Finally, an agency list that shines the spotlight on the rest of the marketing mix. From the editors of Chief Marketer, we present the industry’s only comprehensive list of the best brand engagement and activation agencies across 11 categories and specialties serving the U.S.
With just one well-timed Super Bowl tweet for its client, Oreo, 360i changed the industry and ushered in a new era of “real-time, responsive social media marketing.” Flash forward to today and the agency is still leading the way with first-of-its-kind voice programs—and, yep, more game-changing work for Oreo. Like the limited edition Oreo “Game of Thrones” cookies for HBO, and a collaboration with Elastic, the design studio that created the “Thrones” opener, for that much talked about Oreo opening sequence constructed from 27,500 cookies. Twenty-year-old 360i (now part of the Dentsu Aegis Network) was founded as a search firm but its capabilities have ballooned over the years to include a brand strategy practice, data analytics/insights, influencer expertise, e-commerce and a dedicated Amazon Marketing practice. What we love: The shop’s DEN (Digital Education for Nonprofits) initiative, which trains nonprofit organizations to “get creative and do more good” with their digital engagement.
HAS WORKED WITH: Absolut, Dazn, SkinnyPop, HBO, United WEBSITE: 360i.com
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Activent’s DNA runs deep in experiential marketing where new clients like Orvis, Burlington Stores and Land O’ Frost join long-term clients like FOX Sports (since 2010), PUMA (since 2011) and Nature’s Bounty (since 2014). The Volkswagen Challenge shows off its sterling reputation working with sponsors and partners, where memorable in- and out-of-vehicle experiences helped VW transition from a “small car” brand to a “family-centric” brand. Trivia and match games, photo activations and other activities drove home the message increasing hot leads by a whopping 84 percent. And if you’ve been to any Big Ten games, you haven’t missed this indie shop’s game-day activations for the Big Ten Network—a rousing party with mascots, cheerleaders and, yes, a giant finger football competition.
In the past year Advantage gained 23 new clients, increased its staff by 60 percent and grew its revenue billings by more than 80 percent. What’s behind those numbers? More impressive numbers from the campaigns it generated. After the agency took over the digital marketing for iSlide, for example, CPA dropped more than 60 percent, and the first three months of digital campaigns led to an increase in website visits and checkouts of more than 70 percent. For the grand opening of Sand Valley Golf Resort, Advantage ran ads on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube—media typically not used to reach golfers—along with targeted advertising on the Golf Channel, ultimately helping the resort exceed its revenue goal by 40 percent.
HAS WORKED WITH: Dream Golf, Sanrio, SeatGeek, Stance, University of California Berkeley WEBSITE: advantagemrkt.com RFP CONTACT: Spencer Hadelman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Three years old and scaling rapidly, Advoc8 boasts nearly 50 employees, new, bigger digs in Washington, D.C., and a managing director of growth to oversee it all. What’s driving that success? Delivering on tight budgets, navigating impossible circumstances without breaking a sweat and its creative approach. “The” highlight of its work: The Google activation at last year’s Aspen Ideas Festival; the custom-fabricated wooden structure stood out amid a sea of white tents. And with no power on-site, Advoc8 turned to solar panels as a way to showcase Google’s digital prowess and prove its ability to roll with the punches, too.
HAS WORKED WITH: Axios, CNN, Comcast/NBCUniversal, Facebook, Google WEBSITE: advoc8.com RFP CONTACT: Team Advoc8, email@example.com
Specializes in complex events for b-to-b audiences, including user events and developer conferences, as well as the hospitality, consumer packaged goods, financial services and professional services industries. After 20 years in the biz, it has expanded into strategy, measurement, digital and content and demand generation. The client roster is expanding, too, onboarding new clients Cheil Worldwide, Target, Salesforce and others. Samsung really dug its work on the 10th anniversary of the Galaxy, stating, “Agency EA delivered, translating our inspiration and framework into a seamless and immersive cinematic event for a global audience.” Doesn’t get much better than that.
HAS WORKED WITH: Google, Hilton, MillerCoors, Obama Foundation, Samsung WEBSITE: agencyea.com RFP CONTACT: Lucy Stratton, firstname.lastname@example.org
You might say the bar is set high when you’re designing a mobile experience for one of the most magical places in the world—especially for weary families overwhelmed by vacation planning. But the “Fantasia of service” AKQA created for the 12 million visitors of Disneyland Paris certainly made navigating the park’s 52 attractions and 50 restaurants across an animated interactive landscape easy and fun (cue the collective sigh of parents everywhere). The platform recognized user preferences, offered live waiting times, and highlighted points of interest. In its debut this year, the platform engaged 147-percent more users year over year with even more personalization expected in 2020. Another results-busting program this year: AKQA’s transformation of Carlsberg.com that earned a triple-win at the 2019 CSS Design Awards and was a 2019 Lovie Awards medalist. Six times faster than the competition, the platform defines a new performance benchmark for the industry, they say. With more than 2,000 staffers across 21 global offices, there’s literally no corner of the globe this WPP-owned shop can’t reach.
HAS WORKED WITH: Amazon, Evian, IBM, Netflix, Nike, Rolls-Royce WEBSITE: akqa.com
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
It might be trite to say that Altitude Marketing is hitting new heights, but the agency did make Inc.’s 2019 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies. Its new clients include PPL Plaza, a commercial building in Allentown, PA—just down the road from Altitude’s HQ—that it has been tasked with renaming and rebranding. As a full-service, integrated agency specializing in B2B, Altitude handles everything from strategy to marketing automation, web design and development to PR for clients in manufacturing, tech, education and other fields.
HAS WORKED WITH: American Nutrition, CrimeCenter, Mammoth Data, Olympus Pro Audio, Velaro WEBSITE: altitudemarketing.com RFP CONTACT: Louis Holzman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Part of the Advantage Solutions agency network, the AMP team takes clients to market through a data-led experience that plays out across the digital and physical worlds. Case in point: its recent modernization campaign for heritage brand Apple & Eve that included a content hub of historical brand information, store locations and a social campaign, as well as a mobile coupon that helped drive more than 80,000 direct sales. AMP also helped Puma honor International Women’s Day with the #DoYou campaign targeting Gen Z and starring WNBA player Skylar Diggins-Smith and New York City Ballet principal dancer Lauren Lovette—women in different athletic spaces who each turned personal challenges into opportunity. An anthem video swept social media, as did the offshoot #DoYouStories. The blend of storytelling, social media content and influencer marketing resulted in one million video views and 2,000 uses of #DoYouStories. P.S. Follow their Instagram to meet AMP’s #OfficeDogs.
HAS WORKED WITH: Garnier, Maruchan, Maybelline, Nike, Puma, Sigma, Xbox WEBSITE: ampagency.com RFP CONTACT: Andie Tilden Jewett, email@example.com
Annex88, part of the Havas New York network of agencies, offers strategy, creative, influence and innovation in its portfolio of services. Its uncanny ability to identify trends in consumer behavior and align brands with them shows through in its work for clients. Its self-described “army of unicorns” crunch what’s happening with people, culture, platforms and technology, and converts it into fuel for creative work, like it’s program for Men’s Wearhouse. Through a series of short documentary films, a diverse group of real men who have affected transformative change in their personal lives and communities told their compelling stories. The men were outfitted with suits that were as unique as they are to drive home the message that the brand makes custom suits.
HAS WORKED WITH: Adidas, Bloomingdale’s, Gap, Hyatt, Keurig WEBSITE: annex88.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anomaly presents itself as an iconoclastic boutique agency, and many of campaigns are change-makers. For instance, to appeal to younger consumers, this year it refreshed Johnnie Walker’s time-honored Keep Walking campaign with brighter visuals, teasing copy such as “Good taste doesn’t have to act like it,” and pop-up cocktail bars at events such as the Tribeca Film Festival. At the same time, the agency has more than 500 employees across seven offices, from L.A. to Berlin to Shanghai. Its New York office brought on four group creative directors this year: former Droga5 creative director Donnell Johnson, Tara Lawall from 72andSunny (which like Anomaly is owned by MDC Partners), and Carlos Alija and Laura Sampedro, both of whom were creative directors at Wieden+Kennedy London.
HAS WORKED WITH: Allbirds, Diageo, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Petco, Twitch WEBSITE: anomaly.com RFP CONTACT: Jiah Choi, email@example.com
Aquarius has negotiated and activated sponsorships across a veritable alphabet soup of sports properties—NBA, NFL, NHL, PGA, NCAA—and entertainment events. For instance, the agency negotiated activation rights at Kentucky Speedway for AAA, where it leveraged the client’s partnership with Daytona 500 champ Austin Dillon to promote AAA’s “Don’t Drive Intexticated” campaign. It negotiated a naming-rights partnership at the Miami Dolphins’ new training complex for another client, Baptist Health South Florida; the partnership includes an on-site clinical presence for Baptist Health’s Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute. While a number of its clients (including two of its newest) are in the healthcare sector, it also secured Nickelodeon as a client during the past year.
HAS WORKED WITH: AAA, AdventHealth, Nickelodeon, M&T Bank, Virtua Health WEBSITE: aquarius-se.com RFP CONTACT: Shauna Gillem, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Skate to where the puck will be” is a fitting mantra for this shop, which sponsors a local hockey team. Over 70 C-level execs from NCR, Equifax, Iron Mountain and more convene in Atlanta for Arketi’s annual B2B Tech CMO Roundtable. Kudos for being named 2019 PR Agency of the Year at the American Business Stevie Awards. Client First Data needed to inject energy into a National Cyber Security Awareness Month campaign, so it turned here for help creating a thought leadership campaign rooted in original research. An engaging, interactive infographic drove 15,727 unique views and the accompanying social campaign reached 37 percent of the intended audience.
Female-led AJ is an industry go-to when it comes to inspiring action, especially getting communities to invest in campaigns for higher education institutions and health-focused organizations. Also does work for corporate and consumer brands. In the past three years has seen a 40 percent growth in revenue, grown its team and expanded its capabilities to include in-house video, which delivered dozens of projects for clients in year one. A new employee engagement practice will help meets the demands of all this growth, so look for even more action on down the road.
August United made number 20 on Adweek’s list of the 100 fastest-growing agencies even before its autumn acquisition of social media agency Sitewire; Jackie Crynes, Sitewire’s managing director of strategy and creative, is now August United’s chief strategy and creative officer. In addition to growing its own business, August United’s generated measurable growth for clients with campaign such as Boost Like a Boss for Borax. Enlisting lifestyle influencers to create content for Pinterest ads, the promotion led to a double-digit sales lift. To promote P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps, August United not only partnered with influencers but also developed a contest encouraging followers to submit suggestions for a new flavor, culminating in a cook-off judged by singer Montell Jordan, former Bachelor Arie Luyendick and chef Scott Conant.
HAS WORKED WITH: Conair, Dial Soap, the Kroger Company, Microsoft, Norwegian Cruise Lines WEBSITE: augustunited.com RFP CONTACT: Tyler Farnsworth email@example.com
On the heels of scoring a place in Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Music last year, B-Reel was named this summer to the media brand’s 50 Best Workplaces for Innovators. One initiative that probably caught the eyes of the judges—the B-Reel Hackathon, that brings one staff member from each global office to the company tech hub in Barcelona for a custom brief challenge that makes use of each team member and the R&D lab. Talk about practicing what you preach. This year B-Reel and WWF supported the release of Silverback Films’ nature odyssey, “Our Planet,” on Netflix with an immersive second-screen-supported experience. A key feature: a rotating digital globe filled with users’ recorded pledges to support nature from around the world. The good times keep rolling for this company of 170 designers, developers, writers, strategists and producers across six offices—it was recently chosen by Pernod Ricard to lead the global refresh of Plymouth Gin, a brand that dates back to 1793.
HAS WORKED WITH: Fenty, Gorillaz, Netflix, Nike, H&M, World Wildlife Federation WEBSITE: b-reel.com
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing campaigns for pest control can be deadly dull. With its Sentricon System Deader Than Dead tour, Bader Rutter emphasized the “deadly,” but did away with the “dull.” For six weeks this spring, a Sentricon-branded hearse with a seven-foot replica of a dead termite mounted on top toured 22 states, stopping at affiliated pest-control companies along the way. Bader Rutter also provided marketing materials and social media assets for the local dealers. While the 300-employee agency specializes in B2B, it works with the occasional B2C client, too. For the Mondo Lucha wrestling event, it created special cans of Mobcraft Brewing lager adorned with the faces of favorite wrestlers and QC codes that gave drinkers access to a Snapchat filter that let them share photos of themselves as the wrestlers.
HAS WORKED WITH: Pioneer, Sentricon, Raymond, Zoetis, Zoro WEBSITE: bader-rutter.com RFP CONTACT: Greg Nickerson, email@example.com.
With new ceo Steven Moy at the helm, “speed is the new black” for Barbarian. And with its site design and build for the launch of Samsung’s category-busting Galaxy Fold, the pace certainly has been set. A busy year for the Cheil Worldwide-backed agency delivered a number of awards and recognitions: the office’s AI-powered receptionist, Barb, earned the company a spot on Adweek’s 10 Most Important Tech Stories. Barbarian scored two Shorty Awards—one for client JBL Professional for its “Wildabeast Dance off Campaign” on YouTube, and one for client Solace with its comedy video, “What Could Go Wrong?” The company also launched a new website for Panasonic Avionics Corporation, and it developed and implemented a global design system refresh across 28 beauty brands, starting with Kiehl’s. An idea worth stealing: Barbarian’s Stranger in Residence program that brings in artists from other disciplines that cross into the world of tech to collaborate on projects.
HAS WORKED WITH: JBL, GE, Kiehl’s, Panasonic, Omron WEBSITE: wearebarbarian.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Given that bBIG Communications is a completely virtual/remote agency (though the staff do gather every summer for an annual meeting), you’d expect it to have a solid grasp of all things digital. And it does—but it is equally adept at live events, POS promotions and print marketing. It recently adopted “All Channels On” as its tagline, and just about every channel from a custom microsite to in-store programming was integrated into its five-month Purina 28-Day Challenge coupon program targeting customers at military commissaries. Generating almost 5.5 million impressions, the program was so successful that Purina expanded it to Military Exchange stores.
HAS WORKED WITH: Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Kellogg, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé Purina WEBSITE: bbigcommunications.com RFP CONTACT: Marlo Cagle, email@example.com
Founded five years ago, Bespoke continues to be in solid growth mode, having signed on nearly a dozen new clients and increased its staff 30 percent during the past year. The influx of newer clients such as the Carolina Panthers and Extended Stay America didn’t distract Bespoke from its older clients, however. When Peet’s Coffee sought to launch its Iced Espresso in 10 key markets, Bespoke negotiated and managed sampling and sponsorship rights for more than 70 events, distributing more than 400,000 samples and cans. For another client, Academy Sports + Outdoors, it transported specially made oversize tailgating chairs to hundreds of events, from NFL games to CMA Fest. Augmented by a social promotion, giveaways and a sweepstakes, the campaign generated 42 million impressions.
HAS WORKED WITH: Belk, Credit One Bank, Grainger, Krispy Kreme, Peet’s WEBSITE: bespokesportsmarketing.com RFP CONTACT: Greg Busch, firstname.lastname@example.org
This 19-year-old Brooklyn-based indie tackles marketing strategy, creative, technology, and even live extensions for its clients. Like the Google Play #PlaytoPay program that transformed a New York City laundromat into an immersive gaming experience, designed to give Google an opportunity to rekindle a relationship with casual gamers. The shop followed up with a Gen Z-friendly back-to-school social media campaign for Converse and its Chuck Taylors line starring “Stranger Things” actress Millie Bobby Brown. Anchored by the hashtag #FirstDayFeels, Converse splashed GIFs featuring Millie and other memes across social media. Among new hires this year, Big brought in Layne Harris as the new svp of creative technology and innovation. And other news we love: ceo and founder Michael Lebowitz’ participation in the #DearManager campaign on social media to advocate for a stigma-free workplace.
HAS WORKED WITH: Boston Ballet, Converse, Google Play, Dannon Oikos, Samsung WEBSITE: bigspaceship.com
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Everyone at this Westport, CT, B2B pureplay is a content producer, looking for ways to break through the clutter and connect with decisionmakers. Competitive analysis, qualitative research and business case assessment are among the many services offered, and all work is project-based, meaning no retainers. Euro RSCG and DonerCX vet Virginia Atkinson joined the design team this year. Recent client work of note includes a pipeline acceleration campaign to help Pitney Bowes launch a new cloud-based shipping and mailing system, SendPro Enterprises. Email, social, direct mail and telemarketing drove the multifaceted campaign, generating a whopping 62 percent lift in sales and a 3.1 percent increase over the control.
HAS WORKED WITH: Broadridge, Excel Dryers, LiquidX, Pitney Bowes, Quorum WEBSITE: bizmarkct.com RFP CONTACT: Ed Gillespie, firstname.lastname@example.org
This five-year-old agency speaks fluent millennial—and that’s because it’s proudly run by millennials. It’s a skillset it put to good use for 40-year-old deodorant brand Lavilin to bring the brand to life among new, younger audiences. The result: a website overhaul that’s modern while still giving a nod to the product’s classic packaging; tantalizing product photography that gave the product a fresh look and feel and an integrated PR and video campaign that shared the product’s story and personality. “Blue Bear has made the Lavilin brand relevant to millennials,” cooed the client. For client Chinook Seedery, the Bear spun together a savvy mix of community management, content curation, social strategy, influencer engagement, product photography and PR to give the brand an identity and build loyal followers on Instagram.
HAS WORKED WITH: Chinook Seedery, EMPACT Bars, Lavilin, Smashburger WEBSITE: bluebearcreative.co RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Boston Digital had a rebranding of its own this past year. The former Boston Interactive adopted not only a new name but also a new logo and a redesigned website. In addition, the agency hired Peter Prodromou, formerly CEO of Racepoint Global, as its chief growth officer. Prodromou helped Boston Digital with its new segmentation approach, Impulse Generation, which focuses more on consumers’ consumption behaviors than their demographics. The agency used this emphasis on past behavior, along with predicted personas, when redesigning the online content hub for Liberty Mutual’s commercial insurance division so that it served personalized content to users. Along with keyword mapping, refreshed branding, paid and organic LinkedIn campaigns and other tactics, this resulted in a 69 percent increase in users year over year.
HAS WORKED WITH: ASPCA, Harvard Medical School, John Hancock Insurance, Liberty Mutual, Zildjian WEBSITE: bostondigital.com RFP CONTACT: Ali Connors, firstname.lastname@example.org
When it was acquired by Advantage Sales & Marketing in 2017, Brand Connections was perhaps best known for its work with beauty and personal-care brands. Now it is becoming a presence in the baby-product sector, following Advantage’s acquisition last year of Bump Club and Beyond (BCB), which it folded into Brand Connections. For instance, more than 30 baby-product brands signed up for BCB’s Gearapalooza, a 15-city ticketed event that gave them the opportunity to engage with thousands of expectant parents. Brand Connections remains productive in the beauty segment, however, as evidenced by its outdoor event in Huntington Beach, CA, to promote Walmart’s exclusive Maybelline x Summer Mckeen lip-gloss collection, which attracted fans from more than three hours away.
HAS WORKED WITH: Jewel-Osco, Kroger, Maybelline, Thule, Walmart WEBSITE: brandconnections.com RFP CONTACT: Dave Chatoff, email@example.com
Just as a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, a lighthearted touch often helps get a serious message across. That’s why Burns Marketing’s out-of-home Where for Care campaign for the Colorado Hospital Association used cartoonlike illustrations and simple typography to communicate the sort of instances in which people should visit a doctor rather than the more costly ER. Humor isn’t the only tool in the agency’s shed, however. By simplifying the website of Cloud28+ and creating distinct funnels for the two disparate audiences of the cloud services community, Burns led the site to a 1,450 percent leap in conversions in just two months.
