“This is your year, Brainlabs.”
“This is your year, Brainlabs.”
— Me, just now
This image perhaps sums up the general opinion of 2016 for the UK: lots of famous people and things are sadly no longer around — the toughest ones to take being the fish head guy from Star Wars whose mouth never really matched what he was saying and the old Toblerone shape.
But 2016 wasn’t all bad.
Actually, for Brainlabs, it was a cracker of a year.
Admittedly, we weren’t very quiet about it, so this will come as no surprise, but… we’ve expanded to the USA! Specifically, we’ve set up a new base in New York to continue on our path to world domination.
Closer to home, we’ve just signed on for our new office: a four-storey behemoth on Old Street roundabout in the White Collar Factory — pretty swish. We move in around April and there’s been talk of slides and ball pits — and that’s just the meeting rooms…
Only joking. But not really.
Superb New Clients
Our paid media team has inevitably grown as the company expands. Since last year, we’ve added Lottie Ison-Hobday and her sausage dog as heads of search as well as partnering with some incredible new clients including TSB, Blackberry, JD Sports, Secret Escapes, Simply Business, Premier Inn, The Royal Academy, Eastpak, *gasps for air* the British Library, and TUI.
Part of our growth has been driven by our programmatic team. Headed up by Grace Kaye (@gracelucykaye — she’s desperate for followers) whose speaking CV now includes SMX East 2016 in New York, the team has tripled and has already scooped a few awards for their innovative work.
We’ve also been busy building our analytics department under the watchful gaze of Dan Truman (@danieljtruman — not as desperate as Grace but follow him for fashion tips, at least). This has allowed us to become Google Analytics Certified Partners and Google Tag Manager Certified Partners, too.
You may have noticed we’ve given our analytics display ads a spruce, now featuring Dan Truman, the GA superhero. Keep an eye out for him.
Kicking off the year with the European Search Awards in Paris, we won Best Local Campaign for our work alongside the lovely yet terrifyingly successful Deliveroo, as well as Best Large PPC Agency — a huge result after having won the same accolade at the UK Search Awards towards the end of 2015. Zut alors!
Those bloody guys, eh?
At the Festival of Marketing, one of the most respected industry awards ceremonies in the calendar, we were crowned Agency of the Year. Incredible scenes!
The Data Storytelling Awards saw us win a programmatic award for our work with Which?, followed up by winning Best Use of Social Media and Most Innovative Campaign at the UK Search Awards. On top of that, we won Digital Agency of the Year at the Digital Entrepreneur Awards up in Manchester.
In the midst of all those agency awards, our COO, Sophie Newton, snuck in an IPA Woman of Tomorrow award for all her amazing work for women and workplace engagement. What a star! Here’s a video of a nice man (possibly a judge), whose hair is arguably too long for his age, talking about Sophie.
It’s been a year of huge growth for us on all levels — recruitment has been firing on all cylinders and we’ve grown from 40 to 90 Brainlabbers in 2016. We were named in Mishcon de Reya and City A.M.’s Leap 100, awarded first place in the Deloitte Tech Track Fast 50, sixth in the Deloitte EMEA Fast 500, and Most Impressive Agency Growth at the UK Agency Awards.
even for us.
We introduced our Brainlabs Tech Stack this year, to stand alongside our services as a paid media agency. Interested? Of course you are! Here’s a link.
Our second largest department, tech, have outdone themselves this year, providing truly innovative scripts and automation for clients, winning several awards in the process.
Of course, we still open-source scripts for the benefit of the wider industry. What a great bunch!
PPC Chat Live
Our very own industry event has really taken off this year. Inspired by Matt Umbro, PPC Chat Live is now the largest paid media meet-up in Europe. Speakers are all experts in their fields, and have included Russel McAthy, CEO at CUBED Attribution; Richard Fergie; Javed Laher, search account director at Microsoft; and Will Edwards, UK head of measurement and attribution at Google. The next one’s on February 9th so please come on down to our King’s Cross offices.
Working at Brainlabs
We’re very proud of our work for our clients and our tech team’s crazy innovation, but we’ve also invested a huge amount of time and energy into creating the best place to work in the world. This is, after all, one of Brainlabs’ two fundamental missions. On top of the existing perks we already had (yoga, free breakfast and lunch, unlimited holiday, the Brainlabs library) we’ve introduced the immensely popular Brainlabs Wednesday football — which sees as many gaffes as it does great, great goals — a Brainlabs choir, board games club, regular trips out, the frankly fantastic Brainlabs Summer Fete, the Mario Kart Equinox Championship, and daily ‘Internal Learning’ — talks by any member of the company on topics from work and wellbeing to ‘What would happen if the world suddenly stopped spinning?’ (If you’re wondering, it’s not good news.)
Onto festivities now, and our client Christmas party was a great success, held at the London Shuffle Club in trendy, trendy, trendy Shoreditch and continuing into the early hours.
Our own Christmas party was a joyous affair held at The George in Belsize Park, featuring individual awards and enterprising young Brainlabbers forming drinks voucher rackets. The highlight of the evening was the Brainlabs choir’s performance — check it out:
Looking ahead to 2017, we’ve submitted ourselves for The Sunday Times Best Companies for next year, the results of which are to be announced in February, so watch this space…
So, what a bonkers year it’s been! Such massive change and growth, so many awards won, and watching Brainlabs grow at such a pace whilst holding onto our old values has been awesome to experience. It doesn’t seem long ago that we were a handful of whippersnappers in a small dungeon in Kilburn. Most importantly, we’ve continued to push the boundaries of paid media. We’re not here to follow best practice — we’re here to define it, share it, and bring the rest of the industry along with us. Here’s to 2017.
If you think you’ve got the stuff to join us on our mission to paid media superstardom, then what are you waiting for?! Check out our careers page and ping us an application. If you’re successful you get a free lunch on us 🙂