Kiwi advertisers ranked the world's best

A still from Burger King's McWhopper campaign (Burger King/supplied)
A still from Burger King's McWhopper campaign (Burger King/supplied)

Kiwi ad agencies Colenso BBDO and Y&R have been hailed as the world's most creative.

The two firms top the rankings in the latest Big Won rankings, compiled annually by UK-based advertising bible The Directory.

Y&R was recognised for its McWhopper campaign - a proposed truce between fast food giants McDonald's and Burger King, with the latter suggesting they combine their flagship burgers into one. It was rated the most-awarded ad campaign of 2016, anywhere in the world.

Colenso BBDO's 'Brewtroleum' campaign - making petrol using waste products leftover from making beer - came second in the same category.

Both McWhopper and Brewtroleum were also ranked highly for their innovation and integration of different media types - for example TV, print, radio and web.

New Zealand as a whole was ranked the third-most creative country in the world, when it comes to advertising.

"If the All Blacks dominate world rugby, then Kiwi creatives are doing the same in advertising," says The Directory editor Patrick Collister.

Auckland's Colenso BBDO has topped the list before - in 2012. Mr Collister says it wasn't down to just Brewtroleum - the agency was also behind successful campaigns for BNZ, Frucor, Mountain Dew, Volkswagen, Fonterra and the Auckland Writer's Festival, to name a few.

"It isn't as if this year's performance has been a flash in the pan. Kiwi agencies are consistently knocking it out of the park," says Mr Collister.

"To be recognised as the number one agency in the world is truly humbling and simply unbelievable," said Scott Coldham, managing director of Colenso BBDO.

"To be at the top of that list is incredible, and to have three Kiwi agencies in the top 20 is irrefutable proof that creativity in our marketplace is in fact, the best in the world."

DDB was the third Kiwi agency, ranked 19th. Its best-known recent campaign was perhaps the Lotto Powerball adverts featuring a group of siblings finding gold bars and a winning ticket, left behind by their deceased mother.

The ad was the subject of a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority, which was rejected.

"The scale and methodology behind the Big Won rankings make it the most respected overview of the best advertising campaigns and talent in the world," says Mr Coldham.

The Directory has been publishing its rankings since 2003.