School Reports 2017: Sunshine

Boden and Roald Dahl Literary Estate
Boden and Roald Dahl Literary Estate

Score: 7
Last year: 7


How the agency rates itself: 7

Many agencies talk about influencing culture and creating entertainment, but Sunshine can lay genuine claim to those credentials. That said, it can be hard to get a handle on exactly what the company does because it sits outside the traditional ebb and flow of the ad industry.

It is perhaps easiest, then, to let the work speak for itself. A 2016 highlight was conceiving and brokering a partnership between clients Boden and the Roald Dahl Literary Estate to create a children’s clothing range. Sunshine also set up Future House for Adidas – a temporary "wasteland" in Shoreditch – to launch the NMD trainers.

Throughout the year, Sunshine picked up projects for New Look, GHD, Casper and A&E Networks, and created a new brand positioning and visual identity for the London Philharmonic Orchestra. It also relaunched BBC Three as an online-only platform.

Less conventionally, Sunshine developed its own entertainment properties last year, the most high-profile of which was My Beautiful Broken Brain, which launched on Netflix in March.

Within the company itself, Sunshine lured Bartle Bogle Hegarty London managing director Mel Exon to be its chief executive and opened an office in Los Angeles. Other notable arrivals included Kate Shepherd, who joined as director of content. She had previously run the TV and development arm of Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment in LA.

At the start of 2017, Sunshine hired Gravity Road’s Katie Lee as managing director. She replaces Nadya Powell, who departed the business shortly after Exon joined last autumn. Executive creative director Hollie Newton also exited in 2016.

The industry will no doubt be keenly watching Sunshine this year to see if the new management can take this "next-generation entertainment company" to the next level.


How the agency describes its year in a tweet

In 2016 we set out our stall as a next generation entertainment company, opened in LA and welcomed Mel Exon as CEO. Bring on 2017.

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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