The top 3 agencies to creative ranking year 2021

CRK, Ruf Lanz und Publicis/Notch bilden die Spitze des diesjährigen Kreativrankings. In ihren Statements haben sie m&k unter anderem verraten, was sie im Jahr 2021 beschäftigt hat.

Kreativranking-Jahr 2021Caroline Hulliger (left), member of the CRK Executive Board and partner of the Myty Group, and Christian Bircher, former Creative Director at CRK: "We have invested a lot in creation, we make this visible by now participating in competitions."

m&k: Congratulations, CRK has earned the title in the creative rankings. How do you feel?

Caroline Hulliger: Thank you very much. I feel very good, winning the creative ranking is just fantastic! A "PR agency" winning the creative ranking: Who would have thought that possible? It's really great that we were able to score internationally with our small creative team. I would like to sincerely thank everyone involved for their good work in these challenging Corona times - namely Christian Bircher, who has led CRK's creative efforts for the past two years. But I would also like to thank our customers for the trust they have placed in us.

Christian Bircher: I'll go along with that. The fact that we've been able to score internationally with all our campaigns with a small creative team, consisting of an average of four people per campaign, is great.


In 2021, CRK cleaned up with "Das Leben der Rosemarie," but "#WieDuUndIch" and "Vier Freunde" also won awards. What was or is the secret?

Bircher: I have already looked into numerous agencies. A big advantage of CRK is that it is not as process-oriented as large advertising agencies. That's why there's more room here for unconventional, but also classic approaches. Not everything is subordinated to the dictate "how it has to be done". Short decision-making paths between creation and consulting and no bloated meetings, but with the right specialists in the right places. What also played a role was the courage to create or to "creatively disobey" when the briefing allowed it.

Hulliger: I would also like to mention that we have invested a lot in creation in recent years. The former "PR agency" has evolved into a full-service communications agency with strong expertise in campaigning, public affairs, public relations, employer branding and social PR. Today, we have a well-coordinated team that interacts optimally with the consulting and digital teams. This is the source of these successes, which we are now making visible by entering competitions.


In the ranking, the agency was not among the top 10 in the last few years, and now it is immediately at number 1. What ambitions do you have with the CRK agency for 2022?

Hulliger: Our ambition is not primarily to win awards. In 2022, we want to continue working with our customers to support issues of social relevance and implement intelligent and creative solutions.


Christian Bircher was the creative director responsible in 2021 and thus heavily involved in the winning campaigns. How did the collaboration go?

Hulliger: Good creation is only possible when everyone pulls together and shares the same enthusiasm for creative. At CRK, Christian worked hand in hand with the consulting and digital teams. The result was integrated campaigns with strong ideas at their core.


Filip Wolfensberger is the new Creative Director at CRK, how was the transition?

The transition went very well. Filip knows the agency and the team very well, as he was Senior Art Director for two years before his promotion.


They've now started with a big ladle. First place from ambush, so to speak. Should we expect a sequel in 2022?

The awards we have received in recent months prove that we are on the right track with our agency's strategic orientation. We want to consistently continue on this path.

Markus Ruf on 2021: "Less lipstick, more eye make-up".

In 2021, less lipstick was sold because of the mandatory mask, but more eye makeup. The situation was similar for Ruf Lanz: Corona-related budget declines were offset by new customers such as Ewz and ZHAW, as well as new BFU prevention projects. We worked passionately for this.

Creative ranking 2021

In 2021, we celebrated 20 years of Ruf Lanz. In doing so, we remembered a sentence from the founding interview in the Advertising Week noticed: "We only want to grow so big that we work mainly as creatives and not as managers." We've stuck to that. The fact that we, as a creative boutique with eight heads, are placed at the front of the creative rankings for the 20th year in a row and are once again ranked second is a wonderful confirmation. This year especially because we only participated in a fraction of the counting awards due to time constraints.

Our attitude as creatives and entrepreneurs has always been: no award-case tinkering detached from day-to-day business, but surprising campaigns for real clients and their real challenges. That's why 2021 awarded work for various clients: Hiltl, Stiftung Tier im Recht, VBZ, BFU, Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Welti-Furrer, K-Tipp, Build Smart, Autismus Forum Schweiz.

"Hands off tourist attractions with wild animals": Ruf Lanz's campaign for the Animal in Law Foundation.

3rd place for Publicis/Notch: "We only submit real campaigns for real clients."

The second pandemic year was a year full of confidence for us, but also a year of perseverance. A year in which, thanks to the tireless efforts of our employees, we were able to win new clients, enrich the agency with great talent and revise and sharpen our focus. And a year that confirmed two things for us: First, that Publicis Zurich stands for creativity that gets things done and gets things moving. And second, that with Notch we offer creativity that connects people and brands with design and innovative technology.

When it comes to awarding this concentrated load of creativity at award shows, it is clear to us that we only submit real campaigns for real clients. No award ideas, no idea without a briefing. And we're happy to submit ideas for our biggest client - such as last year's video advice service for Migros specialist stores, Migros' Amigos neighborhood help service, or UBS Helpetica.

"Video doch einfach an": The video consultation for the Migros specialty stores was rewarded with bronze by ADC Switzerland.
Silver was awarded at the SDV Award for "Amigos, the Migros Neighborhood Help".

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