HAS WORKED WITH: Coalfire, Cloud 28+, Colorado Hospital Association, Gogo Business Aviation, Lifesize WEBSITE: burnsmarketing.com RFP CONTACT: Melissa Humbert, firstname.lastname@example.org
Headquartered in San Diego with a second office in Boston, BusinessOnline recently set up shop in the Washington D.C. metro area. B2B digital marketing is its lifeblood, and along with providing creative, content and paid and social media management, the agency will audit martech business processes and data storage and security. BusinessOnline’s optimization of Lithium’s paid search efforts, which included identifying expansion areas and creating campaigns aimed at competitors’ products, increased the tech company’s conversion rate 125 percent while slashing its cost per lead 53 percent.
HAS WORKED WITH: Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Honeywell, Lithium, Siemens, Teradata WEBSITE: businessol.com RFP CONTACT: Lori Davis, email@example.com
This woman-owned micro agency has been pushing experiential forward since 2001 when it brought the “text to vote” strategy to AT&T Wireless for “American Idol,” and has been influencing consumer decision-making ever since. Building on its inclusive and eco-conscious values, last year it emphasized existing relationships over chasing new ones. The result? Financial growth to the tune of 1,106 percent. (You read that right, folks!) Also has expanded the team, made its first transgender hire and is developing and executing Virgin Voyages’ “Ship Tease” events. Sir Richard Branson has been a fan since 2007.
HAS WORKED WITH: Edelman/The Home Depot, Issuu, Ketchum PR/Gillette, Virgin Voyages WEBSITE: c3agency.com RFP CONTACT: Christine Courtney, firstname.lastname@example.org
This Chicago-based B2B agency works with some of the biggest brands in the building products, food ingredients and higher education verticals. The shop helps clients build bridges between sales and marketing departments and fill the lead gen pipeline, all while crafting audience engagement. Up and coming areas of specialty span programmatic ad buying and cannabis marketing. New client wins include Johns Manville, Bose Corp and US Tsubaki. CADM named CBD EVP Mary Olivieri “Response Marketer of the Year,” and account supervisor Alissa Ursiny an “Emerging Leader.” Programs to help Whirlpool engage home builders, designers and architects drove more than 1,000 new leads as well as a 30 percent share of voice and over 85 earned media placements.
HAS WORKED WITH: Blue Diamond Almonds, Herzing University, Johns Manville, Rabobank, Whirlpool WEBSITE: cbdmarketing.com RFP CONTACT: Doug Davila, email@example.com
Code and Theory knows a thing or two about a quick turn-around time. In one week, the shop created a brand new design system for NBC News’ “Stay Tuned” daily news program on Snapchat, an effort that involved C&T designers embedding themselves at the NBC News office full-time with the lead video editor. The result: 29 million unique viewers in the first month and accolades from the client: “The refresh was as fast and furious as Snapchat itself.” Between its two specialized teams—one on products, one on marketing—C&T reimagined The Jewish Museum’s audio tours with a website designed to be extremely accessible to all visitors, available both on-site and off-site, and one that supplemented the experience, rather than distracted from it. Code and Theory is a member of The Stagwell Group, a collaborative group of more than a dozen agencies who the Wall Street Journal says are out to “reinvent the holding company.”
HAS WORKED WITH: American Express, BBC, Burger King, Comcast, Hearst, Maybelline, NBC News WEBSITE: codeandtheory.com
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year Collaborative Marketing Group won more new business than it had during any previous 12-month period in its nearly two-decade history. For one of its new clients, McCormick, it created a campaign designed to drive sales of its spices and other products at Walmart stores and online throughout the Easter season. The digital promotion, which also included in-store recipe tear pads, led to a higher-than-anticipated offer redemption of 3.5 percent. Of course, long-time clients were not ignored. For instance, a project to drive awareness and trial of Del Monte’s new Fruit & Oats among Kroger shoppers delivered a 1.25X return on ad spend and more than 5.3 million media impressions, roughly one million more than anticipated.
HAS WORKED WITH: Chicken of the Sea, Del Monte, McCormick, MillerCoors, Sodastream USA WEBSITE: collaborativemktg.com RFP CONTACT: Garrett Plepel, email@example.com
B2B marketing should appeal to the emotions as much as B2C marketing does: That’s the core tenet of CommCreative. For client Onapsis, that meant redesigning the cybersecurity solutions provider’s website to promote the “protection” aspect of its offering much as insurance companies long have. Strategy, branding, demand generation, creative and digital are among the soup-to-nuts services it provides to clients in fields as varied as software and senior living. CommCreative’s depth and breadth has contributed to its making the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies for the fifth year in a row.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bose, Deloitte, GE, Johnson Controls, Staples Advantage WEBSITE: commcreative.com RFP CONTACT: Ashley DePaolo, firstname.lastname@example.org
A rosé is a rosé is a rosé—or is it? To help Provence Rosé Group, a new entrant in the crowded rosé market, Concept One Communications integrated Provence’s brands into events for Crate & Barrel and CB2 customers and had its wines served on each Blade helicopter flight transporting weekenders to the Hamptons, Nantucket and Miami throughout the summer. That was just one high point for this small but mighty agency, whose C1 Labs Digital Tool System ensures real-time reviews of all work to prevent projects from running behind or off-brand. Another campaign, HelloFresh Back to School Mealtime Math, drove awareness and sales of HelloFresh’s in-store meal kits with the use of in-store media and geo-targeted CRM tools.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bayer Consumer Care, The Everest Experience, HelloFresh, Provence Rosé Group, Woodstock Ventures WEBSITE: conceptone.com RFP CONTACT: Bill McBrayer, email@example.com
Literally wrote the book on “Inspiring Emotional Commitment from Employees and Customers.” That’s the subtitle of ceo Keith Alpert’s first book, “From Like to Love,” published last year. Equally impressive: record-breaking revenue and client retention in 2018, with multi-year contracts across more than half of its accounts. Excels in business meetings, corporate events and engagement programs, and a strategic design partnership with Maritz is paying off in spades. Has broken into new verticals such as automotive and pharmaceuticals, all of which means even more expertise for new audiences and probably even more record-breakers.
Independent and privately-owned Cramer brings a “give a damn, get it done” attitude to meetings and events, activations, community and advocacy programs, mixed reality and marketing campaigns for global b-to-b clients, while its studio model fosters collaboration, creativity, knowledge-sharing and transparency. Industry vet Ian McGonnigal has joined as svp of strategic accounts. Marcomm, tech and webcasting also have received a boost, and it recently launched data-driven and trend-focused intelligence and research analysis. And how about that fully stocked bar with craft beers and cold brew on tap, and daily culinary creations from its in-house chefs? Hey, invite us over!
HAS WORKED WITH: Cigna, Fidelity, IBM, Sanofi Genzyme, Siemens Healthineers WEBSITE: cramer.com RFP CONTACT: Robin Hutson, firstname.lastname@example.org
From cinematic campaigns to high-tech installations to rebrands to voice interaction prototypes, this Omnicom-owned shop with its Wander, Curious and Hangar studios produce an array of digital offerings for clients. Critical Mass recently launched a social campaign for Infiniti that told the story of the automakers’ last 30 years of being at the center of its owners’ stories, experiences and memories on the road. And for Nissan, Critical launched a 360-degree VR test-drive experience on social media that immersed viewers in key safety features and then encouraged them to “test drive it for real.” Among recognitions the shop earned this year: Best Employer of the Year by Digiday’s Worklife Awards for its top-notch workplace culture (across its 11 global offices, Critical Mass encourages a “do what it takes” philosophy to balancing work, life and parenting). CEO Dianne Wilkins was also named Top Boss in the program.
HAS WORKED WITH: ASICS, Marriott, Nissan, Sunglass Hut, United Nations, WEBSITE: criticalmass.com
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
From Coachella to the Super Bowl, the Indy 500 to Comic Con, CSM has been there, done that. Prior to the premiere of Amazon Prime Video’s series “Good Omens,” CSM set up at SXSW a 20,000-square-foot Garden of Earthly Delights, inspired by the show’s interpretation of heaven and hell. The immersive space hosted parties, along with appearances by “Good Omens” author Neil Gaiman and stars Michael Sheen and Jon Hamm, and earned more than 6.4 billion media impressions. And as it has for 25 years, it produced the motorsports-themed Circle K Speed Street Presented by Coca-Cola, this year working with more than 30 partners and presenting 21 musical performances and more than 50 driver appearances to more than 300,000 attendees.
HAS WORKED WITH: CVS, Mazda, Netflix, US Club Soccer, WWE WEBSITE: csm.com RFP CONTACT: Brooke Laitin, firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s safe to say that Deeplocal is the only agency on the CM200 that has a member of a Grammy-winning alt-rock band on its employee roster; this year Wayne Coyne, lead singer and songwriter for the Flaming Lips, joined as experience designer. Then again, Deeplocal is also the only agency to be a spinoff of the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon, and its Chalkbot for Nike is said to be the first use of robotics in advertising. The interactive-experience agency also notes that its Adult Swim Rickflector, which debuted at Comic-Con 2019, was the first time real-time body-pose tracking used with facial-expression tracking allowed participants to “become” their customized avatar in one of five “Rick and Morty” virtual games.
HAS WORKED WITH: Adult Swim, Google, Lyft, Slack, Spotify WEBSITE: deeplocal.com RFP CONTACT: Heather Martin, email@example.com
Qualitative and quantitative research helps define clients’ core value propositions, enabling them to differentiate their brands in crowded vertical markets. New client wins of note include global marketing products company Halo Branded Solutions, claims tech firm Mitchell International and workers comp case management provider Genex Services. The NYC agency’s law firm and professional services practices also expanded, and successes with tech leaders—such as a rebranding assignment from C2FO—also continued. ENGIE Impact looked here to launch its new brand purpose, “Right Now. For Tomorrow.” that focused on accelerating sustainability. A new website is generating a significant boost in traffic and new leads for the multi-national utility.
HAS WORKED WITH: C2FO, Chatham Financial, ENGIE, Lincoln International, Thornton Tomasetti WEBSITE: desantisbreindel.com RFP CONTACT: Sanjay Doshi, firstname.lastname@example.org
This global digital veteran operates under the mantra “Truth. Connection. Wonder.” And they certainly practice what they preach. All three of those missions converged this year as Digitas set its sights on the moon, creating a first-ever full-scale AR simulation of the Saturn V Rocket’s launch in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. The campaigned earned eight Shorty Social Good Awards. Also inspiring was the Gold Clio and four Shorty Social Good Awards Digitas took home for the #BeautyUnaltered campaign with CVS Pharmacy that features retouch-free photos of models. This group knows how to deliver a mainstream viral-worthy hit, too; Digitas handled the creative and digital extensions for Maytag’s “Sexiest Appliance Alive” campaign, launched in People’s Sexiest Man Alive issue.
HAS WORKED WITH: Astrazeneca, Ebay, Dunkin’ Donuts, Maytag, Whirlpool WEBSITE: digitas.com RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Family-owned Don Jagoda Associates (DJA) has been around since 1962, and most of its senior staff has been with the company for at least 15 years. Its legal, technical, operations and account teams offer a wealth of experience in administrating contests, sweeps and incentive programs such as the live HBO “Game of Thrones” Dragon Wagon Sweepstakes. Attendees could enter to win a trip to an exclusive screening of the final season’s first episode by scanning a QR code to access a site developed and hosted by DJA. Perhaps the most challenging aspect of the promotion? DJA had to select and notify the winners almost immediately after the close of the entry period, as the trip was scheduled to begin just 15 hours later. Just one of many impressive feats DJA is capable of.
HAS WORKED WITH: Albertsons, Marriott International, Staples, Toyota, Unilever WEBSITE: dja.com RFP CONTACT: Lori Meoni, firstname.lastname@example.org
The B2B agency within the Omnicom Advertising Collective, Doremus has offices in the U.S., the UK, Germany and China. In July it brought on Joe Rivas, previously global president of technology and B2B at VMLY&R, as its global CEO, just a few months after it was named Most Innovative Agency of the Year by Demandbase at the ABM Innovation Summit. At the heart of its comprehensive service suite, which includes brand positioning, creative and influencer activation, is its proprietary Doremus Network Analysis (DNA), which uses big data and network science to reap needle-moving business intelligence.
HAS WORKED WITH: AIG, Bing, Corning, Microsoft, NetApp WEBSITE: doremus.com RFP CONTACT: Kelly Higgins, email@example.com
When you have a fanbase as loyal, and rabid, as that of “Game of Thrones,” you can’t play it safe with a flat experience. You need to whip them into a frenzy. Droga5’s viral #ForTheThrone campaign for HBO gave fans the clues they needed to prove their devotion and locate Iron Thrones placed in remote locations all over the world. The campaign sparked live extensions and inspired other brands to get it on the fun, and for HBO—$176 million in earned advertising value. Look out next for the “The Rage Rider” campaign for Rovio’s AngryBirds, designed to reignite its original fan base with a spot featuring a scooter powered by users screaming into a microphone. Acquired by Accenture last April, the shop is laser focused on providing “purpose-driven growth” for its clients. We bet the approach probably had something to do with the Effie win for Overall Agency of the Year and the 24 awards picked up at Cannes Lions.
HAS WORKED WITH: HBO, IHop, MailChimp, Prudential, Rovio WEBSITE: droga5.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
For an agency that prides itself on working with midsize “challenger” brands, DRUM added some pretty big names to its client roster in 2019, including J.P. Morgan and Chubb Insurance. It also added some big-name talent, including chief media officer Todd Silverstein, previously Edelman’s U.S. head of performance marketing and managing director. And it delivered some big numbers for its clients. For instance, a new direct-to-consumer lending brand exceeded its first-quarter loan goal by 40 percent, at a cost per loan that was 30 percent less than anticipated, largely thanks to a scalable tech-forward media plan, content with one-to-one messaging and analytics that enabled real-time audience, content and media optimization.
Duncan Channon solidified its experiential and social influencer cred in March 2019 with its acquisition of agency A2G. The move also gave the company its first female partner: A2G founder and chief creative officer Amy Cotteleer became chief experience officer for Duncan Channon. The agency subsequently enlisted Gary Stein, previously an associate partner at Eleven, as its first chief integration officer and Noēl Johnson, partner and head of client services at Most Likely To, as director of marketing and client engagements. In addition to all the fresh talent, the agency onboarded a number of new clients this year, too. For one of them, SweeTARTS Candy, it solidified the brand’s social media presence by developing content from its Be Both rebranding campaign, as well as designing new organic social content with a focus on Instagram. The results were sweet.
HAS WORKED WITH: e.l.f. Cosmetics, Knotel, Kona Brewing, Netflix, Upwork WEBSITE: duncanchannon.com RFP CONTACT: Lyndsay Aronson, email@example.com
Founded in 2009, this “live-where-you-want/work-where-we-do” virtual firm was named as one of the best places to work in 2019 by both Inc. and AdAge. Team leaders have presented at numerous universities and industry events, including CRM Evolution and Predictive Analytics World. NorthRock Partners tapped the shop to launch a new sports and entertainment sub-brand in September 2019, catering to pro athletes. Ten is the magic number: The Dallas Botanical Gardens was the site of Elicit’s 10th anniversary celebration and 10 new team members joined the Minneapolis-based shop. Notable hires include Sydeaka Watson as a senior data scientist and Karl Eklund as a senior tech consultant.
Formed in 2014, this top shop is a master at launch events, mobile tours and influencer programs. Fabricated and installed mock lifestyle focused pop-up “dorm rooms” at Amazon HUB locations on 10 campuses simultaneously across the country while an online interactive “dormcore” retail site reached a broader audience. Sales lifts from the program inspired the client to do it again. When Under Armour needed a tech-focused retail intercept to educate both new and existing customers on its new RUSH technology and its focus on the performance athlete, E&R stepped in to concept, design, engineer and fabricate 35 interactive event kits for Dick’s Sporting Goods. The tech incorporated totally cool body responsive components that guided customers right down the path to purchase. And each kit was designed to be transported, installed and dismantled by one ambassador. Smart.
HAS WORKED WITH: Amazon, Golin, Leo Burnett, Marriott, Under Armour WEBSITE: engageresonate.com RFP CONTACT: Andrew Connell firstname.lastname@example.org
Created one powerful partnership after acquiring IEG to connect clients through the surround sound of sports, music, film, TV, gaming, arts and culture. Case in point—its work to put AB InBev in front of Overwatch League fans as the first ever global beer sponsor of an esports league (Bud Light headlined the deal). Then there was the Scarlet Night Launch event and Double Decker Bus tour in New York City for the debut of Virgin Voyages, Sir Richard Branson’s latest cruise line venture. The activation featured on-site engagements, one-of-a-kind programming and even a live performance from GRAMMY Award winning artist, Mark Ronson. New hires fortifying its bench of talent include Kamau Akabueze from The Sauce Kitchen, who leads creative, and Pete Laatz as global managing director IEG, formerly EVP at Nielsen.
HAS WORKED WITH: Ally Financial, American Family Insurance, Anheuser-Busch, Hilton, Mercedes-Benz USA WEBSITE: engineshopagency.com RFP CONTACT: Jessie Seiden, email@example.com
An influencer-marketing master in its own right, this agency designs programs for social video giants including YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram. To drive awareness for Starbucks Doubleshot among entrepreneurial males 18 to 34, the agency partnered with entrepreneur Chase Jarvis in a series of video profiles featuring popular YouTube creators providing an in-depth look into a new generation of entrepreneurs; the content drove 4.5 million views and 20,000 new subscribers. To get Talenti gelato on consumer radars, the team shared the brand’s craftsmanship story across print, digital video and social through gaining 16,000 new fans across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
HAS WORKED WITH: Ben & Jerrys, MillerCoors, Mountain Dew, Kind, Pepsi WEBSITE: epicsignal.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
EMS was named AOR for two major events: the annual Arnolds Sports Festival—the country’s largest multisport event, and the 40th annual Columbus Jazz & Rib Fest, which draws 200,000 attendees over three days. For client P&G, EMS and Blue Chip Marketing teamed up to showcase P&G brands at Big Lots Stores during Riverfest in Cincinnati. An inflatable tent, giant flag banner, co-branded premiums and custom PLINKO boards drew guests to the tent display. Brand ambassadors registered 360 guests for the Big Lots online e-saver program, BIG Rewards!, while educating participants on the availability of P&G products at the stores.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bye Bye Mattress, City of Columbus (Jazz & Rib Fest), Pepsi, The State of Ohio (The Ohio State Fair), Rug Doctor WEBSITE: eventmarketingstrategies.com RFP CONTACT: Stephanie Maupin, email@example.com
We love this agency for its ability to produce the impossible—from constructing a branded island in the Hudson River to producing a live “Drink Up” media event for First Lady Michelle Obama with a mere three-week timeline. Experts in consumer health insurance activation/enrollments, its client base includes Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna. Teams of national and regional beauty brand ambassadors are hired and trained for big-time brands like Maybelline, Garnier Fructis and Cetaphil. Kicked up some mud for fitness drink company Celsius through a sponsorship with Tough Mudder that built in 260 consecutive touring days in 39 markets over nine months sampling the beverage to 95,000 participants.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bigelow Tea, Blue Cross and Blue Shield South Carolina, Carnival Cruise Line, Edelman, Humana WEBSITE: eventnetusa.com RFP CONTACT: Shelby Beaty, firstname.lastname@example.org
This New York City-based, independently owned shop was founded by client-side career marketing prof Michael Fernandez. A hiring streak brought in Hugo Burton as creative director from Jack Morton. Installed a clothesline (who else thinks of that?) to showcase a large portion of Uniqlo’s UT Graphic T-Shirt Collection. The stunt was surrounded by additional experiences like a DJ booth, a dress-up photo experience, artist portraits, corn hole and other games. Each store that activated experienced a 15-40 percent increase in foot traffic. To educate female Millennials about Santa Margherita wines, a pop-up grapevine maze ended in a visually striking and mysterious white dome. What’s in the dome you ask? A hemispherical mini film about the brand’s story and the wines they produce. During the final frame, guests were served the four wine varietals by a Santa Margherita sommelier.
