And so agencies submitted their work to the various competitions that took place. Of the competitions that fall into the creative rankings, it was their three that dropped out completely: Cannes Lions, the Clio Award and the London International Award.

Creative Ranking 2020: The Top 10
Rank 2020 Agency Points Rank previous year
1 Jung von Matt/Limmat 568 1
2 Call Lanz 293 3
3 Thjnk Zurich 214 2
4 Hinderling Volkart Part of Dept 156 5
5 Havas 150 7
6 Home Zurich 89 10
7 Notch Interactive 87 6
8 Serviceplan Suisse 84 8
9 Wunderman Thompson 75
10 Farner 67
Source: Advertising Week

The Top 5

Go to For the fourth time in a row, the agency Jung von Matt Limmat at the top, for the former CCO Dennis Lück this is already the fifth time. Winning four times in a row is something only the former Y&R Group has managed in the history of the creative rankings. Renamed Wunderman Thompson, the agency held the No. 1 spot from 2008 to 2011, while Ruf Lanz secured the No. 2 spot, up one rank from 2019. The No. 3 spot is held by Thjnk, up one spot from last year's No. 2 spot. Hinderling Volkart Part of Dept improved its ranking by one place and now occupies fourth place. The top 5 are rounded off by the agency Havas, which has thus improved its ranking by two places and moved up to the top 5.

No less exciting: the ranks 6 to 10

The biggest leap in the rankings was made by Heimat Zürich. In 2019, the agency appeared on the list for the first time ever, and just one year later, Heimat Zürich is already in 6th place. Notch, which has been part of the Publicis Group since last year, secures 7th place and thus loses one rank, Serviceplan holds on to 8th place, Wunderman Thompson, which took a break last year and dedicated itself to its own relaunch, secures 9th place and Farner occupies 10th place.

Working under corona conditions

In 2020, the agency world, like all other industries, was confronted with completely new starting situations. Concepts had to be created from scratch, employees learned to master creative processes, important meetings, selection processes, pitches and much more from their home offices at lightning speed. Lucky were those who had embraced the "work from anywhere" principle. Jung von Matt Limmat invested a lot to get the necessary changes underway.

And that in form and content: working together remotely and digitally has become a well-established part of everyday life for the agency. CEO Roman Hirsbrunner sums it up like this: "We are always happy when we are at the top of the podium. But even the fourth number one in a row doesn't change our real ambitions: How do we do the best work for our clients? How do we create an inspiring environment for our employees? How do we create work that doesn't 'just' sell, but answers social questions?" (Also read the interview on page 6.)

Answering social questions, living an attitude - Ruf Lanz has been dealing with this for a long time. Markus Ruf: "In 2021, we will continue to adhere to our guiding principle: Those who rest on their laurels are wearing them in the wrong place. Even more so in Corona times. Because in times of uncertainty, the attitude of a brand becomes even more important. People want to know what a company stands for and what contribution it makes to society. Staging this Purpose of our clients in a surprising, entertaining and intelligent way is our goal." For years, the agency has kept itself on the winner's podium - and that with a dozen employees.

Alexander Jaggy and Andrea Bison from Thjnk have decided to standardize the home office for the future. They are switching completely to mobile working, they say, as this is the learning from the Corona crisis.

What was, what is coming

Last year, Hinderling Volkart joined Dept, an international group of digital agencies. Then came the lockdown, and with it the tension between all the demands grew. But thanks to Dept's trust and sensitivity and the clients' urge for innovation and digitalization, new requests and projects opened up. Managing Director Michael Volkart sums it up like this: "We are delighted to be among the top 5 agencies in the creative rankings for the second time. This nomination is an appreciation for the courage of our clients for creative and digital solutions and the heart and soul of our team. At the same time, it also sets the bar for this year."

Havas was able to catapult itself two ranks forward. They are aware that 2021 will be no less challenging, as the effects of the pandemic cannot really be grasped. Patrick Beeli, Creative Director of Havas, sees opportunities in the culture of discussion, as this will more often be conducted at eye level again, because everyone is in the same boat.

For Heimat Zurich, 2020 was a successful year despite all its adversities, also in terms of the creative ranking. Heimat partners Simon Rehsche and Nico Ammann have this to say about the ranking: "Advertising and self-marketing are not a luxury, and agencies should also set an example. That's why we're all the more pleased today about the important, good placement in the ranking - and hope that this success will take us even further."

Peter von der Touw, CEO of Notch Interactive, and his team are extremely proud to have been able to maintain their position in the ranking for years. He sees the integration into the Publicis Group as an exciting and very inspiring experience. Serviceplan is already looking forward to the joint coffee breaks, aperitifs and parties that were not possible last year due to the lockdown. The creative exchange also works virtually, but it is just not the same. Raul Serrat sums up: "The situation in 2020 was unexpected and radical for all of us. At first we thought that the lockdown and the home office would nip creativity in the bud. But we discovered that this was not the case. Creativity always creates and finds new solutions and ways to keep things going. I firmly believe that this situation brings a few insights that we will keep and cultivate in the future."

Wunderman Thompson is pleased to have made it straight back into the top 10 rankings after the 2019 award break. Swen Morath, CCO, explains: "This is despite the fact that we were not able to collect any points from international awards due to the corona-related submission stop on the part of the network. We are particularly pleased that we won awards with work for almost every one of our major clients."

Farner took part in the ranking for the first time and immediately secured a place in the top 10. Philipp Skrabal, Partner and CCO at Farner, on joining the ranking: "Creativity is crucial, especially in a difficult environment. With our first-time participation in the creative ranking, we want to set an example - both internally and externally." This is despite the fact that the creative competitions included in the ranking do not cover the full spectrum of the communications industry, as Farner sees it.

TBWA\Zurich only just slipped out of the Top 10. ECD Manuel Wenzel explains: "We decided on an award stop relatively early on in the Covid story, as part of a series of measures we initiated to safeguard jobs for our people. As a result, we were only able to collect points at four shows. Sure we were hoping it might still be close for the top 10, but can live with it for this year for reasons mentioned."


Dhe Swiss Creative Ranking has been conducted and published annually by Werbewoche since 2002. It reflects the performance of agencies in national and international competitions. The rules - i.e. which awards may be included and with what weighting - are defined by ADC Switzerland in consultation with the leading agencies. The last rule adjustment took place on the occasion of a so-called "elephant round" in 2017. 

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