Launched less than three years ago as a spin-off from hot
It’s not a complicated philosophy, nor would anyone but a complete cynic describe it as unique, but Kaye delivers it with complete conviction and it is impossible to argue with the results so far. The firm has attracted senior people from some of the industry’s best firms—Consolidated, Cow, Frank, Lexis, Red—and has an impressive staff retention record, matched only by its success rate in new businesss pitches: it has won 31 out of 32 since it was launched, picking up brands such as Channel 4, Chevrolet, Jetix, KrispyKreme, Lovefilm.com, National Geographic Kids, Samsung Mobile, Turner Entertainment and Wrigley’s, with new additions over the past 12 months including Sega (for its best-selling sports game Football Manager), Dating Direct, Betair and PepsiCo. As a result, the firm enjoyed impressive growth in 2007, with fee income up about 40 percent (exceeding £1 million for the first time) and on track for another healthy increase in 2008.
Kaye is joined at the head of the firm by associate director Jenny Lomas, whose career includes positions at Red, Consolidated and Frank and whose experience includes work on big brand campaigns (Persil, Strongbow and more) and issues management projects for the COI; and creative director Daniel Glover, who joined from Cow, where he helped to launch Cow Africa in Cape Town; and newcomer Ben Dutton, who joined from Lexis as creative director. They were attracted to become what Kaye calls “Mischief makers” by the opportunity to help create a new kind of consultancy, and by a variety of interesting perks, from profit sharing to a nutritionist and financial advisor to a “make yourself more interesting fund” for personal and professional development.
All of that has helped Mischief earn our Best U.K. Consultancy to Work For title for 2008, scoring particularly high marks when employees are asked whether their workplace is fun and whether they like the people they work most closely with, as well as on criteria related to bureaucracy and office politics, and while some respondents to our survey moaned about the money, its number one ranking suggests that big pay cheques are not the only factor in creating a great workplace. “Mischief is a vibrant and inspiring place to work,” says one employee. “We have an amazing team of very talented people who feel motivated to do great work. It’s by far the best agency I have worked in… and most of all, we have fun!” Adds another: “Everyone is really involved in how the company is run and where we see it going in the future, which means that the whole team has real drive and enthusiasm for the agency and our clients.” The bottom line: “We work hard but ensure that we are having fun at the same time. And we produce some amazing results for our clients as a result.”
But above everything else, Kaye wants Mischief to be famous for its work, and so far that work has been impressive, from traditional publicity stunts to word-of-mouth campaigns and digital and social media programmes. To publicize More4’s The Trial of Tony Blair, the firm led 100 Tony Blairs to the Houses of Parliament, sparking a viral phenomenon and helping to make the show the channel’s biggest ratings success. For Hummer—one of several GM brands on its roster—the firm worked on a launch campaign positioning the vehicle as the ultimate “boy’s toy” while also handling issues management challenges. For Chevrolet, meanwhile, Mischief engaged women drivers, creating a “car fitting room” that allowed customers to see what they looked like a new vehicle before purchasing. And for Betfair, the firm promoted betting around the London Mayoral election by creating 25-foot inflatable Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone heads tethered at different heights to demonstrate the changing odds.
Little wonder that many observers already have Mischief odds on favourite to establish itself as the