HAS WORKED WITH: Austrian National Tourist Office, General Motors, Moet & Chandon, Santa Margherita Wines, Stand Together WEBSITE: factory360.com RFP CONTACT: Hugo Burton, email@example.com
From humble roots 57 years ago as a traditional ad agency, Fahlgren Mortine has grown into a fully integrated marketing and communications shop. With a consultative eye, the Columbus, OH-based agency follows a buyer-centric approach covering the entire customer lifecycle from top-of-the-funnel purchase triggers to fully-formed relationships. Kudos for being named the Holmes Report’s 2019 Corporate/B2B Agency of the Year. While technology agnostic, the shop has gold-level status with HubSpot. New client Lubrizol is now one of the firm’s largest accounts. Talk about off-roading: Single occupancy vehicle commutes were reduced by 48 percent during Carpool Week last July, and nearly 70 percent of participants said they planned to continue sharing rides on a semi-regular basis.
HAS WORKED WITH: Ansell, Crown Equipment Corp, Emerson, Exal, Lubrizol Advanced Materials WEBSITE: fahlgrenmortine.com RFP CONTACT: Erin Balow, Erin.firstname.lastname@example.org
Fame’s 2019 client wins included two fitness businesses, Anytime Fitness (with 4,000 locations across the globe, the world’s largest gym franchise) and up-and-coming specialty gym Basecamp Fitness. The fitness sector is not Fame’s only claim to fame, however. The agency worked with Revlon to create an Instagram-friendly installation at the 2019 Essence Festival, in which assorted props, from a cat figurine to a claw-foot tub, were powder-coated in various shades of ColorStay foundation to display the breadth of options, and makeup artists helped attendees find their perfect match. The result: 32,000 consumer engagements and five million social media impressions.
HAS WORKED WITH: Best Buy, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Livea, Mall of America, Revlon WEBSITE: thisisfame.com RFP CONTACT: Lynne Robertson, email@example.com
Steeped in shopper marketing and connected commerce, FCB/RED won the global Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple business and was tasked with launching the brand in October in the U.S. In less than one month, parent Brown-Forman declared that it was the most successful sales launch in its history. The agency launched dedicated eCommerce and Amazon practices this year, positioning it at the forefront of emerging technology and retail trends. Christopher Barcelona joined as FCB/RED’s new chief innovation officer from IBM iX, and President Tina Manikas was named Chicago Advertising Federation’s 2019 Advertising Woman of the Year. Go Tina! Also notable: stemmed a three-year volume drought for Bud Light with the “Bud Light Summer Getaways” campaign that saturated the market with in-store displays and promotional “getaways” at key customers like Kroger and Walmart. And transformed Xfinity stores from functional service centers with low satisfaction ratings to inspired shopping destinations people love. Core audience visits grew 48 percent along with increased positive store visits and sales conversions.
HAS WORKED WITH: AB InBev, Brown-Forman, Comcast, General Mills, The Coca-Cola Co. WEBSITE: fcbred.com RFP CONTACT: Tina Manikas, firstname.lastname@example.org
This self-described “small but mighty” shop has been doing social media marketing—and only social media marketing—since the Myspace days, it says. And its experience shows. When Noble Roman’s Craft Pizza & Pub launched as a new-generation, stand-alone pizzeria, a “wow” experience was necessary on social. Following a social audit to see what worked and what didn’t, Firebelly’s strategy kicked in with a variety of ads, foodie influencers, contests, promotions (free pizza anyone?), in-restaurant selfie spots and in-campaign monitoring of brand mentions and photos posted by customers. Audience size jumped by 660 percent. Research firm Clutch is a fan, too, ranking Firebelly as one of the top 10 social media agencies globally (4.8/5 stars) based on reviews obtained via client phone interviews. Now that’s saying something.
HAS WORKED WITH: Cisco, For Dummies, Qdoba, Sony, Indiana University, Team USA WEBSITE: firebellymarketing.com RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Things at Firewood have really heated up during the past year. In 2019 it opened three new offices—in London, Mexico City, and New York—bringing its total to seven; hit the 300-employee mark; and hired its first COO: Warren Marenco Chase, formerly the COO of Verizon’s in-house agency. Shortly after it was named one of Adweek’s top-growing agencies, with a 186 percent growth rate, Firewood merged with digital production company MediaMonks, part of the S4 Capital stable. Campaigns such as LinkedIn’s Top Recruiter recognition program and the launch of Spark AR Studio 2.0 only fanned the flames of Firewood’s success.
HAS WORKED WITH: Cummins, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, VMWare WEBSITE: firewoodmarketing.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Following a burst of transformative and exponential growth, FIRST is now focused on evolution and strategic progression. Has added c-level roles in the Americas, EMEA and APAC, 10 new accounts since July and more than 160 team members, a record thanks to a new tech client. Also officially named Dublin a FIRST hub, overhauled its website and more. Works with 130-plus brands around the globe, including Mastercard, a client since 1999, most recently showcasing its innovation in payment technology at the annual Smart conference in Austin. One highlight: a “Priceless” performance by Melissa Etheridge.
HAS WORKED WITH: Fresenius Medical Care N.Am., Prudential, The New York Times, Univision, Verizon WEBSITE: firstagency.com RFP CONTACT: Jeremy Woolf, email@example.com
For an example of Firstborn’s recent work, you simply have to visit its website, which it redesigned in 2019. Or you can look at its rebranding for Flexport, encompassing everything from typography to website to print and digital collateral, to communicate the freight-forwarding company’s leadership role and innovation in its market. Firstborn flaunted its engineering as well as creative chops with its augmented-reality experience for Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum ship, said to be the first such experience to work on a ship in motion.
HAS WORKED WITH: Adidas, Chevron, Foot Locker, Jägermeister, Powerbeats Pro WEBSITE: firstborn.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Proving that even the best can get better, Freeman continues to evolve, adding new products, services and solutions to meet changing industry demands. Let us count the ways: One, integrating agency services throughout its global business and transitioning FreemanXP to Freeman. Two, acquiring marketing agency mdg to enhance services from pre-event, on-site and post-show communications based on data-informed insights. Three, expanding digital offerings for data measurement and analytics. Four, family-owned and run for more than 90 years, Carrie Freeman Parsons, who grew up in the business, succeeds her father as the next chair of the company. Need we say more?
HAS WORKED WITH: Alcon, AT&T, SAP, Twitch, Workday WEBSITE: freeman.com RFP CONTACT: Macaila Schlaff, email@example.com
Automotive, healthcare, industrial and manufacturing are the specialties of this B2B shop. Realizing that the customer journey doesn’t end when they make buy, Caterpillar worked with Gelia to create a robust post-purchase experience. Marketing automation insured that customers received targeted content on a daily basis, including operating tips, service updates, news on advanced features about their equipment and more. The results? Better customer engagement and additional post sale revenue from parts and services sales. Recent honors include 19 ADDY awards and two Excalibur awards. Headquarters are in Williamsville, NY, with satellite locations in Raleigh, NC; Peoria, IL; and Toledo, OH. Pro bono clients include the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and JDRF.
HAS WORKED WITH: Caterpillar, Independent Health, Mann+Hummel, NGK Spark Plugs, TRICO WEBSITE: gelia.com RFP CONTACT: Justin Phipps firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack Morton’s interactive sister agency is on a path for growth, adding this year the Genuine X think tank, a “living, breathing space” focused on building, testing and growing innovative technologies. Site rebuilds and refreshes are a core capability for the shop, which designs solutions for clients big and small. For example, Genuine redesigned Boston-based law firm Mintz’ website, supplementing one of its best periods in its 85-year history. Said its cmo, “It’s fresh, it’s contemporary, it’s simple to navigate.” Genuine took home an award in Acquia Engage’s Leader of the Pack: Technology category for its web development infrastructure created for client UL, a project that resulted in a 50-percent savings per new site on the platform. It also scored a bronze Hatch59 award for its Truth Initiative website redesign in the cause-related category.
HAS WORKED WITH: Amopé, Lysol, Reebok, Welch’s, Velcro WEBSITE: wearegenuine.com
RFP CONTACT: wearegenuine.com/contact
When it comes to experiences that elevate brands and drive results, good ol’ GPJ pretty much nailed it last year. It received the most creative awards ever; expanded into new verticals, including gaming and esports by acquiring Kenwood Experiences; continued to evolve IBM’s flagship Think conference and celebrated 20 years as IBM’s AOR, managing 6,000 events each year for the tech giant. It also expanded services, opened an office in Brazil and within three years nearly doubled its number of female VPs. Part of Project Worldwide, its employee-owners are pretty generous, too, donating $1 million to charities through Project Pledge.
HAS WORKED WITH: Amazon Web Services, Google, Honda, Nissan, Salesforce WEBSITE: gpj.com RFP CONTACT: Erica Wiggins, email@example.com
GMR’s got stickiness—an impressive 10 of its top 15 clients have been onboard for more than 15 years. Ken Black returned to GMR as chief creative officer from his post as former VP of digital design transformation and global Olympic creative director at Nike. To introduce Johnsonville to SEC fans, the “Johnsonville Big Taste Grill” rolled out hard. The 65-foot-long, semi-turned-grill cooked more than 750 brats, growing revenue 6.2 percent along the way. To drive ticket sales for “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” an influencer campaign focused on a “bark-activated” vending machine. When dog owners pressed the gigantic button on the machine, dogs went wild as they heard doorbells ringing and other dogs barking. If they barked back the reward was a bag of dog treats dispensed in a “The Secret Life of Pets 2”-branded bag. Happy dog, happy consumer.
HAS WORKED WITH: Boar’s Head, Danone, Intel, Procter & Gamble, Visa WEBSITE: gmrmarketing.com RFP CONTACT: Kristin Lisak, firstname.lastname@example.org
Godfrey doesn’t just specialize in B2B; it has carved out a niche providing strategy, creative, marketing, media and PR services exclusively to manufacturers. This niche is large enough that the agency was ranked the 10th largest B2B shop this year by industry tracker B2B Marketing. Clients onboarded in 2019 include Ecore, Graham Packaging and ICP Group; industries in which Godfrey has experience include building, chemicals and medical equipment.
HAS WORKED WITH: Avantor, Emerson, JLG, Johnson Controls, SKF, Solenis WEBSITE: godfrey.com RFP CONTACT: Joshua Albert, email@example.com
Entertainment brands and b-to-b clients alike flock to Grandesign, which, among its many talents, has a well-earned reputation for producing memorable San Diego Comic Con activations. For client HBO, GE activated the premiere of “High Maintenance” season three with CBD lattes, drip coffee and cold brew, delivered to California beachgoers and NYC commuters. Brand ambassadors, dressed as the show’s main character, “The Guy,” served coffee from fully wrapped “High Maintenance” trucks. The hashtag #HMonHBO garnered more than 100,000 impressions and just under 10,000 engagements across Twitter and Instagram.
HAS WORKED WITH: Adult Swim, Carnival, TBS, Universal, WarnerMedia WEBSITE: grandesign.com RFP CONTACT: Kelly Reynolds, firstname.lastname@example.org
Grow is run by a dynamic duo of smart women who have nurtured this independent agency for 17 years. We applaud their abilities to tease innovations and learnings from the wide range of industries they work with to create unique and unexpected engagement strategies for clients. Like its “Holiday Your Heart Out” campaign for Old Navy designed to increase awareness of the brand’s “Buy Online. Pickup In-Store” capability and partnership with Lyft. And what a party it was. Lea Michele and the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus gave a surprise live performance that ended with Old Navy holiday gifts for the audience. More than 1,000 consumers watched the live performance driving 33 million social impressions, three million video views and a two- to five-times increase in orders for the service during the two Saturdays of the Lyft partnership. To top it off, the campaign took home a 2019 Gold PRO Award.
HAS WORKED WITH: Google, Netflix, Old Navy, San Francisco Giants, Stitch Fix WEBSITE: grow-marketing.com RFP CONTACT: Tami Anderson, email@example.com
Acquired in October 2018 by Dentsu Aegis Network, this far-flung agency employs 700 people in 17 offices worldwide, including five in the U.S. (Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, New York and San Francisco). Among Gyro’s stateside hires this past year was Philip Black, formerly U.S. head of strategy for Omobono, as senior vice president, Chicago/Denver. Among its client wins was becoming the agency of record for Grainger. And among its accolades was being named Creative Agency of the Year at the 2019 Global ACE Awards and the Global B2B Agency of the Year by the Association of National Advertisers.
HAS WORKED WITH: ADP, HP, Roche, TD Ameritrade, Vodaphone WEBSITE: gyro.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Masterminding a tie-in between the second highest-grossing animated film of all time and a cheese company with minimal brand awareness was definitely a highlight for HANGAR12 this past year. Encompassing an instant-win game and a sweepstakes, the multichannel Make Snacking Incredible promotion with Frigo Cheese Heads and Disney-Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” led to a 42.4 percent sales increase for Frigo and 467 million impressions. Other noteworthy campaigns from the agency, which specializes in CPG marketing, included a comprehensive branding campaign for Beard Guyz that generated double-digit sales increases—and those increases don’t take into account the sales gained from new distribution in 1,000 Walmart stores nationwide that resulted from the campaign.
BEARD GUYZ BRAND CASE STUDY: YOU’VE GROWN IT. NOW OWN IT.
Beard Guyz is a line of beard care products and over the years has seen some success at the retail shelf. But competition has grown significantly in recent years with new product entries that has put massive pressure on the brand. Beard Guyz needed to start marketing itself. HANGAR12 was brought in to position the brand, create a brand campaign, and increase sales almost immediately.
Within the first six months, HANGAR12 accomplished the following:
Conducted audience and media research to inform the marketing strategy.
Prepared a brand foundation and positioning deck to establish the target audience, competitive set, unique selling proposition and brand story.
Developed a style guide to manage brand consistency.
Created a Beard Guyz brand campaign (You’ve Grown It. Now Own It.) to increase brand awareness with a memorable message about caring for one’s beard with our products.
Re-built the social media strategy with new content and drove engagement across several social platforms including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Redesigned the brand website and featured newly produced “how to” videos.
Implemented digital ads using audience segmentation and geo-targeting strategies.
Advertised with Search campaigns across Google and retargeted website visitors.
Drove trial with app-based purchase incentives.
Created consumer promotions to drive engagement, deliver offers, and collect user data.
Developed shopper marketing programs across key retailers to drive trial.
Sales results for first three months (vs. YAG) after campaign went live:
+26% Beard Balm
+32% Beard Oil
+39% Beard Wash
+91% Beard Butter
Finally, our efforts to partner with the sales team resulted in gaining new distribution in 1,000 Walmart stores, (which are not included in the above numbers).
For a robust omni-channel marketing plan to drive sales quickly, contact us at Hangar-12.com.
Sponsorship activations, global event programs and sampling strategies are just a few of the many talents at this sports-savvy shop. A new sponsorship and partnership consulting practice added this year rounds out the offerings nicely, along with a deep bench of expertise with some of the world’s biggest sports platforms, like the FIFA World Cup Tour, which Havas S&E just completed for the fourth time on behalf of long-time client Coca-Cola (the brand has been with the agency for 22 years). Fans of Overwatch might recognize the full-scale Panorama diner the team brought to life at Blizzcon this year (another Coca-Cola activation). And PUMA fans clearly appreciated the vibrant mashup of art, music and fashion on display its U.S. soccer tour, showing their love to the tune of four million total impressions.
HAS WORKED WITH: Delta Air Lines, PUMA, The Coca-Cola Company, TracFone Wireless, Under Armour WEBSITE: havas-se.com RFP CONTACT: Daniel Dao, email@example.com
A year after its acquisition by Dentsu Aegis Network and incorporation into the Merkle division, HelloWorld is as active as ever; it claims to have administered more promotions than any other company in the country for the fifth year in a row. Among its most impressive campaigns for 2019 was the General Mills Good Rewards program. Encompassing everything from custom Honey Nut Cheerios packaging to charitable giving, games and prizes to celebrity participation (Rob Gronkowski, Lucy Hale, Michael B. Jordan), the seven-month campaign drove 1.7 million unique visitors, more than twice as many as initially projected, and generated more than 2.8 billion earned media and PR impressions.
HAS WORKED WITH: AARP, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Samsung, Starbucks WEBSITE: helloworld.com RFP CONTACT: Aubri Godmar, firstname.lastname@example.org
Human-centered design is at the heart of Hero Digital, which acquired Austin-based Bulldog Solutions in July 2019. This “optimistic” group of now 400 employees spanning six offices across the country specializes in omnichannel customer experiences combining design, engineering, digital marketing, data and analytics. Describing themselves as “truth seekers,” once a year, employees put down their devices and experience a day in the life of another human being. It’s an approach we bet inspired the reimagination of Spaulding Rehabilitation’s digital presence, which Hero infused with assistive technologies that now allow non-sighted visitors to navigate the site and find healthcare information with ease. The design earned Hero a Best Site Design award at the eHealthcare Leadership Awards. “Together, we can do what’s good for business and also good for people,” says Hero Digital ceo David Kilimnik. Indeed.
HAS WORKED WITH: Comcast, U.S. Bank, Symantec, The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network WEBSITE: herodigital.com RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
This demand gen agency focuses on thought leadership, behavioral data and outbound marketing to drive results at scale for marketing and technology clients. “Campaigns for Early Demand” are a specialty here; these initiatives put a spin on classic lead gen efforts by eliminating forms on the landing page, allowing prospects to view an asset immediately and then matching the engaged prospect back to a data profile. New client wins of note include SugarCRM, Siemens, Adobe, Lenovo, NetHawk and Radar. And things are happening here in the virtual and the physical world: The shop moved into new digs in Castleton-on-Hudson, NY, and its LinkedIn group has grown to nearly 8,000 members.
HAS WORKED WITH: Aberdeen, Google, Integrate, Jive, LogMeIn WEBSITE: hipb2b.com RFP CONTACT: Bret Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org
HMT Associates enjoyed 33 percent growth during the past year, thanks to the signing of new clients such as Heineken and PepsiCo as well as continuing business with brands that have been with the agency since its launch in 2002. In conjunction with heavy-hitters including Kraft Heinz and PepsiCo, HMT created the Recipe for Happiness campaign for Publix; the combination of recipes, rewards and lifestyle content targeting millennial moms led to a 39 percent increase in unit sales for Kraft, a 15 percent boost in unit sales for Pepsi and 111.1 million impressions. Another supermarket activation, this time with QuickChek, included sampling and an instant-win game at QuickChek’s annual Balloonfest; it resulted in an 11 percent lift in sales of Ritz products at QuickChek stores.
HAS WORKED WITH: Back to Nature Foods, Heineken, Kraft Heinz, PepsiCo, Stonyfield Farms WEBSITE: hmtassociates.com RFP CONTACT: Kristen Koch, email@example.com
Huge is a partner, a thought leader and an industry friend. The Interpublic agency services an array of Fortune 100 clients and supplements its expertise with Magenta Teaches, an open thought-leadership event series focused on teaching new ideas and skills to friends and fans of Huge. Cutting-edge and clever go hand-in-hand here, like the cycling helmet Huge Toronto designed for Scott Sports that combines aerodynamic design and technology to help cyclists’ improve their performance based on movement, head position and environmental factors. And then there’s the #ThisisNotJeep social media campaign that “good-natured-ly” celebrated Apple’s removal (in an iOS update) of the auto-populated and nondescript blue car emoji that popped up when users typed Jeep. Hey, it’s a Jeep thing.
HAS WORKED WITH: AMC Theatres, Canada Goose, Gucci, LG, Pfizer WEBSITE: hugeinc.com
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
This Hearst-owned 20-year veteran of the industry prides itself on planning brand performance marketing “around people, not products.” The approach, which leans on the belief of a consumer-to-business economy, means brands “engage on consumers’ terms.” iCrossing celebrated two key industry recognitions this year—as Leader in the March on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Marketing Agencies for the sixth year in a row, and a Lifetime Achievement Award for global president, Mike Parker, who was honored at the Microsoft Advertising Agency Awards. What we love: Its Chicago office made team-building a happy little activity with pizza, beer and a Bob Ross paint-along.
