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 first and only comprehensive list of the top non-advertising agencies—The Chief Marketer 200. It is the world’s only list of the best engagement and activation agencies across 11 categories and specialties serving the U.S.
Take a look at the 2018 featured CM 200 case studies.
As this agency will tell ya, 180 ain’t a name—it’s a way of thinking, people. Living its continued push to create ideas that are a 180-degree departure from the norm, the content-generating shop (opened in Amsterdam in the late 90s and then expanded into the L.A. scene in 2007) charges on with creative-laden ideas that are less defined by a marketing channel and more defined by a goal to deliver results. Shared and shareable content campaigns are the ultimate end result—but how 180LAS gets there changes by client. For some, it’s about online dialogs; for others it’s about offline dialogs—for most it’s about finding the intersection between the two. Take a look at the work for University of Phoenix and UNICEF for a true peek at how marketing can affect the heart and mind.
HAS WORKED WITH: Boost Mobile, Expedia, HP, Sony, UNICEF, University of Phoenix
RFP CONTACT: Michelle Eriksson, email@example.com
Dentsu Aegis Network’s unofficial king of search engine-driven, amplified marketing campaigns continues to evolve into a disruptor, now as much about digital word of mouth generation as it is about search. But as digital has taken over the marketing mix, 360i has expanded with it—launching new capabilities including a brand strategy practice, a data analytics/insights offerings and other finely tuned menu additions such as social listening, research and real-time digital marketing. It was the launch of a dedicated Amazon Marketing capability last year—“designed to help brands capitalize on change in an increasingly Amazon-dominated world”—that sent a shockwave across the market and served as a clear and present reminder that media and marketing channels are getting refined and redefined in real-time by agencies like this one.
HAS WORKED WITH: Absolut, Chili’s, Coca-Cola, Hanes, Kahlúa, MINI, Mondelēz
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for a full-service experiential shop that knows how to activate sports and entertainment sponsorships on a national scale and strike smart partnerships with some of the biggest sports franchises in the country? From the NFL to the NBA to the PGA to even rugby, Activent’s got you covered. Has enjoyed steady, double-digit growth for six of the past seven years and takes pride in the fact that its senior team works on client business day-to-day. Also retains seven-plus-year relationships with Kia, FOX Networks and PUMA, while in 2017 adding new clients Burt’s Bees, Natures Bounty, Popchips and Lightlife Foods. We’re lovin’ the smart Osteo Bi-Flex/MLB activation that encouraged baseball fans to connect the seventh inning stretch with the value of joint supplements. Fun fact: Activent is one of the first agencies to activate a sampling drone for a client.
If you’ve stepped into a bank recently and thought, “Wait, am I in a bank?” you might have immersed yourself into one of Adrenaline’s sleek, signature rebrands. This Atlanta-based shop (with outposts in Chicago, St. Louis and Portsmouth, NH) specializes in branding and retail experience design, and lends its considerable talents to a broad portfolio of brands looking for a fresh new face, a more immersive retail engagement or a digital upgrade. Award-winning creative director and former Nickelodeon VP Ty Wong no doubt shakes things up with a right brain/left brain blend of levity and strategy. Has solid high-tech chops, too, with digital programs for more than 175 clients over 3,000 installations worldwide.
HAS WORKED WITH: America First Credit Union, Credit Union of Texas, Citizens National Bank, New Balance, Santander
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Dropped “International” from its name and delivered some impressive work from new clients, including Frontier Communications, Papa John’s, Benjamin Moore, Dignity Health, Genesis and Microsoft. Formalized a Partnership Marketing division and enhanced its video editing, 3D rendering design and animation services. Produced striking results for a 2017 Microsoft Special Olympics campaign—21.7 million video views and 10,000 experiential engagements with consumers from 213 countries. As a company, pledged to take five million steps (about 2,500 miles) and donate 25-cents per mile to support the 5 million Special Olympics athletes worldwide. March on team!
HAS WORKED WITH: Frontier Communications, Hyundai Motor America, LG Electronics USA, L’Oreal, Microsoft Corp.
RFP CONTACT: John Lane, firstname.lastname@example.org
Steeped in understanding retailer and manufacturer needs and grounded in shopper insights, the massive company holds a collective of specialty agencies spanning experiential, shopper and digital marketing, including Upshot, AMP, 206 and In Marketing Services. Acquired The Data Council, a provider of verified and standardized product data and images, including the IX-ONE platform, the specialty, natural and organic Industry’s solution for product information. Works across numerous retail channels, including grocery, drug, mass, military and food service. Joined forces with Daymon Worldwide to greatly expand brand and retailer services in the U.S. and internationally. Daymon brings a global service portfolio that includes strategy and insights, sourcing, packaging and branding design, in-store retail execution and consumer experience marketing.
HAS WORKED WITH: Abbott, Henkel, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, PepsiCo
RFP CONTACT: Michael Harris, email@example.com
Several new clients onboarded with this Chicago-based favorite recently, including City Electric Supply, Cognizant, Interface, the Democratic National Convention, Purdue and MillerCoors. An activation at Chicago’s Pitchfork Music festival to raise awareness and promote CLIF Bar’s commitment to sustainability included a booth made from reclaimed wood and upcycled tapes and CDs, temporary custom-designed tattoos and backyard style games. Agency EA was recognized by Event Marketer and Crain’s Chicago Business as a Best Place to Work. Fun fact: Its HQ features an event space called Savage Smyth on its top floor. Even more fun fact: There’s an ice skating rink on the roof.
