Rethink

One small shop, lots of hardware. Vancouver's Rethink has claimed the Top Agency spot for the first time, taking the title from more sizable victors Taxi (last year's winner; this year it lands in third place) and DDB (2006's winner; this year's runner-up).

One small shop, lots of hardware. Vancouver’s Rethink has claimed the Top Agency spot for the first time, taking the title from more sizable victors Taxi (last year’s winner; this year it lands in third place) and DDB (2006′s winner; this year’s runner-up).

Founder/partner/CD Chris Staples gives an update on the agency’s goings-on over the past 12 months, and tells us why an office in Toronto may or may not be on the horizon.

Four questions for Rethink’s Chris Staples

How’s business?

Our revenues grew by about 10% this year, largely because of increased business from our existing clients.

Our most recent retainer account win was Mr. Lube. We also worked on dozens of new projects in 2007, including top-to-bottom rebranding efforts for Canadian Press, the Vancouver Canadians baseball team, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and the Vancouver YWCA.

Has the number of staff also grown?

We added about 10 people this year, and are currently at around 70. We’ve also recently hired a full-time talent scout/HR manager to make sure we attract the best and the brightest.

The agency is at the top of its game – where to next?

Our clients have been asking us to get involved in areas of their businesses beyond standard advertising. We’re doing more design, more interactive and even things like staff uniforms, in-house magazines and store design. Most realize that their brands are much more than ads – they’re a total experience. They want one-stop shopping without having to deal with a bunch of layers or divisions. We think there’s a big market for this kind of thinking, especially in places like Toronto.

Are you thinking of adding another location to join the one in Copenhagen?

We share a name and philosophy with Rethink Copenhagen [opened by long-time friend of founder Ian Grais in 2004], but not ownership (we wanted to rethink the agency network model). That office currently has a staff of 12. We’ve collaborated on lots of projects, and some of our former staff members now work in Denmark.

As far as further expansion goes, many people ask us about a Toronto office. Our answer is that almost half our business is already there, and on any given day there’s probably a Rethinker in Toronto. Our clients realize that distance does not interfere with service or face time – especially in this high-tech age.

Top scores

1. Rethink 343

2. DDB Canada 297

3. Taxi 226

4. Ogilvy & Mather 200

5. BBDO Canada 120

6. Cossette 91

7. Zig 81

8. John St. 78

9. JWT 62

9. Lg2 62

11. Sid Lee 61

12. Lowe Roche 52

13. TBWA 51

14. Trigger Communications 44

15. Bleublancrouge 42

15. Draft FCB 42

17. Target Marketing & Communications 40

18. Downtown Partners 37

19. Extreme Group 34

20. Leo Burnett 33

See full list

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Introduction

Top advertiser: Unilever

Top CD: Rethink’s Chris Staples and Ian Grais

Top AD: Ogilvy’s Tim Piper

Top copywriter: Ogilvy’s Tim Piper

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