HAS WORKED WITH: Adobe, Amazon, Beam Suntory, Humana, Microsoft WEBSITE: icrossing.com
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
When Crocs set out to promote white clogs among the teenage sports demographic, Ignite swooped in with the #SquadGoalsSweeps campaign that enlisted sports teams to capture content and enter to win white crocs for their squad, and money for their school (11,100 students engaged). The results-driven strategies from Ignite continued this year with Staples, which wanted to prove to small business owners its prices are lower than that of the competition. The agency created a content program that leveraged 10 influential small business entrepreneurs to show how they purchase quality products at Staples within budget, a campaign that earned 250 million impressions in five months. What we love about this shop: its monthly recognition of team members who exemplify the company’s core value of #AlwaysLearning.
HAS WORKED WITH: American Heart Association, Crocs, Discover Boating, Kindred Healthcare, Olay WEBSITE: ignitesocialmedia.com RFP CONTACT: Lisa Braziel, firstname.lastname@example.org
This social media and video advertising agency will make sure your brand doesn’t suffer from “SocialSuckitis” (take our word for it—there’s a satirical spot on its website that explains the affliction). This Edmonds, WA-based shop believes brand storytelling on social media is “no different” than the stories Hollywood produces. As such, ImagiBrand helps clients become publishing machines with video and images, and services that include detailed monthly reporting. The agency’s psychology of color branding series and infographics explores how colors impact the way we perceive and interact with the world. The feature rakes up thousands of shares each month and, we bet, plenty of creative conversations, too.
With 45 years of experience, and strength in healthcare, technology and industrial, Impact packs a digital punch with platforms like XM-IQ for attendee engagement, and interactive tools like “Your Story, Attendee Journey and Image Consensus” that guide clients through the creative discovery process. Created a 10,000-square-foot high-tech “playground” of 5G and edge computing products for the Innovation Showcase at the AT&T Business Summit. And an eye-catching product launch exhibit for Acorda Therapeutics, with dynamic lighting in bright brand colors, a “Bubble Pop” game on two 80-inch LED screens and RFID, really popped on the show floor.
HAS WORKED WITH: AT&T, BASF, Nutanix, Tadeka, The Wonderful Company WEBSITE: impact-xm.com RFP CONTACT: Sandie Stransky, email@example.com
When you’re in the business of marketing flying cars, you know you’ve got some serious marketing mojo. One of Infinity’s most innovative clients, Uber Elevate, is bringing to market what sounds like something out of “The Jetsons”—driverless urban aerial ridesharing by 2023. Infinity staged the 2018 Uber Elevate Summit in Los Angeles that brought together partners and aviation specialists to discuss, analyze and prepare for the future. The two-day event featured hands-on immersive experiences like models of the flying cars, a virtual reality ride where attendees sat inside a full-scale vehicle and experienced the feeling of flying over traffic. The work won a 2019 Gold PRO Award, as did its work for HP and it Festival Experience. Beefed up its tech and innovation team with 12 new employees, including director Gabe Wallace, formerly EVP and board member of Funnel 33, which he co-founded.
Best Marketing Campaign of 2019 honors at EXPY Awards went to this B2B shop for its work on GTT’s SD-WAN demand gen initiative. Congrats! New hires include Rachael Plaster as account supervisor and Katie Bernheisel as senior art director. Every new employee goes through a customized on-boarding process with ample hands-on training. Offices are in the heart of Denver, with views of Mile High Stadium for inspiration and a lounge for relaxation. A new go-to-market strategy—slated to expand in 2020—helped empower the marketing and sales teams at client WOW! to grow the company’s commercial telecom business and improve pipeline acceleration.
HAS WORKED WITH: Amify, GTT, Four Winds, OneNeck IT Solutions, Ping Identity WEBSITE: intelligentdemand.com RFP CONTACT: Paige Montgomery, firstname.lastname@example.org
Born in 2008 with the aim of shaking up live events by challenging everything, Scott Cullather and Kristina McCoobery’s baby now has eight offices in five countries to its name and a client list just as impressive. Recently launched a content agency HEVĒ, which marries storytelling with predictive analytics to get the right story to the right audiences in the right way, while its proprietary INVNTion methodology helps create compelling live narratives. Produced TEDxSydney on a small budget, unveiled the Genesis Mint Concept car on a tight turnaround time and rocked preconceptions of the traditional conference experience for Xerocon Brisbane. Go, baby!
HAS WORKED WITH: Facebook, Hyundai, Microsoft, TEDxSydney, Xero WEBSITE: invnt.com RFP CONTACT: Scott Kerr, email@example.com
Part of the Dentsu Aegis Network, Isobar’s reach extends to 85 locations across more than 45 markets with teams of expertise across retail, leisure, mobility, health, financial and federal. Beyond its menu of marketing and communications, commerce platforms, products and services offerings, Isobar is cooking up innovations in voice technologies, VR, AR and MR and emotion science, too. Among industry recognitions this year, the shop was named a strong performer for Q4 2019 in “The Forrester Wave: Global Digital Experience Agencies.”
HAS WORKED WITH: Alamo, Lego, Lionsgate Films, Wyndham Worldwide, U.S. Air Force WEBSITE: isobar.com
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Earned national buzz—and lots of awards—for its “Be an Outsider at Work Campaign” for LL Bean. At 80-years-young, this agency continues to break boundaries like its Gold PRO Awards winning campaign for Netflix and AsiaPOP Comicon, which showcased not only Hollywood stars, local celebrities and entertainment culture, but trends in the Philippines as well. This made the event an ideal locale to spotlight the growing library of Netflix global and regional content with a ginormous exhibition space that delivered 15,000 unique interactions. Kudos to the agency for its new mental health and wellbeing program, Balance Your Inner Orange, across its agencies worldwide. Jeremy Hodges joins the team as VP and executive creative director responsible for several key accounts including MillerCoors.
HAS WORKED WITH: Adidas AG, General Motors, Google, Procter & Gamble, Subway WEBSITE: jackmorton.com RFP CONTACT: Cassandra Hegarty, email@example.com
People want information, but they love stories, which is why JK infuses personality and emotion into everything they do. The goal here is to inhabit the sweet spot between the time and price pressures of B2B and the creative and strategic horsepower of B2C marketing. Agency founder Jerry Kaulius (yes, the JK) stepped into the role of chairman, and former CSO/CCO Martha Marchesi stepped up as new CEO. Main offices are in Hillsborough, NJ, and last August, a new branch opened in New Brunswick, NJ, just steps from the world HQ of Johnson & Johnson, their largest client. Their most rock and roll client? MetroPro, which produces gold and platinum records for artists like Kiss and Pink.
HAS WORKED WITH: AD, Centrica Business Solutions, Danisco (Dupont), Johnson & Johnson, Ricoh WEBSITE: jkdesign.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Although Jones Knowles Ritchie began its rebranding of Dunkin’ (aka Dunkin’ Donuts) in 2018, the global agency continued riding high on its success in 2019, winning a Gold in the Clio Awards for Brand & Corporate Identity and a Silver for Logo. This year it also debuted its branding for Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, complete with a bold green-and-white sandwich wrapper that incorporates both the Impossible Burger and the BK brands. Outside of the food sector, JKR worked with Unicef to launch Marble, an initiative that uses big data to help provide solutions to socio-economic issues facing children; the agency created the name, the brand identity, social media content and other assets.
HAS WORKED WITH: Athrú, Budweiser, Burger King, Dunkin’, Unicef WEBSITE: jkrglobal.com RFP CONTACT: Ash Clark, email@example.com
Digital marketing strategies—such as PPC management, marketing automation, social media and reputation management—are the specialties at this Toronto-based agency. Industry focuses include software/technology, healthcare, industrial, legal and IT. A complete website overhaul combined with a search engine optimization, lead nurturing and B2B content strategy helped client CPL Technology boost traffic by a whopping 1,200 percent. Three-year revenue growth of 193 percent helped Jumpfactor leap onto the 2019 Report on Business list of Canada’s Top Growing Companies. Kudos! There’s an unusually Zen approach to marketing here: CEO Zamir Javer credits his success to meditation and focus, and the staff de-stresses with team yoga sessions. Namaste.
HAS WORKED WITH: Acrodex, Baanto, CPL, FlexReceipts, Veridin Systems Canada WEBSITE: jumpfactor.net RFP CONTACT: Zamir Javer, firstname.lastname@example.org
The core Kern agency provides creative and CRM services for B2B and consumer clients across a spectrum of industries. It also encompasses Kern Health, which as its name indicates specializes in marketing for healthcare providers. Kern Health has worked with large organizations (Humana, Kaiser Permanente, Merck) and smaller ones (Children’s Hospital of Central California, Dignity Health), with a particular focus on Medicare member acquisition. Kern’s direct mail campaign for Tufts Health Plan, which included branding and creative development, led to a 17 percent increase in qualified leads.
HAS WORKED WITH: AAA, FIS, HBO, Shoretel, Verisign WEBSITE: kernagency.com RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Kicking Cow helped Alliance for Lifetime Income, the sole sponsor of The Rolling Stones’ “No Filter” American tour, bring the “Retire like a Rockstar” vision to life. Outside of each stadium stop a giant video wall, mini putt-putt course, photo ops with the iconic Rolling Stones lips and VR experiences engaged 1.5 million concertgoers in 15 cities and earned more than 24 million impressions. You might also find Kicking Cow activating at The Olympics, Times Square, SXSW, even the Golden Gate Bridge and Westminster Dog Show. A strong background in CPG helped Kicking Cow and Purina put on one-heck of a carnival-style event at Chewy.com headquarters to show off its products—including a stilt-walker and dunk tank.
HAS WORKED WITH: Alliance for Lifetime Income, Food Lion, Helzberg Diamonds, MIGO IQ, Nestle Purina WEBSITE: kickingcow.com RFP CONTACT: Cindy Hagel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Organic growth and client partnerships, including long-timers McDonald’s and Takeda, account for its phenomenal financial growth, which exceeded its steady 10 percent rate by an additional five in 2018. Besides food service and pharmaceutical, it has expanded into technology, multi-level marketing, beauty and franchising with product launches, internal initiatives and national sales meetings. Executed six meetings for Takeda’s Motegrity product launch over two weeks in three cities without blinking an eye, and cooked up an award-winning digital strategy for McDonald’s Worldwide Convention, with even more in the works for 2020.
Specializing in B2B tech marketing, Kingpin is headquartered in London and San Francisco. The multichannel demand-generation program it developed for Quest Software included content syndication, webinars, video, in-person meetings and use of the agency’s proprietary Argus data-validation platform to help score leads and track campaign performance in real time. As well as generating more than 20,000 unique engagements, the campaign resulted in a 5.5X ROI on revenue, nearly twice the target 3X ROI on revenue; and the 20x ROI on pipeline far exceeded the goal of 9X.
HAS WORKED WITH: LogRhythm, Microsoft, NTT Data, Quest Software, Trend Micro WEBSITE: kingpincomms.com RFP CONTACT: Paul O’Malley, email@example.com
This B2B specialist offers subject matter expertise for clients in numerous markets, including automation, robotics, medical devices, supply chain, energy and telecom. Currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, the shop added several new clients, including Hyster, Lenovo, Coesia, Zethcon and National Aviation—all secured through word-of-mouth recommendations. Honeywell looked here for help revamping the campaign architecture for its Vocollect brand to better support the customer journey and better align with sales objectives. Audience monitoring and advanced search term analysis helped refresh the text ads, keyword and landing page content. Ad traffic declined almost instantly—but conversions soared and verified Google Ads sales opportunities exceeded an 8:1 return on ad spend.
HAS WORKED WITH: Balyo, Eco-Site, Honeywell, Material Handling Systems, Yale Materials Handling WEBSITE: koroberi.com RFP CONTACT: Natalie Curtis, firstname.lastname@example.org
This shop is reinforcing its position in the U.S. market with a new office opening this fall and a key new hire, Christine Picheca, who will lead strategic marketing and support business development for the corporate brand. Created an epic, cross-country tour celebrating 10 years of Samsung Galaxy and the new S10 phone; a 3.5-week build resulted in modular pods popping up simultaneously in Times Square, Hollywood and Vine in L,A,, Bayside Shopping Mall in Miami and at SXSW. The events were so successful they did it again in four other major cities. The agency also turned Isopur’s iconic bottle design into an interactive design using the bottles as light “pegs.” A head- to-head stationary bike challenge used the “Lite Brite”-style wall as a large-scale progress meter drawing in visitors to see the action.
HAS WORKED WITH: Honeywell, HP, Hyundai Auto Canada, Mars Chocolate North America, Samsung Electronics WEBSITE: thinkubik.com RFP CONTACT: Carlos Sucre, email@example.com
Landor is a big agency, with more than two dozen offices in 20 countries. And this past year it made some big hires: In New York alone, former CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi New York Durk Barnhill was named executive director of development, and Shiver and Fightball co-founder Jonas Hallberg became executive creative director. But Landor knows that little things are also important. Its rebranding of the National Diaper Bank Network, for instance, focused on the humble asterisk, using it as part of the organization’s logo to signify something important but often overlooked—in this case, that one in three American families can’t afford diapers.
HAS WORKED WITH: Accenture, Kellogg’s, Lamborghini, Samsung, San Diego Zoo WEBSITE: landor.com RFP CONTACT: Eimear Hunter, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laundry Service boasts an “obsession with making each other better,” and the work this year shows. A collaboration between United Airlines and Her Art Here gave two talented female artists a high-profile exhibit space to share their work—on the façade of a commercial aircraft. And for European Wax Centers, the shop created the #AxThePinkTax campaign to raise awareness on the difference in prices between products marketed to men and products marketed to women. Featuring social and digital content, OOH and live events, the campaign earned 30 million media impressions (above and beyond the 22 million benchmark), as well as coverage on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” Laundry Service’s tagline states it’s “always open,” and we believe it.
HAS WORKED WITH: Amazon, Belvedere, Foot Locker, Fossil, Nike WEBSITE: 247laundryservice.com
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
In 2009, founder and president Shannon Prager left a 15-year career in B2B tech marketing to branch out as a demand gen consultant. Four years later, business was booming through referrals alone and she formed LeadIt. Services include traditional direct marketing, SEO, web design, marketing automation and social media. On the road: team members recently traveled to Boston to help client Affinaquest host a software user group event. Purpose-driven business is a priority here: the agency is an active member of the Dallas chapter of Conscious Capitalism.
HAS WORKED WITH: Alcatel-Lucent, Atlassian, Loggly, Stagen, Urban Airship WEBSITE: leaditmarketing.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Having started as an extension of broadcasting organization Leighton Enterprises, Leighton Interactive has grown to become a full-service agency specializing in inbound marketing. Its eclectic roster of clients includes a provider of electrical technology services, a hotel management firm and a senior living community. Leighton’s digital campaign for food and beverage distributor Bernick’s exceeded its quarterly revenue, customer-value and new-customer goals by refining ad spend and creating content to drive leads and engagement. For Badge Messenger, a school security technology, it significantly increased brand awareness and website traffic by moving ad spend to AdRoll and promoting a quiz, “What Grade Is Your School’s Communication & Alert System Getting?” among other initiatives.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bernick’s, Knobelsdorff Enterprises, Marco, Mead Metals, United Way of Central Minnesota WEBSITE: leightoninteractive.com RFP CONTACT: Lori O’Connor, email@example.com
Formed through a merger of two Tennessee-based event companies, LEO offers the best of both—live experience production and meeting and event management. A partner and investor in KAABOO, it leverages that expertise into “festivalization” for corporate clients looking to elevate the traditional ballroom experience. Executed more than 350 programs in 2018, including two outside the U.S. Investments in content technology, in-house video, data and analytics and new talent means even more b-to-b events like the “Top-Gun”-inspired Kowa Pharmaceuticals national sales meeting where flight simulations, fireworks, even a Tom Cruise impersonator, took the conference over the top.
They call themselves “your (non) agency of record,” and their playful approach shines through in the work where they guarantee fast service, forward thinking and likeability. Speaking of likeability, the shop created a strategic recruiting content playbook for Mindtree designed to transform perceptions of the everyday IT workplace as a friendly, relatable environment. Through testimonials and virtual tours, Mindtree saw a 53-percent improvement on engagement compared to regular content and received 4,600 job applications. The Likeable environment is just as positive—its #firedup employees gathered this summer for the #LikeableCamp retreat. Kumbaya.
HAS WORKED WITH: Century 21, Great Wolf Lodge, JetBlue, Redbox, Stop & Shop WEBSITE: likeable.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Part of the Financial Times Group, this thought leadership company focuses exclusively on insight-led content, strategies and campaigns. A New York office opened last year, as the London headquarters moved to swanky new digs near St. Paul’s Cathedral. Want to talk about magical buzz? “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling retweeted work the shop created for Credit Suisse for the Value of Knowledge campaign. The multimedia effort focused on the bank’s belief that investing in education worldwide would lead to improving the global economy. After the first wave of promotion, a group of high net worth individuals said they were 23 percent more likely to consider Credit Suisse to manage funds in the future. Accio success!
HAS WORKED WITH: Accenture, Apptio, EY, KPMG, Siemens WEBSITE:http://www.longitude-us.com/ RFP CONTACT: Miles Weiner, email@example.com
Since 2004, this agency—still led by the indomitable Marcie Allen, one of Billboard’s 2019 “Master of Branding”—has been playing matchmaker between the world’s biggest brands and the world’s most cutting edge bands and artists. Her team’s superpower: working with brands and entertainers to create authentic marketing programs that resonate with fans. We especially love the program for Hollister that paired artist Khalid with the makers of the Sit With Us app (it helps kids find friends to sit with at lunch), for a surprise concert at a High School in Burbank, CA. The agency’s portfolio of work with Khalid earned them a Billboard Concert Marketing and Promotion Award. Offices in New York City and Nashville, TN, no doubt keep this team tapped into what’s hot and what’s next.
HAS WORKED WITH: Citi, Hollister, Kenzo, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Southwest Airlines WEBSITE: macpresents.com RFP CONTACT: Marci Allen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Content-driven digital marketing is the specialty of madison/miles media, a.k.a. “m3.” Healthcare is a particular area of focus, one likely to continue growing with the recent hiring of Betsy MacKay, the one-time vice president, public affairs for Dallas’s Children’s Medical Center. Healthcare isn’t m3’s only market segment, however; in the past year alone it gained clients in the home construction and improvement field (Barron Designs, StoveTop FireStop) and finance (Waud Capital), among other sectors. Whatever the market niche, it’s tough to argue with client results such as more than $100,000 in marketing-influenced revenue in one month against a monthly spend of $8,000.
HAS WORKED WITH: Aventis Systems, Fetal Care Center of Dallas, ID Shop, Medical Informatics Corp., StoveTop FireStop WEBSITE: madisonmilesmedia.com RFP CONTACT: Mario Medina, email@example.com
This savvy shop has strengthened its strategy to apply research, insights and user-centered design methodologies to every project to maximize ROI for clients. Take the High West Whiskey Run mobile tasting experience where a converted train caboose served as a bar with a rustic, western aesthetic gleaned from High West’s very own Saloon and Distillery in Park City and Wanship, Utah. Some 12,000 samples were served at the FIS World Championships half pipe in Park City and other key markets to athletes and ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Named among the “100 Fastest-Growing Public Companies” by the San Francisco Business Times, this show also took home a 2019 Gold PRO Award for its work for Uber and the “Uber Destination United” campaign.
HAS WORKED WITH: Apple, Bumble, High West Distillery (Constellation Brands), Ripple, SoftBank WEBSITE: wearemanifold.com RFP CONTACT: Lauren Worley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Having created winning contests, sweepstakes and continuity and loyalty programs for more than 60 years, Marden-Kane won a prize of its own this past year: Coca-Cola as an addition to its already-prestigious client list. The agency designed the Superfan BUCS Bash Sweepstakes to activate Coca-Cola Beverages Florida’s sponsorship of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; because the online entry forms included brand-related questions, the client acquired valuable business intelligence as well as heightened brand awareness. Marden-Kane’s hAPPiest Sweeps Ever for Dairy Queen, in which entrants were encouraged to “feed the emoji” on their DQ app during visits to their local outlet, resulted in a 300 percent leap in active app users.