Ahhhhhh, the mighty AKQA that has helped change the digital marketing vernacular for so many brands around the universe. With one of the biggest creative benches and one of the biggest tech stacks in the world, the global “ideas and innovation” agency continues to churn out some of the most digitally integrated experiential campaigns on the planet—witness Nike’s connected jersey, Eurostar’s underwater VR Odyssey (look it up) and Jägermeister’s Be the Master. Maintains one of the industry’s preeminent data science teams—and the social channel management team has developed a reputation for navigating platforms, regions and channels all around the globe. Our latest fave? The new Volvo in-app Car Configurator, a first for Facebook.
HAS WORKED WITH: Activision, Amazon, Converse, Gore, Jägermeister, Tag Heuer, Verizon Volvo
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
ALLIED INTEGRATED MARKETING
This veteran entertainment, culture and lifestyle agency has arguably one of the broadest benches in the industry. From its three multicultural divisions (LGBTQ, African American and Hispanic), to its digital group 87AM, to its new influencer arm Elevate, to its award-winning experiential team, “integrated” isn’t just a name—it’s a promise. Took home People’s Choice and Ex Awards wins for its Netflix “Gilmore Girls” nationwide coffee shop takeovers for the series’ reboot, among more than a dozen other awards. And helped “This Is Us” earn a top spot in the ratings through a 10-market advance screening program that included viewing parties, influencer activation and multicultural press events. Has deep roots in Broadway tour marketing and has represented 13 of the past 20 Tony Award-winning Best Musicals. Pets are welcome here, and can be found in the company’s “pet directory.”
HAS WORKED WITH: Disney, Feld Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands Corp., Sephora, Paramount Pictures
RFP CONTACT: Christi Lardy, email@example.com
Technology and software marketing is a specialty for this integrated B2B marketing shop. Seven new team members joined the Emmaus, PA, agency in 2017 to ramp up its design, p.r., social media and content marketing capabilities. New offerings this year include Horizon 2.0, a proprietary reporting and data visualization platform exclusive to Altitude clients, and Altitude Market Research, destined to help clients better understand their markets. The agency helped several clients with major B2B branding efforts recently—Amsterdam-based app development and deployment platform turned to Altitude for a U.S. rebranding and website relaunch, while software company One Discovery worked with the shop for a launch ahead of LegalTech 2017.
HAS WORKED WITH: American Nutrition, CrimeCenter, Hedge Trackers, Olympus, Uniface
RFP CONTACT: Louis Holzman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t let the fact that AdAge named this shop its Agency of the Year this year fool you. This 13-year-old, New York City-based shop lives up to its name by eschewing traditional ad agency models and focusing entirely on multidisciplinary solutions. In other words, they’re not just selling ads. According to Fast Company, “When a client comes in with an advertising problem, Anomaly addresses it more broadly as a business issue, analyzing everything from design to product development.” A who’s-who of Fortune 100 brands comprises their client list. An internal IP division incubates new inventions and products. The creative and strategic thinking just doesn’t get much better, folks.
HAS WORKED WITH: Beats by Dre, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Coty, Sonos
RFP CONTACT: Franke Rodriguez, email@example.com
AQUARIUS SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Underscoring its sports and entertainment know-how, staged an at-track activation for Target at a NASCAR race to generate awareness for its Cartwheel mobile app. Brand hysteria ensued as Target Shopping Race Karts captured the attention of fans around the track. Attendees who downloaded the app received branded premiums. sampling program for Kimberly-Clark and Target that had more than 2,200 attendees “spin the wheel” and almost 59,000 product samples were handed out. Hired Signe Hilton, former director of game entertainment for the Washington Redskins, as new director of client services. For Milk-Bone and Target, it dreamed up puppy pit stops, an oversized doghouse and band of brand ambassadors to distribute samples at major events.
HAS WORKED WITH: AAA Mid-Atlantic, Banana Boat, M&T Bank, Target, United Way
RFP CONTACT: Marc Bluestein, firstname.lastname@example.org
The shopper marketing division of Leo Burnett Group continues to impress us—and our PRO Awards’ judges—taking home nine 2017 trophies for clients like Intel, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. Also notable I 2017: Opened offices in New York and Arkansas; Won the MillerCoors portfolio; Added seven execs to the team to double down on planning, shopper insights and mobile tracking and analytics. When Coke sales slumped at McDonald’s, Arc made ordering a Coke became a musical experience. Lyrics and a microphone were put on every cup and customers were invited to sing-along to win. Launched the gig with the first Carpool Karaoke product integration. And who better to help create buzz by driving through the drive thru than James Cordon and Selena Gomez. This promo sang its way to tune of 250 million drinks sold.
HAS WORKED WITH: Coca-Cola, Intel, McDonald’s, MillerCoors, Procter & Gamble
RFP CONTACT: April Carlisle, email@example.com
Public relations and digital marketing for B2B high tech clients is a specialty at this shop, which takes its name from living at the center of mARKETIng. An annual B2B Technology CMO Roundtable hosted in Arketi’s hometown of Atlanta brings together 60+ c-level execs from top companies to share ideas and insights. Recent Arketi client wins include Landis+Gyr, Sprint, Sierra Wireless and TSYS. NCR Silver called on the agency to help differentiate its SMB POS system. As a result, awareness was built and over 33 earned media placements were secured, including guest appearances on MSNBC and byline opportunities with Entrepreneur.
