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School Reports 2019: XYZ

Type of agency & ownership Independent experiential agency
Nielsen billings 2018 m/a
Declared income £8.2m
Total accounts at year end 16
Accounts won 14 (biggest: Converse)
Accounts lost 2 (biggest: Ray-Ban)
Number of staff 15 (+13%)
Key personnel Will Mould, managing director; Paul Stanway, creative director; Sophie Billi-Hardwick, marketing and new business director; Lucy Aitken, operations director; Oksana Koval, client services director
Star player The XYZ project management team. “Quite simply the most committed and talented team in the industry.”
% of females in senior management 70%
% of BAME in senior management 0%

At just six years old, XYZ is one of the younger players in the field of brand experience in this year’s School Reports, in which it makes its debut. But what it lacks in age, it more than makes up for in creativity. As the mastermind behind the “One star hotel” for Converse last February, along with design agency Hotel, XYZ justifiably won the Creative Event of the Year title at the Campaign Experience Awards.

Indeed, the agency is making waves as one of the keen drivers in the rapidly evolving fi eld of experience design, following its work for San Francisco-based sustainable fashion brand Allbirds, for which it designed an experiential retail strategy.

Last year marked the agency’s strongest year to date with 14 client wins including Levi’s, Red Bull, Adnams and Hotpoint. For the last, XYZ created a live activation to tie in with the brand’s initiative to tackle food waste “Fresh thinking for forgotten food”, with a cookery roadshow that culminated in a café on Bethnal Green Road in east London, fronted by Jamie Oliver (pictured).

Following an office move, the agency focused on fostering a strong internal culture, supporting new parents and returners. As a result, it boasts a 100% staff-retention rate. Female employees represent 70% of XYZ’s leaders, but some work remains to be done – 30% of the agency are BAME employees but this hasn’t been mirrored on the leadership team as yet.

However, in terms of both creativity and culture, it was a stellar year for this young agency with grown-up ambitions.

Score: 8

Agency’s Own Score: 8

Last Year’s Score: N/A

From the headmistress: Enthusiastic

2018 in the agency’s words

The industry summed it up for us: we have been named Event Agency of the Year and Experiential Agency of the Year by one of the most respected awards bodies in the industry.

Read the article on Campaign here