HAS WORKED WITH: Barclays Bank, Coca-Cola, Google, Intuit, US Bank WEBSITE: mardenkane.com RFP CONTACT: Marty Glovin, email@example.com
With its four-step IDEA methodology—Identifying the unique proposition and purpose, Developing an on-brand campaign, Executing, and Analyzing in real-time—Marketing Resources has won and kept some of the world’s best-known CPG and QSR clients. Its Splash for a Chance to Win sweepstakes and instant game for Zuru’s Bunch-O-Balloons demonstrated its global reach as much as that of the client: The summer-fun campaign began in Australia and New Zealand before moving into the U.S., the UK and Canada, with 10.5 million game pieces in market worldwide. When it comes to game pieces in market, though, that promo was dwarfed by its Peel the Love program for Raising Cane’s, which included in-store and online instant-win games, a collect-and-win game and more than 65 million game pieces in market.
Marketing Werks and Country Time Lemonade backed up kids whose lemonade stands were being shut down and fined by authorities because they were operating without permits. The “Legal-Ade” campaign raised awareness of the arcane laws and resulted in a Denver City Council ballot initiative that overturned the law—and one heck of a party. The main attraction? A massive lemonade stand, of course. When U.S. Cellular wanted to shun the predictable sponsorship activations at fairs and festivals, MW asked, “How about an obstacle course?” The customized mobile gaming event, Wireless Warriors, put wristbands on attendees that tracked their participation and points to redeem for tech prizes while learning about Cellular along the way. MW tracked a whopping 166,000 onsite engagements. Sponsoring needy kids and their back-to-school supplies and book drives are just a few of the ways MW gives back.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bayer/Seresto Pet Health, Bridgestone/Firestone Tires, Country Time Lemonade, Kellogg’s, Nintendo WEBSITE: marketingwerks.com RFP CONTACT: Cari Wilber, Cwilber@marketingwerks.com
Among the year’s highlights for MarketingLab was the completion of its Digital Shopper Experience (DSX) database, which gathers, scores and indexes the digital ecosystems of retailers and vendors. This better enables the agency to determine which digital tools will best help clients achieve their goals. Among its most-effective campaigns of the year was the Twin Cities Orthopedics Comeback: Patients who shared a story of their comeback from an injury or other orthopedic issue and singled out at least one Twin Cities Orthopedics team member who aided their success were eligible to win a Minnesota Twins VIP package. The wealth of UGC increased awareness of Twin Cities Orthopedics and enabled the company to identify their greatest client advocates.
HAS WORKED WITH: Barilla, Bellisio Foods, Phillips Distilling, Prestige Brands, The Scotts Co. WEBSITE: marketinglab.com RFP CONTACT: Kate Mendel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Having established itself as a provider of 360-degree brand strategies, storytelling and experiences, this summer McMillan launched Snack to support one-off creative and experiential projects. One such project entailed working with Canadian Tire’s agency Taxi to create a website for the retailer’s Jumpstart charity; another was building an on-brand modular PowerPoint template for Audiobrain to use in all its client presentations. McMillan continued with its “full-service” work, of course. For example, it overhauled Commvault’s branding and debuted it in immersive fashion at the data protection firm’s annual customer and partner conference. For Trend Micro, it communicated that cybersecurity is as much an art as a science by incorporating specially commissioned artworks into its multichannel campaign.
HAS WORKED WITH: Commvault, Intuit, Shopify, Tesla, United Rentals WEBSITE: mcmillan.com RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Influencers come in all shapes and followings, and Mediakix knows how to engage them. The shop partnered with more than 2,000 influencers across YouTube, blogs, Instagram Stories and emerging media to create more than 3,000 pieces of original content for client Blue Apron (Jonathan and Antoni of “Queer Eye” were among them—yassss). All in, the campaign served up 326 million video views. Trusted YouTube auto influencers fueled a Mediakix program for ExxonMobil’s Mobil 1 Annual Protection motor oil with content demonstrating its many advantages. The campaign surpassed projected KPIs by more than 54 percent. And if you need a one-stop-shop for influencer resources, they’ve got a library of case studies, how-tos, infographics, research and whitepapers at your fingertips.
HAS WORKED WITH: Blue Apron, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, ExxonMobil, Hallmark, Tropicana WEBSITE: mediakix.com RFP CONTACT: Zoe Marans, firstname.lastname@example.org
MELT’s magnetic work keeps clients boomeranging back for more. Take Coca-Cola, who it has represented for 19 years, activating its 17th straight season of ESPN College Game Day and seven seasons of MLB, MLS, NASCAR, Olympics and The PGA Tour. Also has work for a nice roster of newbies like Bass Angler’s Sportsman’s Society, Boys and Girls Club of America and Reese’s Senior Bowl. On boarded from Coca-Cola Katie Whitney as group account director, and from NASCAR, Ellen Carter Stagg as director of social media. Put two custom “spoons” together to create a seesaw for Creamy Creations truck tour; guests sat on either side on the spoon, and balanced an ice cream cone in the middle. Now that’s Instagram worthy.
HAS WORKED WITH: AFLAC, Intercontinental Hotel Group, KIA, The Coca-Cola Co., Wingstop WEBSITE: meltatl.com RFP CONTACT: Vince Thompson, email@example.com
Merit prides itself on “market invention”—identifying new audiences, channels, products or positioning to help clients distinguish themselves from the competition. This is also the subject of CEO Adam Vasquez’s recently published first book, Toothfish: The Origin of Markets. For the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Merit “invented” a fundraising gala that took place not in a hotel ballroom but in a restored airplane hangar, a fun gathering without speeches, silent auctions, or dress codes but with an IPA made just for the event, which raised more than $90,000. Merit also helped raise the profile of Harrisburg University by reinventing it as a top college for esports, helping it develop its first-ever varsity team to compete in three popular games and the HUE Invitational, the country’s largest collegiate esports tournament.
HAS WORKED WITH: BF Joy, Dayton Parts, Harrisburg University, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, TE Connectivity WEBSITE: madewithmerit.com RFP CONTACT: Kim Riley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Offering both strategic and design services, Method has undertaken everything from developing and prototyping new mini-store formats so that Costa Coffee can better serve commuters to helping EVRY transform from an IT solutions provider to a digital innovator. This three-year collaboration, which culminated during the past year, included the creation of the virtual Strategic Design Lab to facilitate the Scandinavian firm’s transformation. Here in North America, Tobi DeVito, founder of My Bird Digital, joined the New York office as service design and product strategist.
HAS WORKED WITH: Costa Coffee, Hitachi, Kenwood, Lush, McDonald’s WEBSITE: method.com RFP CONTACT: Alicia Bergin, email@example.com
Programs are custom-fit to B2B clients, leading to measurable results and a 90 percent referral rate over the last 14 years. Highlights of 2019 included helping Basecamp CEO Jason Fried and CTO David Heinemeier Hansson launch the new book, “It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work.” WaitWhat engaged Metis to promote the first-ever live recording of the Masters of Scale podcast, attracting a who’s who of influencers and VIPs from Boston businesses and universities and creating a repeatable blueprint for future events. The shop’s remote-first culture thrives with regular AMA (“ask me anything”) sessions and team video chats, sometimes including pets so everyone gets to know their furry co-workers. Me-wow!
HAS WORKED WITH: Basecamp, ClearSky Data, CloudShare, Ivenix, Nasuni WEBSITE: metiscomm.com RFP CONTACT: Catherine Atkins, firstname.lastname@example.org
Founder and former magician Justin Lefkovitch is the energy behind Mirrored’s music and entertainment lifestyle campaigns for brands, media, influencers and artists. Take BMWi’s Road to Coachella program, now in its third year, which carried 29 influencers from L.A. to the desert in a fleet of BMWs custom-wrapped with artwork from Khalid’s latest album and reached a billion people through social media, press and marketing. Then there’s The Grove’s Summer Concert Series and annual tree-lighting event, seen in millions of homes on CBS’ “Home for the Holidays.” Lefkovitch provides the magic behind that, and much more, too.
HAS WORKED WITH: BMW, Engineer.ai, NBCUniversal, Otter Media, Viacom WEBSITE: mirroredmedia.com RFP CONTACT: Matt Skala, email@example.com
Last year, MKG helped FILA bring to life its first big experiential effort to reintroduce its classic Mindblower sneaker. This year, FILA was back with an even bigger ask: Concept and design 11 pop-up stores internationally and a flagship store in NYC to help launch their new marquee collection, Explore. Exterior wild postings drew 75,000 people in to explore a sensorial journey inspired by the brand, including canyon, mountain, woods and outdoor elements. How do you sell 1,500 cases of Absolut? Create a kickass interactive experience at Coachella to highlight Absolut as “Planet Earth’s Favorite Vodka” and then pour on the Absolute Grapefruit cocktails. MKG, minority-owned, female-led and LGBTQ+ certified, impresses us with its diversity and inclusion strategy.
HAS WORKED WITH: Delta Air Lines, Google, Netflix, Pernod Ricard, Target WEBSITE: thisismkg.com RFP CONTACT: Christina de Arcos, firstname.lastname@example.org
Opened 300 pop-up retail stores for Beats in China. Wasn’t content to wait until 2020 to start promoting Toyota’s Olympic Games sponsorship, so MKTG developed a compelling cross-promotion with Toyota’s NASCAR team during the circuit’s 2019 championship playoffs. Helped diversify IBM’s sponsorship portfolio into areas to attract a new set of developers and IT professionals. Somehow got World Long Drive Champion, Maurice Allen, to try to hit a ball over Niagara Falls to support Avis. He did! Sarah Dillon joined MKTG New York as VP creative from Mosaic. Megan Pilsbury jumped from GMR to VP creative at MKTG San Francisco. The agency champions women through Women Empowered, a gathering of men and women to discuss women’s workplace issues, and Ladies Who Lead, a group created for MKTG female leadership to share challenges and victories.
HAS WORKED WITH: Apple, Diageo, FedEx, RJ Reynolds, Toyota WEBSITE: mktg.com RFP CONTACT: Bryan Duffy, email@example.com
This is cool: one HVAC client came here to launch a new North American ductless product line. Online and offline communications resulted in new distributor wins and a six-figure boost in sales. Tackling multiple dimensions of a client simultaneously—such as developing internal- and customer-facing communications to drive alignment and impact—is a unique focus here. In the last 12 months, the team grew by 20 percent, revenue leaped 30 percent and Modo Modo appeared on the Inc.5000 for a third consecutive year. The shop’s 10-year-old DoGooder volunteer program has donated over 4,000 volunteer hours to more than 30 organizations.
HAS WORKED WITH: Carrier, Coca-Cola, Equifax, Leaseplan, Zpower WEBSITE: modomodoagency.com RFP CONTACT: Moira Vetter, firstname.lastname@example.org
This go-to-shop brought on a slew of new clients that would make any agency turn green—among them General Mills, Unilever, HP and L’Oréal. Invests in research to stay razor sharp and leads conversations in key new industries like CBD, esports and measurement. Scooped up a top creative leader, Justine Greenwald, as executive creative director. She held multiple leadership roles in prestigious agencies, including Geometry Global, Ogilvy and G2. Disrupted the CPG world with the “Cinnaverse” multisensory experience that popped Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal into 23,000 mouths in malls and other teen heavy locales. And shunned the SXSW insanity by bringing Michelob Ultra Pure Gold branding to a peaceful place called The Big Quiet, a gathering of 2,000 strangers united in meditation on an outdoor terrace overlooking the Austin skyline during a sultry sunset. A string orchestra played with Grammy-nominated, indie and emerging artists. Namaste.
Still independent at heart, Motive is a fast-growing creative collective known for stacking up disruptive, culturally driven brand campaigns and activations. Its aggressive expansion plans continue with the addition of a significant presence in Los Angeles. The agency took on the business formerly known as Pitch, another Project Worldwide agency, and updated its name to Motive L.A., grabbing work for Burger King, KeVita and other hot-shot brands in the process. Led the introduction of 1893, a premium craft cola by Pepsi, by crafting a 360-degree campaign comprising positioning, TV, experiential, content and POS. Spearheaded Pepsi’s groundbreaking packaging innovation, extending the unique designs into a multi-platform storytelling campaign that included over 100 TV commercials, digital content, media integration and POS/OOH.
HAS WORKED WITH: AB InBev, Moet & Chandon, Pepsico, Ram Trucks, True Foods Kitchen WEBSITE: thinkmotive.com RFP CONTACT: Krista Nicholson, email@example.com
A global business focused on demand gen, Chicago-based Movéo never forgets its roots planted 32 years ago in a 500-square-foot office space. Growth, for the company and its partners, is its “constant,” and the agency focuses on three drivers: branding, lead gen and engagement for healthcare and B2B companies. The reigning philosophy is a dual funnel designed to overcome marketing inertia: one for the existing customer journey and one for a new path to sales. One such path for CareerBuilder consisted of a campaign to enable more small business employers to post jobs in a self-service manner and free up time for its sales teams to chase larger deals. Movéo lowered CareerBuilder’s cost-per-customer-acquired online, and ROI at the end of the initial 13-week effort stood at a whopping 738 percent. Also growing this year are company mustaches; Movéo hosted its third MO Bash for the Movember Foundation, which since 2016 has raised $33,000.
HAS WORKED WITH: Abbott, Careerbuilder, Hallstar, Landis + Gyr, Molex, Psion WEBSITE: moveo.com RFP CONTACT: Bari Scheinbach, firstname.lastname@example.org
Success planning was recently added to the suite of strategic consulting services offered by this shop, named one of B2BMarketing.net’s top US B2B agencies for a third year running. Client Kingspan Insulation and Mower EVP Tom Armentrout took center stage at the annual Masters of B2B Marketing event, where CEO Eric Mower was inducted into ANA B2B Marketing Hall of fame. And for the cherry on top, the “50 Days of Data” lead gen campaign to celebrate the agency’s 50th anniversary took home a coveted ANA B2 Award. Client EyeMed also looked here to amplify its messaging surrounding data security; A campaign using LinkedIn Messenger delivered a 54 percent clickthrough rate and reached 1,258 new audience members.
HAS WORKED WITH: Carestream Dental, First Energy, Ford, KeyBank, National Grid WEBSITE: mower.com RFP CONTACT: Jashonda Williams, email@example.com
If you can dream it, this five-year-old shop can do it. One bold example: the Tinder Pride Slide. Part spectacle and part social statement, the 30-foot carnival slide showed the LGBTQ community in New York City that it was serious about its commitment, offering rides and encouraging participants to “slide into their senators DM’s” to advocate for anti-discrimination legislation. Another fave from the portfolio: The #Twitterhouse activation at SXSW that had six brand partners partying for four days straight with panels, premiere screenings, performances and more. It’s tough to carve out mindshare at Southby, but these “four epic house parties” managed to do it. True to its name, N/A is a nimble “collective” comprised of artists, strategists, technicians and storytellers, with headquarters in New York City and, new this year, Austin.
HAS WORKED WITH: Activision Blizzard Media, citizenM, Jaybird, Revlon, Twitter WEBSITE: na-collective.com RFP CONTACT: Chiara Adin, firstname.lastname@example.org
What are the foundational brand pillars for this B2B shop, with the tagline “we deliver customers?” Considered purchase marketing, global marketing management and performance-based accountabilities—because marketing, after all, is an investment. In business for nearly 50 years, the agency partners with other independent agencies in the MAGNET network. Three big accounts were won in 2019, including water filtration leader Pentair, leading garbage disposal brand InSinkErator and pocket-hole jig inventor Kreg. Key recent hires include Laura Hinrichsen, media director; Kristi Mousley, a marketing automation expert; and Jared Poppert, an ecommerce and social specialist with deep experience marketing on Amazon. The hometown HQ hosted the grand opening of outdoor exhibition Sculpture Milwaukee, featuring a live mural painting.
HAS WORKED WITH: Kreg, InSinkErator, Panduit, Pentair, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. WEBSITE: nelsonschmidt.com RFP CONTACT: Christopher Vitrano, email@example.com
When Burlington, VT, is your playground, the physical world serves as inspiration for the digital one. In addition to post-work ski nights and retreats for employees and their families, day-to-day features at this 17-year-old company include an in-office gym, an indoor putting range and dogs to cuddle. Named a Best Place to Work in Vermont by Vermont Business Magazine (we can see why!), its employee-centric culture is evident with its #EmployeeAppreciation profiles on social media that all end with a heartfelt “Thank You.” This HubSpot Agency Partner’s services include inbound, content and search engine marketing; website design and development; and marketing and sales operations. Speaking of web design, New Breed’s redesign of SpringCM’s site, and the optimization of its landing page with a layer-driven design, resulted in a dramatic increase from 10 percent to 50 percent of visitors scrolling to the bottom of the page. And a content and SEO strategy for ServiceTitan increased new contacts from 477 to 1,374, a 188-percent jump year-over-year.
HAS WORKED WITH: Delcor, EasyVista, Indigo, Kalibrate, Sadlier WEBSITE: newbreedmarketing.com RFP CONTACT:Guido Bartolacci, firstname.lastname@example.org
NMG has deep roots in college marketing with reach to students at more than 2,300 U.S. universities and colleges. Mix in 6,000 event staff and you have a kickin’ roster of events like the winter-long activation in Discovery Park for LL Bean overflowing with 700 Christmas trees, 350,000 lights and a must-have yurt warming station. Represented CBS Sports Network and CBS Sports HQ at the Final Four creating interactive experiences to promote the network and app. Lines gathered all day throughout the four days of the Final Four activation. Recently acquired Door of Clubs, giving the agency access to contact information for over 90,000 clubs at U.S. 1,500 colleges and universities. Mark Aguas joined as creative director from his own shop Mark Aguas design.
HAS WORKED WITH: CBS Sports, Brew Dr. Kombucha, Directv, L.L.Bean, Momentum Worldwide WEBSITE: newbridgemg.com RFP CONTACT: TJ Nolan, email@example.com
This boutique agency is independent and turns on a dime to meet emerging trends, thanks in part to its internal committee that seeks out and reports on new startups who can present emerging technologies. Attracted 4,200 registrants for the United States Air Force (GSD&M) Maintainer career experience during a tech-fueled mobile activation. At “The Hangar” visitors experienced hands-on challenges centered on what Airmen do every day; color-coded RFID technology identified 442 qualified leads. For Cox Communications and its sponsorship of the Drone Racing League, Next created an immersive two-minute thrill ride called the Cox Flight Speed 4D Experience. Two teams canvased the country visiting Comic Cons, tech conventions, concert arenas, colleges and esports venues averaging more than 30 participants per hour and thousands of shared impressions.
HAS WORKED WITH: Community Coffee, Continental Tire/General Tire, Ford (GTB), United States Air Force (GSD&M), Weber Grills WEBSITE: nextmarketing.com RFP CONTACT: Patrick Conreaux, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Digital experiences for physical places” is the tagline of Next/Now, and it creates those experiences via virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D animation and other cutting-edge tech. Case in point: the “infinity room” it created for the annual Aveda Congress, in which two LED walls showcased a kaleidoscope of brand imagery and messaging that attendees were only too happy to share on social media. The agency knows when to add in a dash of older tech as well: To help Ford demonstrate its new safety features at pop-ups across the country, it created not only an augmented-reality tool but also a radio-controlled race track and an arcade game.
HAS WORKED WITH: Audi, Intel, John Deere, Persol, Philips WEBSITE: nextnowagency.com RFP CONTACT: Randy Gress, email@example.com
This global agency creates so much fun for sports and entertainment fans it should be illegal. Just how much fun? Octagon’s team of 400-plus marketers in North America activated and built experiences across 239 events, partnerships and team deals in 2019. Among headline-busting programs this year—the Live Más Student Section of the Year Award for Taco Bell, an integrated campaign brought to life with custom ad creative, TV integrations, influencers and grassroots outreach. The result was a 950-percent year-over-year increase in unique visitors to the landing page. Octagon also doubled down on its Budweiser programming; for the FIFA World Cup, the shop activated a five-week campaign that included a Bud Hotel, multi-deck Bud Boats, the Bud Club and the “Man of the Match” social push that featured GIFs of players, interview highlights and other digital content. The program earned 2.8 billion impressions and 320 million earned views—and scored four PRO Awards, too.