Part of privately-held Arc Holdings, this 100-person shop experienced 35 percent year over year growth in 2017. Recently acquired Feats Inc. to extend its client base in higher education institutions such as Harvard Business, MIT and Stanford Medicine. Constellation Brands’ Beer Division turned to the agency to reimagine their annual distributor meeting as “The Gold Network Summit,” creating a unique identity for the event to promote competitive products. The shop also supports “OpenTab,” a digital sales tool used by reps and partners to keep them in the know about brands, trends and promotions. An annual all-agency retreat takes the August Jackson team out of the office to work on strategic priorities.
Storytellers and technologists coexist as partners in crime at this digital agency that uses content and digital tools to connect brands and audiences. For Google, B-Reel enlisted amateur astronomers during last summer’s solar eclipse to contribute content to a singular branded film. To promote Netflix’s Season 5 release of “Orange is the New Black,” the shop tied to local street artists in nine cities with branded murals created around the world. For Hurley, the company created “surftorial” films that connected with surfers around the world. With an extended family of more than 170 designers, developers, writers, strategists and producers across six offices, they say “we work flat, fast, and fun—without any awkward handoffs between thinking and making.”
HAS WORKED WITH: Bang & Olsen, Facebook, Google, Hurley, Movado, Netflix, Nike
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
CEO Greg Nickerson oversees a team of more than 250 at 43-year-old veteran shop Bader Rutter. Vertical markets the team specializes in include agriculture, buildings and interiors, chemicals, financial services, food, industry associations and technology. An art gallery recently opened in its new Milwaukee headquarters. The new offices, designed as an open concept office space, is an addition to a historical building in the downtown area. To help another local institution, Bader Rutter recently loaned several of their writers to the Pfister Hotel for the tenth year of the Pfister Narrator program, where guests share the stories behind their hotel stays.
HAS WORKED WITH: Butler Manufacturing, Dow AgroSciences, Eastman Chemical Company, The Standard Insurance, Zoetis Animal Health
RFP CONTACT: David Quigley, email@example.com
BAESMAN INSIGHTS & MARKETING
With a full service loyalty offering and a niche specialty in retail it’s no wonder the “AG Rewards” loyalty program it developed for American Girl was right on target. The time frame was tight—four months—and the goal was to drive purchase frequency, customer retention and brand engagement. The results? An impressive 20 percent of year-one enrollment in the first month and rewards redeemed exceeded six-month redemption goals. For Stanley Steemer, customer data was integrated into an SAS environment and spending behavior was analyzed to produce insights. The corporate and franchise email and direct mail programs cleaned up driving a 200 percent lift in response rates and a 23 percent lift in online bookings.
HAS WORKED WITH: American Girl, Hibbett Sporting Goods, Outlook Amusements, Rag & Bone, Stanley Steemer
RFP CONTACT: Evan Magliocca, firstname.lastname@example.org
This L.A.-based field marketing independent was founded in 1999 with one client—Red Bull. Since then, it’s earned an impressive list of clients who, no doubt, were attracted to the agency’s production expertise and its often irreverent, yet totally spot-on, ideas. One case in point: Toyota’s Hotel Tacoma, an immersive weekend camping excursion that, in addition to off-roading adventures behind the wheel, offered fishing, paragliding, archery and hatchet throwing—talk about a fresh take on the ride and drive. This year brought former Nickelodeon exec Alyssa Jones into the fold to head up production, and Ariele Pratt, who led the Samsung Studio pop-up store, who joins as a producer. Unlimited paid time off for all full-time employees keeps the entire team happy and productive. If you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by and check out the new podcast studio built out of shipping containers.
Bringing a new drug or medical product to market? This agency should be on your short list. With an impressive portfolio of long-time life sciences clients, a new Med Tech division dedicated to helping clients commercialize new drugs and therapies, and a Safe Chain Solutions arm that offers full-service, supply chain management for medical supplies—these guys have you covered. Core offerings include strategy, design, production and implementation of marketing and branding. Won 14 new clients this year and boosted its Pfizer portfolio from three brands to 10—a 27 percent increase across the book of business. Has added 18 new employees in the past 18 months, opened Agency LRB, a sister agency designed to manage competing accounts (smart, right?), and is expanding into Boston this year. Says a flat internal structure means “decision-makers are just steps away from doers,” which shortens timelines, cuts costs and boosts productivity.
HAS WORKED WITH: Neos, Otsuka, Pfizer, Shire, Supernus
RFP CONTACT: Melissa Johnston, email@example.com
BESPOKE SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Go BIG is the mantra here where the team this year planned and executed the title sponsorship forPilot Flying J around the largest college football event in history and activated one of the largest new NASCAR sponsors, Credit One, at 36 races. But Bespoke can go SMALL too, performing custom engagement programs for golf’s majors and top awards shows, and hosting immersive experiences for key clients overseas and stateside. We love how they amplify events. Case in point: A FOX Sports promo skyrocketed from a Los Angeles barbershop to millions across the globe via digital and social content. On-boarded Thomas Taylor, the brains behind award-winning programs at GMR, and talented tour operator Kari Smith.
HAS WORKED WITH: Academy Sports+Outdoors, Credit One, FNV (Fruits & Vegetables), FOX Sports, Pilot Flying J
RFP CONTACT: Mike Boykin, firstname.lastname@example.org
This global engagement agency is based in Minneapolis and has 25 offices across the globe, including Australia, China, the U.K. and Brazil. Event services—for clients in over 140 countries speaking more than 20 languages—include creative and event production, meetings and event management, travel incentives and rewards and experiential marketing. The Star Tribune named BIW one of its 2017 Top 150 Places to Work. The agency also recently received a bronze award at Event Marketer’s 2017 Experience Design & Technology Awards. For client Pizza Hut, BIW developed an employee retention tool called “Life Unboxed,” which won a gold in the 2017 Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards.
