Celebrating 20 years of otherness
A 20 year-old agency with a start-up’s spirit.
Inspiring ideas in digital, film, social and print.
A big agency that just happens to be small.
other is the creative business. Our field is the full spectrum of commercial creativity: anything where ideas and the ability to implement them beautifully make enterprises more successful. We’ve been independent and innovative for 20 years.
When other was launched in 1996, the name was a statement of intent. We set out to be different and better than the established agencies.
We described ourselves as the box on the form for the answer that wasn’t anticipated.
We set out to take the untrodden path. To be one of a kind.
That’s the essence of creativity.
When other was launched in 1996, the name was a statement of intent. We set out to be different and better than the established agencies. We described ourselves as the box on the form for the answer that wasn’t anticipated. We set out to take the untrodden path. To be one of a kind. That’s the essence of creativity. Just to be independent still after 20 years is different. So many we respected have come, gone, or sold in that time. Yet we were a tiny player – unnoticed at first by the wider industry and ignored by the press (though Senhske Dagbladet interviewed as part of its insight into what made up ‘Cool Britannia’ in 1997).
We had no money, no clients, no client service function, no planners, no office of our own (we had a corner of a lovely agency called Media System, until it was taken over a few months later), and not a lot else to suggest that we would still be going strong 20 years later. We were three creatives with a ridiculously ambitious plan, based almost entirely on the belief that we had the talent and ideas to do something important. In those early days, we mostly worked for other agencies. It took a year to win our first proper client. By which time, the company had floated. In the sense that we had moved our office onto a boat.
Today, we have achieved more of the plan that could ever have been reasonably expected. And much more than that. It’s not been easy. And we’re far from satisfied.
We’ve lived up to our values – colourful, different, intelligent. Though not always all three at the same time. We’ve had our share of interesting moments.
And we’ve had an impact.
Our work with charities has raised over £120m for good causes.
We’ve worked on pioneering projects for some of the biggest names in international business.
We’ve changed the way major brands think.
We’ve played a part in influencing big decisions. We influenced the EU’s Television Without Borders directive. Made telling digital work on the AV referendum.
We’ve come up with transformational ideas.
Spearheaded globally-awarded campaigns like Unilever’s Winning Balance.
We rebranded a national institution – Ordnance Survey – in a way that was popular with employees, customers and the 2m members of the public who love its mapping.
Found an entirely fresh approach to the whole way creative work is developed in the commercial sector, based on PreProven – which is rapidly winning awards and has the astonishing record of ensuring that every single project to date where it has been used has beaten its targets.
We’re still only scratching the surface of its potential.
We’ve made some incredible friends and worked with some amazing people – both as clients and suppliers. We’ve also been privileged to have some truly outstanding people working in our team.
We’re still working with Freedom From Torture – our very first direct client from 19 years ago. We’ve been working with Unilever for more than 10 years – and they can choose from the best.
This year, Jenny Ashmore (President of the Chartered Institute of Marketing) appointed us to work on TV, radio, press and outdoor for her new company, Octopus Energy. We first worked with her in 2001, when she was head of interactive at P&G.
Although we’re a London-based agency, we work with clients based on other continents – such as the wonderful Godiva in New York. These days, Unilever are far more likely to ask us to work on new product development in the Far East than they are to give us a project about the UK.
We’ve always been a boutique agency – used by the expert few who really know good and bad. The leaders, the influencers and the award-winners in their sectors.
Today, more people appreciate us than ever. The first six months of 2016 was our best for winning important new clients since we started.
We’ve just had our most award-winning year. And we’re doing some of the most interesting work we’ve ever done.
So when we look back over the last 20 years, what shines through most brightly is not what we’ve done. It’s what we’re going to do.
Would you like to walk that untrodden path with us?