HAS WORKED WITH: AB InBev, All State, BMW, General Mills, Mastercard, Taco Bell WEBSITE: octagon.com RFP CONTACT: Lisa Murray, firstname.lastname@example.org
From its beginnings in action sports and music, OBE has become full-service and culture-centric with a passion for diversity and inclusion. This has led to work on Facebook’s Boost with Facebook program and Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways initiative; also works with 20-year client Nike on their Women Coach LA initiative, which aims to increase young girls’ sports participation. Recently produced Rothy’s Makers Conference, NBA Association Drew League sponsorship activations and an Eggo-Waffle Tour, among others. Up next: a sports and Olympics business unit to prepare for Super Bowl, World Cup and the 2028 Games. A few ex-Olympians are already on board.
HAS WORKED WITH: Facebook, J.P. Morgan, Kellogg’s, Nike, Salesforce WEBSITE: obexp.com RFP CONTACT: Dylan Foster, email@example.com
A portfolio company of private equity firm Growth Catalyst Partners, Opus boasts more than 400 employees and last year completed its third acquisition, Level 2 Design, within three months. In 2019, industry veteran Jeff Stelmach joined as agency president and John Trinanes signed on as chief creative officer. Mainly serves b-to-b tech companies, including a real biggie, Microsoft’s brand presence at third-party industry trade shows. (We loved the Microsoft Café at the World Economic Forum in Davos). Another fave: the food recycling and a Backpacks for Kids program at AWS re:Invent 2018, a hit with attendees and needy children, too.
HAS WORKED WITH: Amazon Web Services, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Salesforce WEBSITE: opusagency.com RFP CONTACT: Sydney Andree, firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that more than 30 percent of prescriptions are never filled, and more than 50 percent of people with long-term conditions stop taking their meds in the first year? Client HealthPrize Technologies wanted to get this story out there, to improve patient outcomes and tap into a significant profit source for pharma. A digital platform and media relations campaign generated 18 top tier placements to grab the attention of pharma c-suite officers. A founding member of the Worldcom Public Relations Group, Padilla includes the brand consultancy of Joe Smith, the food and nutrition experts at FoodMinds and the research authorities at SMS Research Advisors. Services include branding, crisis management, media relations, creative design and digital/mobile development.
HAS WORKED WITH: 3M, Cartill, Ditch Witch, Polaris, Rockwell Automation WEBSITE: padillaco.com RFP CONTACT: Amy Fisher, email@example.com
This CM200 newcomer is an end-to-end creative digital agency founded in 1997 under the Perficient Umbrella, and operates under the mantra: “Measure twice, cut once.” Headquartered in St. Louis, with offices in every time zone (even, Bozeman, MT), Perficient Digital offers a range of services from strategy to content to UX to mobile, analytics, conversation rate optimization, SEO and CX platforms. Rounding out its creative chops is its Perficient Design Lab offshoot that offers immersive tech, from digital installations to beacon smart spaces to VR and AR. Among accomplishments this year, Perficient Digital earned an Adobe Platinum partnership designation, and it created a new model for client Construction Specialties’ sales funnel, one the company could repeat and scale for more than a dozen additional business units, resulting in a 400-percent increase in qualified leads delivered to sales. Another high efficiency program: the launch of a marketing engagement platform for Bromium that reduced employee time required to perform daily Marketo operations by 75 percent.
HAS WORKED WITH: Hunter Douglas, Lids, Rocky Mountaineer, Plantronics, Symantec, WEBSITE: perficientdigital.com RFP CONTACT:
Added new clients this year including auto manufacturer Yanfeng and mail-order cosmetics company Ipsy. The Destination Ipsy Tour at SXSW set up in a parking lot across the street from the world famous Stubbs BBQ and featured a repurposed food truck retrofit to replicate a climate controlled makeup design studio. Pop-up tents outside represented each of the six brands Ipsy wanted to highlight: Eva NYC, First Aid Beauty, Pixi, Pop Beauty, Yensa and Youth to the People. Branding for social channels produced 2.3 million impressions and some 3,200 attendees participated. Katie Cavin joined PMG this year from her post at the IndyCar Series as a PR rep, no doubt adding fresh expertise to the VIP hospitality space for the NTT IndyCar Series Paddock Club.
HAS WORKED WITH: General Motors, Medtronic, Nitto Tire, Roche Diagnostics, Yanfeng WEBSITE: pmginc.com RFP CONTACT: Rob Murray, firstname.lastname@example.org
PJA’s charge is to “help sell amazing things to the world’s toughest buyers,” and as a full-service B2B marketing agency, it builds integrated brand awareness campaigns that push the boundaries to bring brands and buyers together. New to the CM200 this year, PJA has offices in San Francisco and Boston (headquarters), where employees never miss opening day with the Red Sox—or an opportunity to feed the masses during meetings with several-feet-long sandwiches from Bob’s Italian Foods. Also delicious, (and impactful), was its Bite Back Together campaign for Cancer Treatment Centers of America, designed to supply survivors with everything they need to throw their own cancer-fighting dinner parties with nutritious foods (Spotify playlist, included). Its spot for Mimecast also had us bopping our head to the beat—and feeling Mimecast’s “cyber resilience” messaging. The whimsical Mimecast campaign featured illustrations of invisible actions like “download” and “Nice try, CEO fraud email,” making the subject matter digestible. Be sure to check out the agency’s new book, The Unconventionals, a compilation of six years of PJA’s award-winning podcast with brands.
HAS WORKED WITH: Blue Cross Blue Shield Rhode Island, Bluebirdbio, Enterprise, Cancer Treatment of America, Mimecast WEBSITE: agencypja.com RFP CONTACT: Greg Straface, email@example.com
“Digital Made for Humans” is the tagline at PMG, and the agency bolstered its digital street cred with the debut of its Alli marketing intelligence platform, which gives brands a single view of their data, including publisher content, internal CRM data and business performance. Not all of the year’s highlights were tech-related, however. For one new client, its largest to date, PMG took to the skies; on International Women’s Day, it had Gap Inc. division Old Navy secure skywriters to produce empowering phrases such as “Shatter the Ceiling” over Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. The campaign, which also integrated influencer marketing, social media, digital editorial and podcasts, generated one billion earned media impressions.
HAS WORKED WITH: Beats by Dre, Cirque du Soleil, Gap Inc., Google, Sephora WEBSITE: pmg.com RFP CONTACT: Parks Blackwell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Point to Point cultivated its solid client list and earned its reputation by focusing on the manufacturing sector: Businesses that manufacture building products, industrial supplies and food are its bread and butter. A digital marketing campaign for Flavorseal designed to educate food processors on its packaging and processing services incorporated search engine optimization and email newsletters, leading to a tasty 20 percent boost in organic search traffic, a 24 percent lift in website visits, and a 7X increase in leads.
HAS WORKED WITH: Acuity Brands, American Standard, Ferguson, Henkel Corp., Sherwin-Williams WEBSITE: pointtopoint.com RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
The agency responsible for McDonald’s Monopoly and T-Mobile Tuesdays does not rest on its laurels. In the past year it added SC Johnson and White Castle, among others, to its client roster; launched Influencer ID, which enables brands to turn loyalists into influencers; and debuted Samplitize, a turnkey solution allowing brands to integrate product sampling into existing marketing collateral. Among its notable campaigns was Banksgiving for Ally Bank: Customers who were asked the standard “Is there anything else I can do for you today?” had their requests fulfilled, whether they wanted their leaves raked or $55,000 to continue a local mentoring program. A subsequent video garnered more than 2.2 million views on YouTube alone in just one week, fulfilling Ally Bank’s request for a higher profile.
Project Bionic prides itself on “tangible” offerings—they can curate your social media presence, create your social media content, manage analytics, schedule and strategize. (Yes, you can put your feet up now.) A recent brand launch for Mountain Thins leaned on social “validation” and in six months, the campaign earned nearly nine million impressions, gained the brand 39,539 followers (and counting) and resulted in 86,714 link clicks. Proving giveaways are still a hot commodity, PB created a Cinco De Mayo sweepstakes for Del Real Foods where users were encouraged to increase their odds by taking additional actions after entering, such as sharing posts to their feeds and referring friends. From the campaign, Del Real Foods experienced a 7.1-percent increase in social audience growth, 11,100 new social fans and 16,100 email entries.
HAS WORKED WITH: Taco Time, Aegis Living, MidAmerican Energy, Zeeks Pizza, Chef’n, Nalgene WEBSITE: projectbionic.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to creative and operations talent, Propac Agency has its own warehouse and offers printing, kitting and fulfillment services alongside its brand activation expertise. This breadth and depth came in handy with programs such as an extension of Bubly’s national campaign starring singer Michael Bublé. This included adding “é” stickers to 6,000 Bubly cans in Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles stores (tying in to the brand’s Super Bowl ad) and a sampling tour—all within 17 days of the initial project briefing. For Cheetos Find 4 at 7-Eleven, the agency created a Cheetos-branded AR game and placed it within the retailer’s mobile app; game winners earned 7-Eleven rewards points—and all users were able to superimpose Cheetos mascot Chester’s ears and shades onto their selfies.
HAS WORKED WITH: Borden Dairy, Dean Foods, Frito-Lay North America, Interstate Batteries, PepsiCo WEBSITE: propac.agency RFP CONTACT: Colby Graff, email@example.com
Offering branding, marketing, organizational optimization and strategic planning, Prophet has a global reach that literally spans from A to Z, with offices in Atlanta, Zurich, and 10 other cities. Among its recent U.S. hires were former FedEx vice president Bill Margaritis as senior strategic advisor, and Paul Greenell, previously senior VP of enterprise strategy at McKesson, as senior partner and chief transformation officer. It also acquired Springbox to bolster its digital offering, drawing on the company’s strengths to create a multichannel campaign for Poly, formerly Plantronics, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and the role Plantronics audio played. The campaign generated more than twice the number of social engagements that Poly had aimed for and more than five times the number of visits to its related microsite.
HAS WORKED WITH: Gatorade, GE, Poly, T-Mobile, UBS WEBSITE: prophet.com RFP CONTACT: Catherine Strotmeyer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Few agencies can claim they’ve never lost a client, or that they have a partner lead every project, or that they are employee-owned, but Proscenium can, which accounts in no small way for its rock solid production, Broadway-caliber creative and next-level event strategy. (Another plus: the office wellness and mindfulness room complete with a yoga mat, hammock swing and massage chair.) It pulled off this year’s Winners Circle in San Juan for 1,500 of T-Mobile’s best and brightest without a hitch, even though Puerto Rico was still recovering from Hurricane Maria. The challenges were great, but so was the event.
HAS WORKED WITH: Harley-Davidson, HEINEKEN USA, Lowe’s, T-Mobile, TD Ameritrade WEBSITE: proscenium.com RFP CONTACT: Bethany Potter, email@example.com
With SapientRazorfish officially folding into Publicis Group’s “solutions hubs,” the now Publicis.Sapient has its sights set on innovation. PS developed the world’s first data-driven cocktail recommendation engine and the first premium beverage experience to integrate with voice assistants (since the program, Patrón has been selling five-time more than its nearest competitors). An Audi City showroom the shop created featured no real cars—instead, touch- and gesture-controlled experiences that let buyers experience every possible combination of the Audi portfolio like never before. The program led to a 70-percent rise in unit sales year-over-year. PS was also ranked a Best Company for Working Mothers in 2019, and was named a leader in “The Forrester Wave: Global Digital Experience Agencies” for Q4 2019.
HAS WORKED WITH: Audi, Bosch, Carnival Cruise Line, Dove, Marks & Spencer, Miami Heat, Spotify WEBSITE: sapientrazorfish.com
RFP CONTACT: sapientrazorfish.com/contact
Transformation is at the center of this 40-year-old shop that is powered by more than 2,000 employees in 18 countries. The work is transformative, too. A Nike PLAYlist episodic series by R/GA lets kids reclaim the fun side of sports with a variety of segments featuring athletes and kids designing new ways to play. Each episode is released on YouTube and one segment, #TheReplay, will live on TikTok, the first content on the platform for Nike. One episode amassed 60,000 views in the first three days it went live. R/GA put the “fast” in fast food with the development of the SONIC app compatible across 90,000 drive-in stalls across the country, that resulted in order-ahead tickets averaging seven-percent higher than non-order ahead tickets and the average check-in-hop-out time less than two minutes. Delicious.
HAS WORKED WITH: Ally Bank, Banana Republic, DuPont, Mercedes-Benz, Samsung WEBSITE: rga.com
RFP CONTACT: Dave Edwards, firstname.lastname@example.org
You’ve heard of “meet cute.” But Red Antler went a step further when strategizing and actualizing its campaign for Hinge, giving the dating app a cute anthropomorphized logo to set Hinge apart from its saucier competitors. Also setting Hinge apart are the humorous ways “Hingie” is left to die in the various ads and social content, as is appropriate for “the dating app designed to be deleted.” In addition to working with heavy hitters such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, Gap and GE, the agency has helped with the launch of brands including Burrow, Casper and Henry Rose, tackling everything from naming to brand identity and strategy to package design.
HAS WORKED WITH: American Express, Casper, Foursquare, HBO, Trip Advisor WEBSITE: redantler.com RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Founded in 2001, Red House is named after an architectural landmark in London. The Alpharetta, GA, agency works with clients to create marketing solutions driven equally by strategy and creative. The focus here is on the way marketing and technology maps to sales, how the buying cycle has evolved over the last decade and how to develop engaging messaging and creative. Welcome to new VP of Client Management Melanie Skotarski and new Creative Director Alice Jankowski. The shop was also named one of the top U.S. B2B agencies by B2BMarketing.net and an agency to watch by Medical Marketing & Media. Forsyth Family Haven (FFH), an advocate for victims of domestic abuse, is the shop’s chosen charitable organization.
HAS WORKED WITH: Cognizant, Elsevier, Mayo Clinic, McKesson, Mercer WEBSITE: redhouseb2b.com RFP CONTACT: Steve Reeves, firstname.lastname@example.org
These guys and gals convert big ideas to innovative experiences for brands such as GEICO, AT&T, TD Bank and DISH by running country wide tours and taking over gaming tournaments. New client wins include Yuengling, Holiday Inn, Lidl, Drop Dead Life Insurance, Qatar Airways, World Team Tennis, Chanel and General Motors. Named to Fast Company’s Global Top Ten Most Innovative Companies and expanded internationally last year with the opening of RedPeg Middle East in Dubai. Has serious esports chops, as evidenced by a program for AT&T called “Game Better Together.” A custom-built command center, unreleased title gameplay, new product trials and an exclusive gaming lounge rewarded gamers for being gamers. Scoreboard leaders got treated with front row seats, premium giveaways and meet and greets with gaming influencers Naomi Kyle and n0thing.
HAS WORKED WITH: AT&T, DISH, GEICO, TD Bank, Virginia Lottery WEBSITE: redpeg.com RFP CONTACT: Amanda Tinkleman, email@example.com
“Responsory” is a musical term for a response recited or sung after a verse; in marketing, this translates to creating a dialogue with the target audience that leads to results. 2019 marked the 20th anniversary for this Brookfield, WI, shop, a Johnson Direct Company. Multichannel work in digital, direct mail, radio and more for Renaissance Health Service Corp. resulted in an impressive 182 percent sales performance increase. A library of relevant content was also created to help support their brokers’ sales efforts nationwide. Here’s some good work for good causes: Responsory team members recently donated their time to create a Civil War history association’s website and help a new regional youth hockey league develop their brand.
HAS WORKED WITH: EyeMed Vision Care, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, NCH Marketing, Renaissance Health Service Corp., USI Affinity WEBSITE: responsory.com RFP CONTACT: Grant Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s new at rEvolution? Plenty. During the past year the agency moved its headquarters to Chicago’s Fulton Market; launched rEv YOUTH, a subsidiary agency specializing in marketing to kids and teens; and brought on Emily Szymczak, previously at Engine Media, as CFO, and Matt Carle, formerly with Omnicom’s Pierce Promotions, as EVP, development. Amid all that activity, the agency managed to create some pretty impressive campaigns too. Among the flashiest was its takeover of Chicago’s thrumming Union Station for CONCACAF, complete with a 24-foot-high replica of the Gold Cup surrounded by jerseys from each country participating in the competition and games where commuters of all ages could try out their soccer skills.
HAS WORKED WITH: Chipotle, McDonald’s, Toro, Turtle Wax, U.S. Soccer WEBSITE: revolutionworld.com RFP CONTACT: Dan Lobring, email@example.com
If you’re looking to market to Millennials and GenZ, you’ve come to the right place. R&B opens up access points to create meaningful relationships with these demos, like its work on the “HBO Watch Me Become on Campus” initiative where college students at three stops were transformed into iconic HBO characters. Behind the scenes video, images and makeovers provided rich content to pump out on social and on Entertainment Weekly, ESPN College, CNN Entertainment and other high-profile outlets. Won a 2019 Gold PRO Award for the “Microsoft Tiny House” that traveled to 10 universities to show off the brand’s products. Opened new digs in Boston for expanded staff and services and sister full-service digital division Accorin. Growing its engagement in the high school space with its newest division Teall Properties Group, a multimedia and marketing hub for high schools.
HAS WORKED WITH: Amazon, HBO, Microsoft, Vera Bradley, Warner Bros. WEBSITE: riddleandbloom.com RFP CONTACT: Darren Ross, DarrenR@riddleandbloom.com
Founded in 2008 as a creative boutique, this San Francisco treat now offers branding, events work, content, media planning, social media, web development and more. In 2020, look for the shop’s new campaign for the Building Decarbonization Coalition, featuring messaging that will hopefully change consumer behavior for millions of residents across California and reduce emissions. Longtime client Milliman turned here to create a new video series filmed in London, Seattle and NYC—the content positions them as an emerging leader in healthcare tech, diversity and inclusion. New account manager Madhur Dharmadhikari oversees projects for clients like LinkedIn and Heinz, and will crush you playing Grand Theft Auto on the Xbox.
HAS WORKED WITH: BLEND, BDC, CSM, Hippo, Visit Oakland WEBSITE: schoolofthought.com RFP CONTACT: Ashley Villarreal, firstname.lastname@example.org
The live-engagement division of Horizon Media, Scout this year launched Scout 360, dedicated to optimizing sponsorship strategies for pro teams (such as its clients the New York Giants and the New York Jets), venues and entertainment properties. It also helped Burger King launch the Impossible Whopper by managing a partnership between Burger King and esports gaming team FaZe Clan. FaZe Clan created an Impossible Taste Test YouTube video that garnered more than 800,000 views in its first week, then the partners teamed up on Twitch to play Fortnite, rewarding viewers with discounts through onscreen QR codes; this was followed by a meet-and-greet at an L.A. Burger King. The partnership generated 12 million impressions in all. Tasty.
HAS WORKED WITH: Burger King, GEICO, Kroger, Petco, United Rentals WEBSITE: scoutse.com RFP CONTACT: Michael Neuman, email@example.com
Sculpt puts heart into its work, generating impactful campaigns and offering team trainings, campaign management and ongoing marketing retainers among its services. Said client Goodwill, “Sculpt has transformed our social media community impact.” For Land Investment Expo host Peoples Company, the nation’s premier agriculture real estate conference, Sculpt launched a campaign to increase ticket sales that included driving awareness among industry influencers. The campaign accounted for 25 percent of all the unique visitors to the Land Expo website and assisted in 43 percent of ticket sales. And the at-event social strategy contributed to a 113-percent increase in engagement. What we love: Sculpt’s video series featuring employees that offers candid insights into the company’s culture.