HAS WORKED WITH: American Honda Motor Co., Country Financial, John Deere, Pizza Hut
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Part content developer, part viral video house, part social listening partner and fulllll service, few agencies on the CM200 ride the line between content and digital like Brooklyn’s booming Big Spaceship. Aligns best with clients looking to break the rules—and says it plays best “where stories, systems and communities overlap.” Case in point, people: For Samsung’s new Galaxy smartphone, the agency fused content and social sharing strategies into an episodic film project that engaged millions of Millennials through a three-part film series adapted across six social media platforms (it generated 800 million views… dayum). Paid and influencer media offering continues to bulk up with addition of AI-driven media buying and other brand intelligence products for clients.
HAS WORKED WITH: BMW, Dannon, JetBlue, Samsung
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
More than 15 years after being founded in Silicon Valley, Blitz stands atop the industry with a simple mantra: Digital isn’t a channel—it’s the lifeblood that connects everything across the marketing ecosystem. And being a favorite brand is more valuable than being a famous one. The agency’s expertise comes via three offices (the Los Angelino HQ plus sweet little digs in New York City and Boston) and six key areas: strategy (what solution will grow the business), mobile/web (personalized engagements across screens and devices), digital products (branded services and development), social media (using shared dialogs to build audience and purchase intent), search (turning brands into the answer consumers seek) and digital installations (interactive environments).
HAS WORKED WITH: ASUS, Dole, Fandango, FX, Mattel, Microsoft, Patagonia
RFP CONTACT: Nicole Peterson, email@example.com
Why that total focus on creating social campaigns targeting Millennials? Because the founders of da Bear are Millennials—so they can relate to what you’re trying to accomplish. “Our strength is the ability to relate with Millennial culture, helping us convey brand stories that resonate with our generation.” This Denver shop’s staff is full of some of the best Instagramming, Snapchatting, Facebooking, YouTubing Millennials, as well, and they craft daily content for a growing roster of clients. When Smashburger needed to revamp its social media strategy and content in order to reach and engage the Millennial audience, Blue Bear used a #SinCitySurvivalTips Instagram and Twitter activation that moved the branded needle—and sales.
HAS WORKED WITH: Chinook Seedery, Lavilin, Smashburger
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
From the nation’s capital comes one of the only 100-percent B2B digital branding agencies. The shop hangs its hat on creating brand chemistry born out of “creativity bonding with strategy” and is focused on offering B2B campaigns anchored in research and communications. Digital capes span website design and development, user experience and planning, microsites and digital sales development, webinars and SEO/SEM. Overhauled AP Network’s digital identity across channels and platforms. Helped Boeing Intelligence & Analytics use online experiences to turbocharge employee recruitment. Built a new digital campaign for Janus Global Operations’ designed to increase reach and engagement. The agency says it is focused on offering stellar creative based on data—not feelings.
This well-known product-sampling agency can sample it all, but specializes in health & beauty engagements. Like the “Beauty Spotlight” events at Target Stores in beauty aisles that supported specific products from Covergirl, Neutrogena, Toni & Guy, L’Oreal and Rimmel. Beauty experts, demos and workshops helped drive strong interest. To support Kraft’s new line of frozen dinners, Devour, BC distributed more than 24,000 samples and 8,000 branded premiums via a food truck visiting Big Ten rivalry games. It was game on with a text-to-win sweeps and Mac & Cheese for all. Fun fact: Employees get paid days off to work at soup kitchens, organize charitable runs and other community services. Notable happenings: Acquired by Advantage in 2017 and a new VP Social is expanding experiential social capabilities.
HAS WORKED WITH: Dunkin’ Brands, Nestlé, Netflix, Target, Unilever
RFP CONTACT: Dave Chatoff, email@example.com
Expanded capabilities this year include augmented and virtual reality, meeting planning and logistics. Broadstreet is the winner of six Stevie and three Marcom awards in 2017. Recent work includes creating a neo-modern design for Revolt’s presentation at the upfronts that transported attendees into the world of recording artists and hip-hop stars. The agency also envisioned a mixed-reality demo for Konica Minolta that brought a new printer to life at Graph Expo, creating a memorable engagement for attendees. The response was so positive that the activation immediately went on a nationwide tour to engage customers around the country. On “Fitness Fridays” staffers get together try out new gym classes around NYC.
Founded in 2003, Bulldog was the first agency to partner with Eloqua. Client success planning, program design, content, digital media and martech are among the services offered by this Austin shop, which focuses exclusively on enterprise B2B. Melissa Mines joined the agency from Cisco as vice president of client services to lead the account teams, and several new hires have bolstered the agency’s new analytics team. A Human Finance Campaign created for TD Ameritrade Institutional contributed to an 11 percent increase in inquiries from financial advisors. Golden Mic, a lip sync battle organized by Bulldog, brings the Austin agency community together for friendly competition.
