How a marketing agency from New York remains delightfully independent - With an Annual 2021 Bronze winner | #AnnualSpotlight

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The Annual 2021 winners have been revealed over summer, with some of the most exciting companies in the history of Creativepool. Who are these amazing teams and why do they represent the best of the best in the realm of creativity?

Delightfully independent, operating with a tight-knit team, Clarkmcdowall joined Creativepool this year and they instantly left a mark in the community by securing a Bronze in Packaging. The progressive team of brand architects thrives in challenges and taking risks, always striving to think further and push creativity to get to breakthrough work done.

In this Annual 2021 Spotlight, we are learning more about Clarkmcdowall and how they managed to win a Bronze in The Annual 2021.

View The Annual 2021 Winners!


Tell us about your winning submissions! What do you think impressed the judges?

The ability to make Nutro stand out in a very crowded, chaotic environment with a clean, refracted visual language. The design system expresses a fresh narrative to the category. 

Beyond the emotional story-telling, the system organizes a large-scale, multi-variant portfolio of products allowing for an easier, more pleasant shopping experience for the busy pet parent.

What felt unique about taking part in The Annual?

Creativepool’s Annual felt different from the other awards, not relying on the usual judges from the usual organizations. It seems to be more of genuine reflection of our global industry. The opportunity to have your peers vote for the projects they felt they connected with most felt fresh and exciting.


If you could name one reason that made you choose to enter this year, what would it be?

There is a social connectivity within Creativepool, a network of peers, agencies, companies all coming together and sharing their expertise. This year especially, it felt good to feel that support within the industry.

How do you plan to display your award?

We plan to continue sharing our award with our social networks, on LinkedIn and Instagram, on our website and sharing with our client partners. 

Will you enter again in 2022? If so, what are your hopes?

We will definitely be entering again in 2022. Our hope is to win more in categories that reflect the changes that need to happen – to people, the community, the planet. We look to inspire some kind positive change and impact to the world through our branding expertise.

What advice would you share with other agencies and individuals looking to grab an award?

You have to stand behind what you believe is good and write about it with honesty, passion, and belief. The rest will follow.

How does winning awards such as The Annual impact your business?

Winning an award like The Annual gives credibility to us as an independent agency that doesn't have big PR or advertising budgets behind them. It's a testament to the quality of thinking, the power of our unique approach, the heart that our team puts into each and every challenge and the strength of our client partnerships to trust that we will deliver.


This year’s winners are a testament to the power of creativity in hardship. How did Covid restrictions influence your winning projects and how did you approach these new challenges?

At the start of the pandemic, we were finding that our traditional ways of collaborating just weren’t cutting it. We had new barriers to overcome (technology, timing, tools) but were committed to making every moment of our workflow, from internal crits to consumer insights, unfold as smoothly virtually as it would in-person. Through exploring, testing, and innovating new tools, we’ve not only levelled the playing field but, in many cases, achieved more seamless and constructive collaboration.

We are proud of what came out the other side, many rebrands, and new brands created - and particularly the work with Mars Petcare, for Nutro.

What are your hopes for the industry in 2022 and beyond?

There is an ever increasing and critical need for agencies and their client partners to work closely together, to challenge and inspire each other, to push ourselves towards sustainable solutions.  As agency owners, we have a responsibility to make this happen, and our clients have a huge responsibility to action it.

Secondly, the world of design is also woefully low in diversity. We’re not going to fix society, but we have the ability to be more innovative in where we source talent so that our teams are much more representative of our community.


What is your most exciting project in the next year?

We’re so lucky always be working on a wide range of different brands and initiatives. We are most inspired by the brands that are actively looking to make our future brighter.

From partnering with organizations like the Lower East Side Girls Club of NYC that are shaping the next generation of women to Global organizations like PepsiCo that are putting sustainability at the center of their business. Or growing brands like Kate Farms that are transforming the lives of so many through the power of nutrition - to legacy brands like Palmolive that are designing a cleaner future by diverting more than 5,200 tons of plastic from landfills every year.

But personally, the most exciting project is shaping and forming our hybrid model at Clarkmcdowall. To design our agency and the way we work around human needs and how it impacts culture, values, and behavior.


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