HAS WORKED WITH: Goodwill, Hy-Vee Newton, Iowa Chop House, MidWestOne Bank, Urban Acres WEBSITE: wearesculpt.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Storytelling is at the heart of what Second Story does, as is evident by the agency’s name. So is using technology to create experiences, a commitment reflected in agency job titles such as experience designer, visual interaction designer and technologist. One recent experience, crafted to help Epson demonstrate its projection technology at the InfoComm tech conference, presented nature images in a kaleidoscopic manner accompanied by sounds of wildlife and the elements to communicate the links between past and future, the artificial and the organic. Part of Publicis Sapient, Second Story has studios in New York, Atlanta and Portland, OR.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bank of America, Hermès, Intel, Nike, Target WEBSITE: secondstory.com RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Hairs can stand on end when this agency unleashes activations. Benefit tasked Set Creative with introducing Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer to the press, the public and to beauty influencers. The team tapped into the products unique “Cakeless” properties and tagline “Eat Cake, Don’t Wear It.” For one day only beauty aficionados in London, Manchester and Glasgow ordered bespoke “cakes & concealer” via the Deliveroo app. To recipients’ astonishment, a Benefit beautician arrived with each of the more than 400 deliveries to carry out a personal color match using the new product. Also of note: Set took over a beach in Cannes for Google/YouTube—its largest client—for the 10th year. Designed and delivered Volvo’s global launch event for its first electric car. And took on new clients including Vans, Volvo, Lego, Canada Goose, Oakley and Benefit. Consolidated Set, Set Live and Bespoke under one robust brand: Set Creative.
HAS WORKED WITH: Dow Jones, Google /YouTube, JUUL, LEGO, Volvo, WEBSITE: setcreative.com RFP CONTACT: Hannah Eigeman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Part of Omnicom Group’s Brand Consulting Group, Siegel+Gale unveiled a number of rebranding efforts for clients in 2019. It rebranded Wyndham Destinations’ two largest timeshare units, Club Wyndham and Worldmark by Wyndham, giving each a distinct, standalone identity. It helped transform Maricopa Integrated Health System into the more accessible Valleywise Health, and it updated Cloudreach’s positioning, visual identity and tagline (“Elevate your future”) to demonstrate the service provider’s evolution. In keeping with its own tagline, “Simple is smart,” Siegel+Gale releases an annual ranking of the World’s Simplest Brands—those that consistently and clearly deliver on their brand promise.
HAS WORKED WITH: 3M, CVS Health, Flywheel, SAP, Wells Fargo WEBSITE: siegelgale.com RFP CONTACT: Patrick Gough, email@example.com
Work for client Ingredion delivered delicious results in 2019: the “Inside Idea Labs” website took home gold honors at the ANA B2 Awards, a print campaign won top honors at the Summit International Creative Awards, and the brand’s display was named most remembered exhibit—for the fourth consecutive year!—at the Institute of Food Technologist’s annual event. B2B is the exclusive focus of this shop, founded in the Second City in 1988. A new Alexa app and a refreshed web presence is showcasing the agency’s brand/demand philosophy. CEO Gary Slack will cohost and program the first Ignite USA conference, produced by the UK’s B2BMarketing.net.
HAS WORKED WITH: Comcast Business, Crowe, Indorama Ventures Limited, LG Business Solutions, Univar Solutions WEBSITE: slackandcompany.com RFP CONTACT: Matt Pudnos, firstname.lastname@example.org
As its name implies, this social-first agency was founded on a passion for helping businesses find success by distilling their online messaging into pure, relevant marketing with impact. Said one client, “They do what they say they’re going to do and the results speak for themselves.” Based in Austin, this team gets high marks from local brands, but its acquisition by fellow Austin agency Best Practice Media is set to expand the shop’s digital expertise to deliver strategic services to clients both locally and nationally.
HAS WORKED WITH: Chuy’s, Cisco, Dairy Queen, Facebook, Intuit, JW Marriott WEBSITE: socialdistillery.com RFP CONTACT: Claire Winslow, email@example.com
Co-founders Courtney Spritzerna and Stephanie Abrams Cartin launched this social-first agency, fluent in hashtags, filters and memes, in 2011. Since then, its services have expanded to include media planning, growth hacking, content creation and influencer marketing. As thought leaders, SocialFly generates reams of industry intel for clients, partners and the curious researcher—its “Pink Papers” have recently covered topics such as FTC influencer requirements, social media for events and Instagram stories. Be sure to check out SocialFly’s “The Entreprenista Podcast” featuring an all-star lineup of women-founders.
HAS WORKED WITH: Huntington Learning Center, Maxim, Modell’s Sporting Goods, Premio, Vera Bradley WEBSITE: socialflyny.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
The team at Sociallybuzz were as busy as bees during the past year, having signed on a handful of new clients including the Cheese Course and Osme Perfumery, and increasing revenue 20 percent over the previous year. Some 80 percent of its clients are franchise or multi-unit businesses. For one of them, a coffee-shop franchise, the agency used Facebook and Instagram ads, sponsored Facebook posts, contests and a Snapchat geofilter to drive more than 450 attendees to the grand opening of a new location, as well as creating brand awareness and reaching nearly 37,000 people via Facebook posts alone. For another client, a new gym, it signed up 500 paid annual memberships—well above the 320-membership goal—relying exclusively on Facebook and Instagram.
HAS WORKED WITH: Golden Krust, Mahana Fresh, PJ’s Coffee, Qwench Juice Bar, TGI Fridays WEBSITE: sociallybuzz.com RFP CONTACT: Andre Kay, email@example.com
These risk takers love to try new approaches. And for client, TGIFriday’s, SociallyIn had the clever idea to take the “Elf on the Shelf” trend and shake it up, with a twist—creating video spots for Twitter and Instagram featuring… the “Shaker on the Bar.” When Dick’s Sporting Goods sought unique ways to present shoe releases, the team created photo manipulations, GIFs and a 360 graphic in a campaign unlike any shoe release Dick’s had previously done. The shop is celebrating eight years in business and its beginnings as a “small team that believed in each other.” It’s clear their clients believe in them, too.
HAS WORKED WITH: Dick’s Sporting Goods, NAACP, SGK Landscaping, SNAP Fitness, TGI Fridays WEBSITE: sociallyin.com RFP CONTACT: Keith Kakadia, Keith@sociallyin.com
Chicago-based and woman-owned digital marketing agency SoMe is a family-centric organization—“When left-brained people and right-brained people come together, insightful data meetings inspiring creative,” they say. SoMe offers sophisticated search engine marketing, social media management, content marketing strategy and development, paid media campaigns, digital analytics and website design and development, brand strategy and creative services.
HAS WORKED WITH: Apollo Education Group, Byram Healthcare, Vantaggio HR, Gildan, Howl at the Moon, Cuverro WEBSITE: someconnect.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sparkloft Media kicked off 2019 managing the official Super Bowl LIII social media command center, overseeing content and fan engagement for the entire Super Bowl week and handling the Super Bowl Host Committee social media accounts to ensure a positive experience for fans, whether they were in Atlanta to see the game in person or following the events remotely. Sparkloft scored a touchdown with its efforts, leading the NCAA to sign the agency on to handle the social media accounts for the 2020 Men’s Final Four. And the agency’s wins go beyond the sports sector; for new client South African Tourism, it generated 16 million social impressions by focusing on African-American and LGBTQ audiences, the first time the tourist board homed in on those sectors.
HAS WORKED WITH: Atlanta CVB, Crystal Cruises, Delta Air Lines, Laird Superfoods, Warner Brothers WEBSITE: sparkloftmedia.com RFP CONTACT: Seth Buchwalter, email@example.com
The brains behind the massive Google Assistant Playground at CES (people are still talking about the fun train ride, pop-up cafe and those French macarons!) and the much-anticipated eBay Open “sellerbration” keeps churning out award-winning work. Investments in core event and trade show capabilities and digital and interactive services ensure the quality will continue. Verizon and adidas have been believers for 26 years, and a $hit-load of new clients has hopped onboard since last July. Clients say they love Sparks’ creativity, attention to detail, digital wizardry and tireless effort. And we believe ’em.
HAS WORKED WITH: Boston Scientific, eBay, Google, LEGO, T-Mobile WEBSITE: wearesparks.com RFP CONTACT: Kristy Elisano, firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 2009, Spear’s clients range from start-ups to industry giants. In the last year, the shop added more than 40 new clients, including Alibaba, Blackhawk Networks, Coursera, Fictiv, FortressIQ, ThousandEyes and Restaurant365. This demand-gen shop is laser-focused on helping B2B companies generate, nurture and convert leads to revenue. Tech partners include Drift and Oktopost. Welcome to new VP of client services and technology Gina Miller (a veteran of RealNetworks, Avolent and EFI) and creative director Ben Stephenson, who has 20 years of experience in fintech, ecommerce and professional sports. The work environment here is 100-percent virtual. Once a year, the team gathers for an all-day kick-off meeting—the last one was at a California winery. Cheers!
HAS WORKED WITH: Dropbox, Google, Microsoft, SAP Concur, Vertafore WEBSITE: spearmarketing.com RFP CONTACT: Howard Sewell, email@example.com
Forget the saying “You can either have it done fast or have it done right.” Square 2 Marketing insists you can have both. Its Accelerated Engagement program will put together a dedicated team to work exclusively on a particular client’s account, enabling a six-month campaign to be completed in just one month. What’s more, the agency is so certain that its proprietary Cyclonic Buyer Journey approach will deliver results that meet the client’s goal, it will deliver $5,000 in free work if it falls short. Perhaps Square 2’s most newsworthy action of 2019 was informing one of its newest clients, a gun manufacturer, that it could no longer be its agency of record following the August mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
HAS WORKED WITH: Compliance Wave, Innius, Little’s, Miller Welding, Red River Tea WEBSITE: square2marketing.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Given that ST8MNT is located in Nashville, it’s not surprising that musical artists such as Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood are on the agency’s client roster, or that founder/principal Bethany Newman participated in the panel discussion “Branding & Marketing 101” at a MusicSpeak industry event this past summer. But music isn’t the only market segment for which ST8MNT has provided branding, marketing campaigns and packaging, website, and environmental design, among other services. The agency created a brand identity along with digital and print assets for Castlerock Management Assets; it not only rebranded the Egg & I Restaurants but also redesigned its website, tripling traffic within two months.
HAS WORKED WITH: Atlanta Braves, BNA Wines, National Geographic Channel, Taylor Swift, Toyota WEBSITE: st8mnt.com RFP CONTACT: Kate Balch, email@example.com
Deep roots in partner marketing is the core competency at this shop. HP leveraged that expertise for the yearlong Fantastic 4 campaign combining engagement, brand awareness and lead gen; the result was a consistent stream of measurable, qualified leas for the sales team. The numbers story is strong in this one: revenue grew 160 percent on a YOY basis, the demand gen practice delivered more than 212 unique campaigns for clients in 2019 and the event practice was been the engine behind 153 customer-facing activations around the globe. Starshot is a longtime supporter of the Toronto International Film Festival—look for staffers helping clients like Sony Pictures Classics host red carpet events and dancing with A-listers like Johnny Depp.
HAS WORKED WITH: AWS, HP Inc., HPE, Intel, Rogers WEBSITE: starshot.com RFP CONTACT: Brad Friesen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Want an agency that is equal parts “Mad Men” and martech? You’ve found them. Named ANA’s B2B Agency of the Year in 2019 for the fifth consecutive year, Stein introduced a Digital Marketing Transformation Framework for developing three-year plans to craft more fully digital go-to-market strategies. Recent notable wins include wealth management and asset management sector assignments from MSCI. For client UL’s first-ever global brand campaign, a branded content initiative called “Perspectives” leveraged data intelligence to create a platform for industry insights and research. The results? More than 125,000 unique views to date, more than 2,000 leads in six months and the ANA B2 Marketer of the Year accolade for UL CMO Kathy Seegebrecht.
HAS WORKED WITH: Covance, ETS, HSBC, Merck, Tetra Pak WEBSITE: steinias.com RFP CONTACT: Tom Stein, email@example.com
Stirista launched in 2010 as a provider of data for marketers creating multicultural campaigns, and it still maintains exhaustive databases of consumers and businesses. It has since grown, however, into a digital marketing agency specializing in audience segmentation, email marketing and display advertising for B2B and consumer organizations alike, with offices in San Antonio and Bangalore. Its Visitor ID Graph solution maximizes its triple-verified database of more than 250 million data points by enabling any organization to identify its website visitors by demographic breakdown, income and other segments.
HAS WORKED WITH: Aberdeen Group, Oracle, Texas A&M, The Trade Desk, Weight Watchers WEBSITE: stirista.com RFP CONTACT: David Bailey, firstname.lastname@example.org
Strategic by nature as well as by name, this full-service agency specializes in pay-per-click campaigns, SEO and lead generation. Last year client Events & Adventures enjoyed record numbers, including ROI, in large part due to Strategic Marketing’s redefinition of its target audience, refinement of its media strategy and launch of a new website. For BigShots Golf’s Vero Beach, FL, grand opening, Strategic Marketing began creating buzz well ahead of time with media buys, a new website, social media posts and weekly contests and giveaways. By the time the entertainment complex opened, its Facebook following had gone from zero to 3,600, and its website was receiving 5,600 visits a month.
HAS WORKED WITH: BigShots Golf, Capitol Carpet & Tile, Events & Adventures, MedSkinz, Stanley Steemer WEBSITE: thinkstrategic.com RFP CONTACT: Kristofer Ayres, email@example.com
This Central Ohio-based agency launched three new campaigns for Nationwide Energy Partners in 2019, to generate new pipeline leads and sales. Each of the multichannel efforts included an email series and a dedicated landing page, integrated with Pardot. The fourth campaign for the brand is in market now, with refined targeting resulting in increased conversions. A focus on long-term growth helped the shop add seven new companies to its client roster this year, including Nationwide, American Roller Co., Eaton, Corp., FireEye, Panduit Corp. and Park Place Technologies. Offices close for the first tip-off of March Madness, and two afternoons are spent watching games with staff and clients, to show appreciation for their business.
HAS WORKED WITH: ABBCitrix Systems, Cisco, Express, NetApp WEBSITE: simarketing.net RFP CONTACT: Brittany Geisler, firstname.lastname@example.org
Having launched as an agency representing “mom bloggers,” Sway Group has evolved into a full-service content and influencer marketing firm targeting women. During the past year, it launched its Social Content Studio, providing brands with fast-turnaround creative assets, and developed a dashboard of data, targeting and measurement tools powered by CreatorIQ’s cloud-based, AI-driven influencer marketing platform. It signed on more than a dozen new clients last year, including Igloo, for whom it created an influencer campaign to help launch a line of eco-friendly coolers. By working with lifestyle and parenting influencers and creating custom content, Sway generated more than 2,800 click-throughs to Igloo’s website—88 percent higher than benchmark—and more than 42,000 engagements across Facebook and Instagram.
HAS WORKED WITH: Expedia, Hyatt, Ketchum-Chicago, MSL Group Americas, Stonyfield Farm WEBSITE: swaygroup.com RFP CONTACT: Emily Saunderson, email@example.com
Among its stable of new tech and tools, Switch uses its own state-of-the-art 360-degree camera to create VR experiences for clients like the St. Louis Blues that enables viewers to step inside the locker room and onto the ice to get up close to the action. Hired 14 employees, including John Luetkemeyer as account development manager, who arrived from prior gigs at Anheuser-Busch and activations for Campbell’s Soup, Pace Picante Sauce, Corona and Johnsonville Sausage. The agency’s build of the REIGN Total Body Fuel tradeshow booth was awarded Best Booth at the 2019 Olympia Fitness & Performance Expo in Vegas. BizBash named Gregg Eilers, VP meetings & events, one of the Top 500 People in Events. Designed and executed a giant flavor wall at SXSW for Sparkling Ice made out of bottles with a bubble-inspired activity. And if you’d like to know how fab their working space is, just ask the St. Louis Business Journal who reported they have one of the city’s “coolest office spaces.”
HAS WORKED WITH: 5-hour ENERGY, Bosch, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Enterprise Holdings, The Hershey Co. WEBSITE: switch.us RFP CONTACT: Chris Jobst, firstname.lastname@example.org
Focused exclusively on sweepstakes and contests, this women-owned business reconfigured its innovative TurnkeySweeps platform this past year, enhancing the security measures and offering clients even more creative options. Among the companies that benefited from Sync Marketing’s trifecta of creativity, one-to-one service and attention to ROI was Claire’s, whose global Bags Packed, Ears Ready sweeps offered customers the chance to find a pair of tickets to Disney World or Disneyland within their purchase of Minnie Mouse Mystery Ears. For Stitch Fix, Sync Marketing devised a monthly contest in which kids uploaded on Instagram crafts made from the boxes their clothing came in; the most creative kids won Stitch Fix credit, while Stitch Fix won plenty of UCG.
HAS WORKED WITH: Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, CBI Distributing Corp., HelloFresh, Stitch Fix, TikTok WEBSITE: syncmarketing.net RFP CONTACT: Jennifer French, email@example.com
The real synergy here is this team’s ability to create unique, large, small, fun, boisterous, inspiring and energizing big ideas like earning M&Ms a Guinness World Record for creating the world’s largest piñata, or the intimate experience staged for 30 media and influencers to showcase a new product for Pampers. Was acquired by in-store marketing agency LG&P, which helped expand its in-house research and added additional functional skill teams in electronics and design, as well as clients like Amazon, Google, The Home Depot, Best Buy, Fitbit, GoPro and Whirlpool/KitchenAid. Helped J&J promote its #MakeHIVHistory global initiative through a series of private screenings in markets across the country that share the story of Ward 5B at San Francisco General Hospital, the first AIDS ward in the U.S.
HAS WORKED WITH: ICF Next, Johnson & Johnson, P&G, Starbucks, Weber Shandwick WEBSITE: synergyexperiential.com RFP CONTACT: Bill Holtz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Though it has grown to be a full-service agency, teamDigital Promotions started 25 years ago as specialists in promotional legal administration, expertise that continues to distinguish it when dealing with GDPR and CCPA compliance. The agency also distinguished itself with a NASCAR promotion that brought together three top auto brands as sponsors during the 10 weeks of NASCAR playoffs; encouraging fans to help customize—and win—a Chevrolet Silverado, a Ford F-150 and a Toyota Tundra by voting on features online generated 152 million social content impressions and more than 3.4 million entries, exceeding projections.
HAS WORKED WITH: Carnival Cruise Lines, Mastercard, NFL, MLB, SoundCloud WEBSITE: teamdigital.com RFP CONTACT: Gene Tiernan, email@example.com
With more than 30 years in the youth marketing space, this agency has the chops to connect with the 18-25 demo. Case in point: Campus created a themed red carpet premiere for the winner of Adobe’s #MoviePosterMovie contest, which showcased the brand’s products. Director Zach Braff produced a short film based on the movie, “In The Time It Takes To Get There.” Students attending the premiere were put in a time machine, complete with 1800s authentic costumes and live music. For SodaStream, Hydration Stations showed students the advantages of its products. Students chose their flavor and added fresh fruit to create sparkling water combinations and walked away with a free SodaStream water bottle filled with their creation. The office channels youth culture: the dorm chic-style reflects the college marketing expertise, and comes complete with a keg and the pennants of employee alma maters on the wall.
HAS WORKED WITH: Adobe, Harley-Davidson, OnePlus, SodaStream, The New York Times WEBSITE: thecampusagency.com RFP CONTACT: Courtney Duggan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Since its rebranding from Mistress at the start of 2019, The Many has increased staff by more than 30 percent, taken on seven new clients, and opened an East Coast office in Boston led by managing director Maggie Cadigan. Speaking of women at The Many, Melissa Cabral was elevated to group strategy director, and associate creative director Kristen Guiliano and an industry colleague created a viral-worthy satirical “A-Z guide” on the out-of-touch advice presented in that infamous Ernst & Young training presentation leaked this year by HuffPost (you know, the one that mentioned “fix the women”?) Boom. To boot, The Many ranked #45 on AdWeek’s list of the 100 Fastest Growing Agencies, and it took home two awards from the PromaxBDA North America awards for their work for “American Horror Story.” A piece of client work this year that caught our attention: a series of social films starring Lil’ Wayne and a military strategist in humorous dialogue designed to drive additional buzz for Ghost Recon Breakpoint, following a stunt at E3.