HAS WORKED WITH: Box, Frontier Communications Business, ISACA, Symantec Web Security, TD Ameritrade Institutional
RFP CONTACT: Todd Speicher, firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 1972 with just one client (that is still a client!), this agency took home 2017 BMA and PRSA honors for a branding campaign for Western States Bank. The Denver, CO, shop specializes in creating personas to give insight into what really motivates target audiences. SambaSafety took advantage of this to get a better view of nine different types of possible decision makers. A tailored LinkedIn campaign based on the personas surpassed the lead goal by 87 percent and gave the Samba sales team a better foundation to connect with prospects. New senior vice president of innovation Pablo Alejo worked on Emmy-award winning apps for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
HAS WORKED WITH: Coalfire, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Gogo Business Aviation, Pieces Technologies, Switch Automation
RFP CONTACT: Melissa Humbert, email@example.com
This San Diego agency opened a Boston office with the acquisition of UpWord to expand its national footprint and was named a top SEO firm by Clutch in both cities. Other honors in 2017 included being named one of the Best Places to Work in San Diego, and a Top Digital Marketing Agency by UpCity, in addition to BMA B2 awards. Business Online recently added account marketing capabilities and offers clients a technology enabled marketing services platform called DataWeld.net to help marketers connect data points from varies systems, such as Google AdWords, Facebook, Salesforce, Hubspot and Pardot. Insights are shared through the Tableau Dashboard.
HAS WORKED WITH: General Electric, HP, Lithium, Localytics, Thermo Fisher Scientific
RFP CONTACT: Rachel Altman, firstname.lastname@example.org
The positioning is bold: “Our company was founded on three pillars: Hustle. Team. Adventure. We are the partner for companies looking to go on the digital adventures that others have said are impossible.” And the work… is even bolder for VICE network’s self-proclaimed Brooklyn nerds. Used social listening to inform a new program for Clinique’s Pop Matte collection. Developed online videos to engage consumers for Lipton tea. And for the launch of Netflix’s “OA” series, Carrot “Beyoncé-dropped” a digital campaign that generated engagement across social channels without lead-time, hype or buzz. Carrot lives in the sweet intersection between brands, consumers and platform partners—it was the first agency to receive the “developer triple crown,” official partnerships with Facebook, Tumblr and LinkedIn.
HAS WORKED WITH: adidas, Carl’s Jr. Clinique, Intel, Lipton, Netflix, Turner
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
This award winning “conversion” marketing agency is best known for its shopper marketing expertise, which includes retail, digital and Amazon strategy. Its connection with parent Epsilon, a data-driven marketing company, provides access to one of the largest, most accurate customer databases to help develop rich, fact-based insights that fuel its campaign work. Won a 2017 PRO Award for its work with KitchenAid. The “10,000 Cupcakes, One Great Cause” campaign asked consumers to bake cupcakes, snap a picture and share on social with #10000cupcakes #donate. For each post, KitchenAid pledged a $1 donation to Susan G. Komen. The high energy and enthusiasm for marketing in this CM200 agency in contagious and comes from the top down thanks to CEO Paul Kramer.
HAS WORKED WITH: Conagra, Family Dollar, KitchenAid, PurePoint Financial, Mars Petcare
RFP CONTACT: Samantha Stout, firstname.lastname@example.org
A woman-owned agency founded in 1988, this Chicago-based shop takes inspiration from the city’s iconic Second City comedy troupe’s philosophy of improv to boost creativity and engage clients. A staff of 40 specializes in B2B verticals such as building & construction, food ingredients, energy and technology. CBD launched an Advanced Analytics practice in 2017 and will publish the third edition of the book “Words of Wisdom from Kick-Ass Women” in 2018. For client Firestone Building Products, the team helped create a completely new commercial building category, called building performance solutions, with a new digital presence that set the brand apart in a competitive space.
HAS WORKED WITH: Firestone, Illinois Student Assistance Commission, Illinois Tool Works, James Hardie, Whirlpool
RFP CONTACT: Doug Davila, email@example.com
These U.K.-based specialists in the “art of brand storytelling” most recently used their considerable talents to design the award-winning Adidas flagship store in New York City—a sprawling, 45,000-square-foot retail experience complete with a tunnel entrance, high-school style bleachers, a juice bar, a fitness consultation area and a track for testing out products. Business Insider said of the store, “Nike should be terrified.” Indeed, CK’s got a fine-tuned skill set for the kind of bar-setting interior architecture and retail design that’s moving the industry forward. Other notable skills include branding, digital and interactive content, strategy and brand communications. For pure design envy, check out the work it did for Virgin Atlantic’s HQ. We also love the Levi’s “unbranded” store. Hey U.S. brands, we feel a British invasion coming on, don’t you?
HAS WORKED WITH: Adidas, Converse, Diageo, Levi’s, Procter & Gamble, Virgin Atlantic
RFP CONTACT: Sam Ratcliffe, firstname.lastname@example.org
CIVIC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
This year, took home the experiential industry’s top honor, the Grand Ex Award, for its Airbnb Open program—a three-day takeover of 17 primary venues across Los Angeles and 150 hyper local citywide excursions and meetups that, altogether, reimagined the typical “conference” into a global festival for 20,000 attendees. (To say this thing shook up the industry—in a good way—is an understatement.) Enjoys the company of other companies as a part of Ryan Seacrest’s growing portfolio. Is also helping clients “navigate shifting cultural tides” related to their experiential marketing strategies with a dedicated cultural insights team led by former CEO and founder of agency TruthCo., Linda Ong.
HAS WORKED WITH: Airbnb, Ford Motor Company, HBO, Snap Inc., Verizon
RFP CONTACT: Ilan Lev, email@example.com
CODE AND THEORY
The storytelling master blasters that turn brands into useful and delightful partners for consumers love to craft “systems of interactions” for clients. The shop has two specialized teams—one that develops products, and one that markets them—unified under one roof. Yes, it was Code and Theory that helped flagship client Burger King ask consumers to join the #KingstacheChallenge by growing an epic Movember mustache to help support men’s health. And it was Code and Theory that helped Maybelline launch a new YouTube series, and Hearst design and install a street-level HearstLive interactive environment. The new Standard Hotel app that is more about booking an experience than a room? Yup… Code and Theory.
