School Reports 2017: Poke

Ted Baker
Ted Baker

Score: 7
Last year: 7

How the agency rates itself: 7

Poke has thrived since making the move to 82 Baker Street, enjoying rapid growth under Publicis UK boss Guy Wieynk. It has made the most of the new opportunities to work with sibling agencies Vivid (now part of Arc), August, Chemistry and Publicis London.

All of which is good news for the founders, whose earn-out agreement concludes last year.

Poke welcomed five new clients in 2016, the biggest of which was Heineken. The agency won a place on the brewer’s global digital roster after a joint pitch with Publicis UK and Publicis Milan, its lead global creative agency. Through Publicis UK, Poke will work mainly on Heineken’s digital campaigns for its new Formula One and Uefa Champions League sponsorships.

The agency certainly has form in activating sponsorships. Its standout work of the year was for Orange’s sponsorship of Euro 2016. One of the #OrangeSponsorsYou campaign’s key elements was the Eiffel Tower lighting up each night in the colours of whichever country had the most active fans on social media.

Poke also released the second iteration of its brilliant "Wembley Cup" event to activate EE’s sponsorship of Wembley Stadium.

Other notable work included a fun social campaign for Ted Baker to launch its autumn/winter collection. Poke worked with Google on an interactive in-store experience, as well as creating characters and a social media game in which participants could win prizes.

So, a respectable year for Poke. With Farnhill stepping up to run the main Publicis agency in 2017, Poke looks set to start a new phase. Can it retain all of the qualities that made it special as an independent following the founders’ earn-outs? Perhaps not. But if Farnhill can inject some of them into Publicis, the group will be all the richer for it.

How the agency describes its year in a tweet

It’s the stuff we can’t yet shout about that is giving us goosebumps.

Score key: 9 Outstanding 8 Excellent 7 Good 6 Satisfactory 5 Adequate 4 Below average 3 Poor 2 A year to forget 1 Survival in question

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