HAS WORKED WITH: Coca-Cola, GoFundMe, Hot Wheels, PayPal, Netflix WEBSITE: themany.com RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
This mover and shaker runs at top speed, providing extensive breadth and depth of capabilities across multiple client categories. On the eve of the 2019 NFL Draft, TMA coached 25 of the most marketable prospects in the league at its second-annual signature event, CHOSEN 2.0. These future stars were introduced to top execs at some of the biggest brands in the world including Pizza Hut, P&G, Mars, Goodyear, DirecTV, Nike, Dunhill, Twitch and Draft Kings. A “speed dating” round helped them learn about future deals and partnerships. Turned up the heat for Cheetos at New York Fashion Week with the House of Flamin’ Haute Runway Show and Style Bar—the brand’s first ever runway show. Hired some real hot shots of their own, including Will Clarke, EVP of creative from Simon & Schusterm and Cole Keeton, director of design and former co-founder of Sweet Tooth Hotel. Among its roster of awards, took home the 2019 Platinum PRO Award, the program’s most prestigious award for the Frito-Lay Cheetos campaign “Teach Me How to Curl.” We applaud TMA’s diversity and inclusion program created to expand agency understanding of diverse people.
HAS WORKED WITH: Frito-Lay, Goodyear, Nintendo, State Farm, US Army, WEBSITE: themarketingarm.com RFP CONTACT: Corey Lark, firstname.lastname@example.org
Global headcount increased 18 percent for this B2B shop, which also increased agency revenue by 26 percent and profits by 70 percent YOY. Big news was the three-year, multimillion dollar contract signed with the UK’s O2 Business, the biggest pitch TMP has ever won. Demand gen, ABM and partner marketing are top areas of focus for this Seattle-based shop, which was an ANA B2 Agency of the Year finalist. Client ServiceNow created two tiers of ABM marketing (one to one and one to few), driving personalization at scale and 70 percent account engagement within nine months of launch. Every three years, regional offices join together for an all-agency retreat—2018’s locale was Iceland!
HAS WORKED WITH: Microsoft, O2 Telefonica, Sage, SAS, Salesforce WEBSITE: themarketingpractice.com RFP CONTACT: Claire Lund, email@example.com
When Sony set out to enlist influencers to amplify its products across Instagram, it tapped The Mobile Media Lab, which hooked the brand up with 14 influencers who, to date, have generated more than 117,000 likes and comments. And when Bolthouse Farms engaged MML to promote its foodpornindex.com site, the shop delivered 15 food-focused Instagrammers; the result: 1,800 photos tagged #FoodPornIndex in only two weeks, and a cool 1,000 new followers for @bolthousefarms. While this agency can generate big campaign returns, it also operates a network of photographers, an Instagram consulting business and organizes “InstaMeets,” memorable photography meetups to connect with local audiences—in fact, the Bolthouse program extended live with an InstaMeet at a farm for a close group of 30 Instagrammers to see Bolthouse’s produce up close.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bolthouse Farms, Coach, Expedia, Sony, Stoli, Timex WEBSITE: themobilemedialab.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Harnessing “The Power of X”—the exponential transformation that results in connecting strategy, creative, demand gen and digital development—is the mantra here. New client wins such as Fortune 200 company Cummins are putting this Burr Ridge, IL, agency on track for more than 25 percent growth this year. Global capabilities are expanding via partnerships with UK agency Bray Leino and The Network One. Added to the trophy shelf two 2019 Killer Content Awards at B2BMX for vAuto and Zekelman Industries. SEM, SEO and CRO expertise was leveraged to build a new website for U.S. Cellular that delivered an engaging experience for customers and drove a higher number of B2B leads during its first live month. Good call!
HAS WORKED WITH: CCG, HollyFrontier, Manheim Express, Spraying Systems, U.S. Cellular WEBSITE: themxgroup.com RFP CONTACT: Nina Kuhlman, email@example.com
“Revenuemarketer” is the Twitter handle of the Pedowitz Group, an indication that this agency knows audience sentiment means little if it doesn’t drive revenue. In fact, the Pedowitz Group claims to have generated and influenced $12 billion in revenue for its clients since president/CEO Jeff Pedowitz founded it in 2007. Its annual Revenue Marketing Index Report shows where industries rate on a scale from traditional marketing, which measures primarily costs and activities, to revenue marketing, which is synergistic with sales and homes in on ROI and forecasting.
HAS WORKED WITH: Citrix, Country Financial, Dell, Intel, McKesson WEBSITE: pedowitzgroup.com RFP CONTACT: Scott Benedetti, firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite its name, the Trade Group does more than produce exhibits for trade shows. It also designs, manufactures and installs everything from retail graphics to mall kiosks, incorporating gaming, interactive technology and lead management tools that provide metrics to gauge ROI. This past year it served as the general service contractor for DreamHack Dallas, the agency’s seventh stint working with the world’s largest digital festival producer, and created numerous activations for TwitchCon 2019. These included a “haunted house” for Hershey’s complete with photo ops for maximum social media engagement and a space where attendees could sit in Honda vehicles loaded with gaming systems and challenge the pro members of Team Liquid.
HAS WORKED WITH: Facebook, Fannie May, Pokémon Worlds, RocketBrand, Twitch WEBSITE: tradegroup.com RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
As the name suggests, this London-based agency creates bonkers viral campaigns—in fact, they refer to the team as “Vreaks,”(a.k.a. skilled viral freaks), “some of which are permanent vreaks, others who are extended vreaks.” Among stunts they’ve executed recently: enlisting a talented artist to replicate and expand Pablo Picasso’s famous painting, “The Weep Woman,” and then revealing it next to the original displayed at the Tate Modern London (without permission, of course). A program for Durex paired the brand’s logo with photos that depicted the downside of having children (think: permanent marker). For clever and brave “advertainment,” these are your masterminds.
HAS WORKED WITH: Ebay, Xbox, Jaguar, UKTV, Durex, Hailo, Alibaba Group WEBSITE: viralagency.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
The food and beverage category takes up some tasty real estate in the social media world, but THP specializes in making room for clients in North America, Europe and the UK, by serving up fresh engagements on platforms like Instagram through video, photography, copywriting and community management. THP this year increased sales for Freixenet USA’s Mia Wines brand by 16 percent and helped grow its followers on Instagram by 2,250 percent with colorful imagery designed to get the millennial demographic hooked on Spanish sparkling wine. Those hungry for the culinary cutting edge should check out the shop’s annual Flavor & Trend Forecast.
HAS WORKED WITH: Chiquita, Heinz, Polar Ice Vodka, St. Jeans, Villaggio WEBSITE: thpcreates.com RFP CONTACT: thpcreates.com/contact-us/
Leading brands clock in here for three main areas of expertise: consumer engagement, promotional engagement and performance marketing. The Dallas-based shop, established in 1974, is comprised of account and creative associates who work with supplier partners and resources. Here’s a high octane campaign: Shell needed an explainer video for a new app supporting the billing experience for B2B customers. The animated clip was easily accessible on any device and enjoyed widespread distribution throughout the Shell driver network. A taste of internal culture, each month, “Continuous Improvement” meetings give Tic Toc teams the chance to share recent work, wins, initiatives and prospects. And just for fun, for the 50th anniversary of the moon walk, everyone enjoyed moon pies and Buzzed Aldrin cocktails.
HAS WORKED WITH: GEHA, Humana, LG Electronics, Shell, Topgolf WEBSITE: tictoc.com RFP CONTACT: Paul Gittemeier, email@example.com
Even if you haven’t worked with TopRank Marketing, you might have come across its thought leadership; the Content Marketing Institute, AdAge and Edelman’s Social Media Index are among those that have rated its blog among the marketing industry’s most influential. A content marketing campaign for Powder Solutions Group and a conversion-rate optimization program for Innovatech Labs are among its success stories. When Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise wanted to create a recognition program for IT professionals, TopRank built and branded the IT Vanguards Award Program, using email, social marketing, content and PR to drive qualified potential nominees to a newly built landing page. The 10-week promotion for the inaugural 2019 awards generated nearly 14,000 landing page views and significant sales prospects for Alcatel-Lucent.
HAS WORKED WITH: Cherwell, Dell, LinkedIn, McKesson, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center WEBSITE: toprankmarketing.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
This B2B pureplay is dedicated to technical and industrial clientele. Founded in 1984 and purchased by the current owners in 2007, 40 associates work at this Ohio shop, which has realized 78 percent growth in three years—and is poised to add another 30 percent this year. New accounts include Stirling Ultracold and Gilbarco Veeder-Root. On the new hire front, Gyro and Quest Diagnostics vet Michelle Crawley joined the team as director of public relations. TricomB2B is a five-time winner of the Dayton Business Journal’s Best Places to Work Award; after hours, employees often gather for a beer or enjoy a show at one of the three theaters in walking distance of its offices.
What is something unexpected you might tell B2B marketers as they get ready for 2020?
In the era of digital advertising and data analytics, on-screen, online marketing formats get a lot of attention, and rightfully so. Marketers’ abilities to target specific audiences and measure effectiveness are attractive to executives who must justify budgets.
How much attention are we talking?
According to eMarketer, business-to-business (B2B) companies in the U.S. will spend more than $6 billion in digital in 2019, more than double their 2015 investments.
Research shows more than two-thirds of marketers feel digital fails to meet expectations. More than half say measurement tools still don’t help establish the ROI of their digital investments. Faced with this reality, it’s tempting to tell clients: double down; invest more in the tech stack; and implement more ABM and programmatic. But we’re telling clients to tap the brakes a little, i.e., step back and examine their relationships with customers and prospects at a different level. Let’s focus not only on what we can learn about them from a data perspective, but also on what we know about them from a human perspective.
Doing so means increasing your focus in two areas: creating emotional connections and driving more face-to-face interactions.
First, emotion. Many B2B marketers still aren’t convinced about the role of emotion in B2B decision making. This is despite decades of science that tells us how the brain makes decisions (hint: we don’t make rational, fact-based decisions) and an abundance of business research that validates the science. CEB and Google broke ground on the subject six years ago when they proved B2B buyers are much more likely to purchase and pay a premium when they see personal value in a brand. Bain & Company’s landmark study, “The B2B Elements of Value,” also demonstrated the critical role of emotional connections in B2B. We want our clients to make better connections with their customers. Less features and benefits, please. Let’s strive for hope and aspiration.
What about face-to-face?
Human beings are innately social. We crave contact. Psychologists and researchers have proved the power of social, personal connections for decades. These connections make us feel happy and valued, and we even remember information better when we take it in socially. Accenture claims we’ve reached a tipping point in digital density; we need to rebalance and combine digital with human interactions. So, what does this mean to B2B marketers? Abandon digital? Not exactly. But it’s good counsel to recalibrate campaigns and programs to find ways to create personal, face-to-face encounters. Put everything on the table for consideration, from hosted events and customer advisory groups to mobile tours and pop-ups.
Most B2B transactions have long sales cycles. They are inherently high-touch and often quite personal. Shouldn’t our marketing feel the same?
We see digital as a means to facilitate—not replace—the emotion and human interactions that can drive more opportunity and better business results.
TSMGI stands for “The Specialized Marketing Group Inc.,” and rather than spreading itself across a number of marketing tactics, it drills deep into providing clients with custom promotions, sports and event marketing. As the official global promotional merchandise vendor for Valvoline, TSMGI takes charge of everything from developing online stores to providing worldwide product fulfillment. For Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, it handles strategy, negotiation and execution for the healthcare provider’s sponsorship of the Milwaukee Bucks. In 2019 this included the Welcome to the Family promotion: Every baby born at a Froedtert & MCW birth center was sent home swaddled in a co-branded blanket. The January 3 launch event alone earned more than 850,000 impressions (and plenty of photos of adorable newborns).
HAS WORKED WITH: Abbott Laboratories, Bellin Health, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, McDonalds, Valvoline WEBSITE: tsmgi.com RFP CONTACT: Tom Crawford, email@example.com
Ueno can boast an honor that none of its competitors can: Its founder and CEO, Haruldar Thorleifsson, was named viðskiptafræðingur—or businessman—of the year by the Icelandic Society of Viðskiptafræðingar and Economists, and was presented with his award by Iceland president Guðni Th. Jóhannesson. Founded in Reykjavik, the agency now has offices in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, along with a global clientele. Projects undertaken during the past year include a rebranding and new website for ad-tech firm Essence, designing and developing a new website for Baker Tilly, and designing the brand, website and app for startup Dorsia.
HAS WORKED WITH: ESPN, Il Makiage, Red Bull, Reuters, Verizon WEBSITE: ueno.com RFP CONTACT: Karli DeFilippo, firstname.lastname@example.org
Upshot celebrated its 25th anniversary this year in part by evolving its agency proposition to “We create brand excitement,” and enhancing its capabilities in everything from analytics to 3-D design. Winning a Shorty Award for best use of Pinterest for Tazo as well as five Muse Creative Awards was cause for celebration as well. Ditto the success of campaigns such as its Dia de los Muertos promotion for Mexico’s Victoria beer; by focusing on the true nature of the holiday rather than its north-of-the-border perception as a Hispanic Halloween, the campaign generated an eight percent boost in year-over-year sales and a 50 percent lift in social media engagement.
HAS WORKED WITH: Carl’s Jr., Head & Shoulders, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks WEBSITE: upshot.agency RFP CONTACT: Ellen Slauson, email@example.com
Viral Nation not only delivers social media content and influencer marketing strategies, it manages influencer talent, too, repping top social media from all verticals. The team provides full-service software to streamline the campaign process, examine cross-channel social engagements, deliver impression data, monitor influencer performance, provide hashtag analysis and more. A recent campaign for Bud Light raised awareness and improved brand perception within California’s Hispanic community; Viral Nation brought in 11 local Hispanic influencers to promote #HechoEnCalifornia (Made in California), a program that surpassed goal by 4.9 million interactions.
HAS WORKED WITH: Aston Martin, Calm, Crayola, Google, Microsoft, Rovio
WEBSITE: viralnation.com RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Virtue isn’t only generating fascinating creative work, it’s helping to solve systemic world issues. In partnership with Copenhagen Pride, Virtue created Q, the first genderless voice to help transform the voice assistant space and make it more inclusive (the innovation earned a D&AD Future Impact Pencil award for Equality and Diversity). Then, Virtue challenged the environmental impact of the fashion industry by teaming up with Carlings to launch adDRESS THE FUTURE, the world’s first digital fashion collection. Rounding out the year, and the agency’s North America leadership team, was the appointment of Susie Lyons as head of strategy. In addition, Virtue’s creative director and “resident Rockstar” Tim Harrington and his band Les Savy Fav celebrated its 20th anniversary with a performance on “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” Rock on, Virtue.
HAS WORKED WITH: Google Chrome, Smirnoff, Sephora, Unilever, Volkswagen WEBSITE: virtueworldwide.com RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Walker Sands’s inclusion in the 2019 Inc. 5000 marks the seventh year in a row that the agency has made the list of the fastest-growing private companies, having enjoyed 111 percent growth during the previous three years. The PR and digital marketing agency, which focuses on B2B companies, also made Crain’s list of best places to work in Chicago and Holmes Report’s list of best small agencies to work for—though with more than 135 employees in Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle, it may not be a small agency for much longer. As well as giving itself a rebrand this year, Walker Sands gave one to AmpliFund, distinguishing the grant management software from its parent company, StreamLink Software.
HAS WORKED WITH: Accenture Interactive, Cheetah Digital, CommerceHub, Ensono, Igloo WEBSITE: walkersands.com RFP CONTACT: Will Barthel, firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to its high-quality creative, We Are Alexander prides itself on its speed to market and financial efficiency. These strengths are no doubt why it has retained its top five clients for an average of more than 25 years. For one of these clients, Anheuser-Busch InBev, it created a regional experiential program that aligned with the nationwide Epic Bud Light Summer campaign. Targeting millennials, the agency went beyond traditional POS contests to create a Facebook sweepstakes that incorporated Facebook Messenger chatbots, Spotify and Instagram, reaching more than four million consumers. Not all of the agency’s work was for existing clients, however; it added Acreage Holdings, Energizer Holdings and Krispy Kreme, among others to its roster this year.
HAS WORKED WITH: Anheuser-Busch InBev, Campbell Snacks, Energizer Holdings, Keurig Dr Pepper, Krispy Kreme WEBSITE: wearealexander.com RFP CONTACT: Tara Gray, email@example.com
The team that broke a Guinness World Recordwith more than325 projectors rigged at an event, illuminating the largest table projection-mapping ever for a global client, is breaking records of its own; it picked up four new clients and surpassed 100 employees over the last 12 months. There’s also the Malala (you know her name)-themed Celebrity Cruises ship launch celebrating female empowerment, a Roaring ’20s 40th anniversary celebration for Amway Japan’s top performers, and more. Its reputation and word-of-mouth accounted for its highest revenue year in 2018. No doubt its “nothing can stop us” approach had something to do with it, too.
HAS WORKED WITH: Amway, Domino’s Pizza, Genentech, Merck, Royal Caribbean WEBSITE: wilsondow.com RFP CONTACT: Pat Schreiner, firstname.lastname@example.org
This venerable agency—it was founded in 1965 in London and now has offices in New York and San Francisco—boils down what it does to strategy, design and change. It incorporated all three elements in its 2019 rebranding of Vonage from a residential telecom to a provider of software as a service to businesses, creating a visual identity that underscores how the company’s eight business units are now one effective whole. Similarly, Wolff Olins’s rebranding for Sage Therapeutics incorporated colorful stylized illustrations of the brain and portrait photography to show how the pharma firm is taking a new, empathetic approach to mental health.
HAS WORKED WITH: Apple, Google, McKinsey & Co., the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Uber WEBSITE: wolffolins.com RFP CONTACT: Chris Arakelian, email@example.com
The passion at this agency is palpable. While the team works across a variety of verticals—technology, pharmaceutical, utilities, hospitality—it has a long and storied history within the automotive space with a focus on three audiences: early adopters, hard-to-reach target segments and distribution channels. When Lincoln Motor Co. was ready to launch the all-new Navigator designed to become the new crown jewel in its lineup, Xperience hit the gas. A nationwide activation integrated advanced data analytics with a human-centric approach that included influencers. The Navigator story was brought to life via a highly targeted immersive experience at high-traffic upscale locations and at venues like acclaimed restaurants/coffee shops, gourmet markets and cultural events. After 37,000 live engagements, 1,800 registrations were recorded.
HAS WORKED WITH: DTE Energy, Ford Motor Co., James Group International, Lincoln Motor Co., Livio WEBSITE: xperiencecommunications.com RFP CONTACT: Kathleen Kross, firstname.lastname@example.org
Entering its second decade, this Phoenix, AZ, agency reached a milestone by creating marketing programs for more than half of the tech companies in the Fortune 500 and more than a third of the tech firms in the Fortune 1000. The team grew 15 percent last year, as resources were added to the content, creative and account management areas. Best of breed martech capabilities include a partnership with Hubspot. The shop created a series of print and digital Customer Reference Books to highlight the Veeam and VMware partnership; in less than a year, the campaign generated 353 leads and more than 1,400 page views, with an average view time of nearly 10 minutes.
HAS WORKED WITH: Dell, NetApp, Pure Storage, Riverbed, Weka.IO WEBSITE: yeagermarketing.com RFP CONTACT: Davina Morris, email@example.com
Seattle is home for this B2B shop, which consults with tech firms to execute marketing plans that facilitate growth from awareness and activation to adoption and advocacy. Services include social, ABM, marketing automation, customer advocacy and campaign design. One example: Microsoft’s Marketing and Ops team needed to create more consistent presentations. A simplified process helped executives create decks and present awareness and training materials in a more holistic way. In March, Emphatic Thinking was acquired to add a go-to-market methodology to the practice. Both the HQ and the Philly offices were named Best Places to Work by Seattle Business Magazine and Philadelphia Business Journal.
HAS WORKED WITH: Amazon, Code 42, Google, Microsoft, Synnex WEBSITE: yesler.com RFP CONTACT: Barbara Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org