HAS WORKED WITH: BBC, Burger King, Comcast, Hearst, Live Nation, Maybelline, NBC News
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
COLLABORATIVE MARKETING GROUP
A shopper and partnership marketing agency with a specialty in CPG took to the aisles at Giant Eagle to extend the soup season for Del Monte’s College Inn Broth & Stock. Meal solutions and recipe ideas were cooked up to drive usage. Promos included “Buy THREE Cans, Save $1” that complimented a trade deal of 3/$6. Emails, website features and end-cap displays in all stores drove offer redemption four times greater than expected. Boasts a 17-year relationship with MillerCoors’ portfolio of brands and netted new assignments from Freudenberg Household Products, Dawn foods, Enjoy Life and Remy Cointreau. Expanded creative packaging design and shipper design capabilities.
HAS WORKED WITH: Dawn Foods, Del Monte Foods, J.M Smucker, MillerCoors, Remy Cointreau USA
RFP CONTACT: Gary Friedlander, email@example.com
Being on the move is in the DNA of this B2B agency—and in the walls. It’s Framingham, MA, headquarters was formerly a factory complex where automotive undercarriages and shoes were made in the early 1900s. The Factory Mark Gallery opened at the offices last year, to feature work created both by community artists and in-house creatives. Headcount grew by 19 percent in the past year as new team members were hired to support growth, and for the fourth time, the agency earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest growing private companies. This sounds good: CommCreative worked with Bose Automotive to pump up the volume online to reach both auto manufacturers and car enthusiasts, with a distinctive new homepage and microsites focusing on different product lines.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bose Automotive, iboss, Johnson Controls, RSA Conference, Tyco
RFP CONTACT: Ashley DePaolo, firstname.lastname@example.org
CONCEPT ONE COMMUNICATIONS
A nimble agency that boasts killer clients and brand activation work. Inked a tie-in with the new Justice League film as the global AOR for Gillette’s entertainment marketing division and activated through VR, custom Justice League inspired razors, gift packs and toolkits. Influencers helped execute the programs in more than 70 markets globally. Also helped The Art of Shaving drive awareness with a tie-in to Kinsman: The Golden Circle. Drawing on the key role bourbon plays in the film, The Golden Circle Bourbon Shave Collection was born. Expectations were quickly exceeded requiring stock reorders within the first month. Brought in new work from Nautilus, Hendricks Motorsports and Arcus Hunting. Employees this year got lost in a corn maze and celebrated 16 years in the biz.
This shop—part of the seven agency collective known as the Nitrous Effect—recently rebranded from Creative Producers Group to CPG. The St. Louis, MO-based agency helped Southwest Airlines execute six events in six cities in 17 days, driving engagement and messaging to more than 15,000 team members at live events and nearly 100 watch parties in the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean over a 90-day period. Whew! Two new leadership workshops debuted for clients: the Leader’s Heroic Journey Experience and the Millennial Alignment Program. Jeremy Camus—who has worked with stellar brands like Disney, McDonald’s, SeaWorld and Pepsico—is CPG’s new creative director.
One of the industry’s sharpest B2B agencies, the Boston-area experiential shop offers solid strategic skills across audience engagement, technology integration and content development to its roster of Fortune 500 clients. Cramer worked with Sanofi Genzyme to create a web series highlighting patients’ day-to-day challenges with multiple sclerosis; a cross-channel media effort improved retention metrics for the brand’s MS therapy. Lindsay Nie—formerly with Sapient and Digitas—joined the team as head of creative technology, and helped develop Cramer’s Emerging Tech Roadshow, designed to get cutting-edge tech into the hands of event professionals. Art directors run portfolio review nights to connect with college students and recent grads. Cramer also hosts a podcast series for experiential marketers.
HAS WORKED WITH: IBM, Sanofi Genzyme, UPS, Siemens
RFP CONTACT: Scott Connolly, email@example.com
Content, customization and transactional experiences collide at the venerable, evergreen company that is beloved by so many brands across the industry. Two decades after creating Mercedes-Benz’s first website, the digital experience agency remains a leader in the category it helped start. With a whopping 950 people working in 11 offices, CM (we like those initials, by the way) keeps the momentum going with new talent, new wins and no limits. The Nissan Diehard Fan campaign let consumers put digital game faces on across screens and platforms. A new shoppable site for Sunglass Hut was designed as a premium ecommerce shopping destination. And for adidas, Critical Mass built a whole new generation of personalization products—miadidas and miteam.
HAS WORKED WITH: AT&T, Citi, Gucci, HP, Rolex, SAP, United
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Selected by Walmart as one of only five companies permitted to execute merchandising activity on behalf of suppliers in nearly 5,000 U.S. Walmart stores, Crossmark is a key player in the CPG world. Recently selected business intelligence provider IRI as its data provider and in August, Ferrero USA named Crossmark as its AOR within the convenience channel for select geographies. Also of note, 12 female employees were named to Progressive Grocer’s 2017 Top Women in Grocery listing for their outstanding efforts as retail leaders, their community involvement and their success in the supermarket industry.
HAS WORKED WITH: Ferrero, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Reckitt Benckiser, Walmart
RFP CONTACT: Jim Buchta, email@example.com
Who can’t fall in love with these guys? You can’t keep an agency this good a secret for long. Much to the chagrin of flagship client Google, clients are starting to realize that Primanti Brothers ain’t the best thing going on in Pittsburgh—Deeplocal is. Whether they’re creating a make-your-own doorbell (or show-pausing socks) for Netflix, a robotic mocktail bartender for Google, a remote Tour de France chalking street graffiti machine for Nike or the world’s smallest café for Zagat, what remains so cool about this crew is that they refuse to be defined by some of the work they do. Innovation and bold ideas are still at the heart of it all.
HAS WORKED WITH: Google, Netflix, Nike, Old Navy
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
This independent agency broke all previous billing records last year, no small feat for a 14-year-old veteran of the industry. Core offerings include experiential strategy and activation, in-house staffing and event technology. The expansive talent pool includes technologists, merchandisers, logistics experts and designers, and the addition this year of 18-year industry veteran Eric Douglas, who joined as director of new business. Recently activated across San Jose for Lufthansa Airlines to introduce its new direct service to Frankfurt through an inventive mix of VR, touch screens, gamification and surprise and delight experiences that led to a cool 60 percent participation rate. This shop operates entirely in the cloud, which means employees have access to anything, anywhere, any time. Has also started offering a new photo marketing app that plugs and plays into activations easily and affordably. Last year, DZ sent all full-time staffers (and their spouses) to a five-star resort in the Dominican Republic for a paid vacation. Kansas City here we come.
Several new high-profile clients came on board in 2017, including: cyber security leader SecureWorks; recently merged chemical companies Quaker Chemical and Houghton International; global exec search firm Heidrick & Struggles; and programmatic marketing company DataXu. To create client and brand connections, the NYC shop launched B2B marketing leader community Huddle. Also worked with global consulting firm ICF to launch a new brand around the theme “We Make Big Things Possible” after acquisition of $500 million marketing/digital/communications firm Olson. Kansas City law firm Lathrop Gage turned to the agency to create a brand identity that could grow beyond the Midwest, resulting in several new client wins.
What we say: Data is the circulatory system that all this agency’s ideas and campaigns are based on, driven by, measured against and influenced from. What they say: “Without data, brand stories are based on guesswork.” Putting major emphasis on in-house IDIOM proprietary tool, which was designed to harness behavior data globally by organizing billions of observed behavior traits to create individual portraits that are both wildly predictive and accurate. The tool “leverages real, observed behavior to solve marketing challenges by connecting disparate data sources at an individual level, across multiple channels.” The shop’s Snacktory team takes existing brand assets and transforms them into dynamic, “snackable” content such as videos, infographics, cinemagraphs, GIFs and podcasts.
HAS WORKED WITH: Buick, Dunkin’ Donuts, Maytag, Playstation, Whirlpool
RFP CONTACT: Jill Kelly, email@example.com
Ya know, sometimes it makes the CM editors sleep better at night knowing there are boutique shops standing guard across the world’s social channels for the half of this industry that cares more about building the business than the brand. Say hi to a 100-percent b-to-b social media agency. Directive knows that a b-to-b campaign needs to be, well, all business—so its slices and dices custom audiences and detailed segmentation by identifying the optimal channel, frequency, post time and content medium. The goal is always to drive leads/sales across your social presence. First comes the research, then the database build, then the retargeting, the optimization and then reporting. Rinse and repeat. The shop is earning quite the reputation for killer b-to-b Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter advertising.
HAS WORKED WITH: Aegis Software, ATG, Convergence Training, SentinelOne, Total Phase
RFP CONTACT: Garrett Mehrguth, firstname.lastname@example.org
DON JAGODA ASSOCIATES
The evergreen promo shop continues to expand its network of international suppliers to support its clients’ global promotions, and is boosting marketing and tech teams to accommodate additional social and digital solutions. Maintains a niche specialty in promotion marketing and brand activation as evidenced by its “Staples for Students” code-based sweepstakes, which offered a $50,000 scholarship and an invite to attend a special event featuring Katy Perry. Another sweeps for Marriott helped generate buzz for the brand at Super Bowl LI and its NFL partnerships. The user-generated contest winner got a trip to the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa in Italy. Recently certified by New York State as a women-owned business. Scheduled yoga classes are available for employees. Namaste.
HAS WORKED WITH: FedEx, Marriott International, PGA Tour, Rana Meal Solutions, Staples
RFP CONTACT: Bruce Hollander, email@example.com
DRUM AGENCY (Formerly Hiccup)
Are you one of those clients that looks for the agency that knows video, or can speak Snapchat or can unite Instagrammers? Are you one of the brand ninjas out there that wants an agency that thinks of social media less for reach and amplification and more as a legitimate competitive asset? Then please direct your attention to a Gotham agency that we know and love—DRUM Agency (formerly Hiccup). From full service content creation to turnkey content distribution across every channel you’ve heard of, and some you haven’t, this team of passionate, hip social black belts makes it look and perform so damn good.
DRUM AGENCY (Formerly unified.agency)
To improve the viability of ATT’s email program, Drum Agency developed a cohesive eCRM strategy which looked at what was working and what needed to be improved. The result was the implementation of new segmentation, email cadence, personalization, creative utilizing responsive design and marketing automation. Conversions increased by 30 percent in the first year and have since risen by 300 percent. To help March of Dimes recruit new walkers for its March of Babies event, Drum Agency used first-party and third-party enhanced data across various display partners and Facebook to target lookalikes of walkers that had raised funds for MOD in years past. Results? The efforts drove an 18-percent increase in new walkers over the previous year and in the process added new names to the MOD CRM database.
If you’ve ever said, “I want it to feel like an Apple Store,” you have these guys to thank… because they literally designed the first Apple store. Clearly adept in the art of game-changing architecture and customer experience design, this shop chooses to focus on what it calls “meaningful human experiences.” The result: an award-winning body of spaces and branded experiences that has transformed how people engage with brands. With a massive global footprint spanning 12 offices in six countries, and more than 200 strategists and designers at the ready, this agency is poised to execute across the world’s biggest markets. Eight Inc.’s client roster spans all sectors and industries, from art and technology to athletics and automotive. But it’s not all laptop bars and clean white spaces. Check out their Nike “Flight Lab 159” pop-up and their work for Romanian gas station Saffron for a taste of their extensive breadth.
HAS WORKED WITH: Apple, Citibank, Nike, Tesla, Virgin Atlantic
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
This Minneapolis-based shop was cofounded over a decade ago by Mason Thelen around the concept of “customer science”—the crossing point between the explosion of customer data and computing. Agency leads wrote the book “Geek Nerd Suit,” which offers insights into a secret formula for creating customer centricity. Elicit has been a business partner of Southwest Airlines for five years on marketing mix optimization and segmentation. Customer segmentation helped identify “Fossil Fanatics” for client Fossil, spotlighting the difference between distinct buyers like watch buyers and leather good aficionados. CEO and co-founder Mason Thelen is a member of the Forbes Agency Council and on the board of The Social Lights consultancy.
How do you make a legacy brand like Mercedes-Benz relevant to Millennials? AOR Engine Shop answered the call with a 17-city music tour and two-year activation platform that ultimately delivered increased brand perception and purchase intent among an audience that typically prefers experiences over things. (Well played.) The agency is also savvy in the art of product placement and promotion deals, effectively negotiating the five Mercedes-Benz cameos in last summer’s “Jurassic World.” Other core capabilities include sponsorship activations, influencer programs, mobile tours, social amplification strategies and measurement and analytics. Case in point: a Motorola pop-up shop that was able to track a 93 percent boost in purchase consideration over the course of its run. Kudos to the entire crew for the 2017 Sports Business Award for Best In Sports Event & Experiential Marketing.
HAS WORKED WITH: American Family Insurance, Anheuser-Busch, ESPN, Greyhound, Mercedes-Benz
RFP CONTACT: Patti Blythe, email@example.com
Yes, it was this agency that helping Jack’s Links capitalize on the growing trend of celebrity Twitter feuds by creating a new “Twitter Beef” jerky flavor that was customized instantly when the fights started online and were shared across the web. The influencer marketing master designs programs for social video platforms including YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram. With more than 10 million influencers publishing video content to social video platforms every month—and with adults and Millennials now considering YouTube influencers to be more influential and believable than traditional celebrities—there is no better time to sink your teeth deeper into this video content influencer apple than now.
ERIC MOWER + ASSOC.
An assessment of the three pillars of friendship—affection, relevance and trust—and how they relate to a brand is one of the services offered by this Syracuse, NY-based shop. Recent client wins for EMA include Cox Automotive, Boston Brooks Ventures, Sonesta, TRN Digital and Curbell Medical. Geoff Thomas—formerly with global brand design agency Libby Perszyk Kathman (LPK)—recently came on board as managing director of the Cincinnati office. The agency helped FirstEnergy put the focus on the customer with “You First,” a campaign brought to life through an emotion-packed TV spot and a sports marketing presence with the NFL, the NBA and MLB.
HAS WORKED WITH: Daimler/Freightliner and Detroit Diesel, Domtar Corp., FedEx, General Electric, Siemens/Dresser-Rand
RFP CONTACT: Christian Gaddis, cgaddis@mower
Don’t let its status as one of the oldest experiential marketing agencies in the industry fool you—this shop is 41 years young. From its sunny offices in Fort Lauderdale, EventNetUSA churns out a mind-boggling schedule of mobile tours, pop-up stores, grand openings and events for a wide variety of clients ranging from healthcare giants like Humana, Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield to beauty leaders including Revlon, Maybelline, Garnier Fructis and Essie. Added this year Carnival Cruise Line to expand its reach in travel and hospitality and launched a Beauty + Swag truck for NYX makeup, with express lip touch-ups and social media amplification prompts. A fleet of in-house mobile marketing vehicles means shorter lead times and lower costs for clients. A new 250+ venue marketing network called SARC will offer baby boomer marketers unprecedented insights and data.
This recently certified woman-owned business (ceo Lynn Robertson bought the company from Omnicom in 2015—bold move, sister), wholeheartedly believes it’s “time to be done with what’s been done.” Today, the shop is primed for the era of “everywhere-all-the-time retail” by offering a well-rounded resume of capabilities that includes planning and positioning, online and digital, graphic design, promotion, experience design, production and media. Led the transformation of Time Warner’s payment centers to “interactive retail destinations” ultimately driving a 16-35 percent YOY growth in the channel from the six percent of stores that had been transformed. Nice. Fun in-office perks: free beer for life (thanks to a long-time brewery client) and a summer Fear Factor-style celebration.
HAS WORKED WITH: Best Buy, Charter Communications, ConnectiCare, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Wings Financial Credit Union
RFP CONTACT: Megan Hanson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 1999, this independently owned bi-coastal design agency believes in the power of “what if?” It’s a mantra that’s apparent across its portfolio of work and its roster of power players who, in and of themselves, represent some of the most game changing brands in the world. A winner of more than 200 industry awards, ranging from Webbys to Cannes Lions to One Show, Fantasy specializes in “human centric” digital strategy, UX and design. What does that mean? It’s taking complex data and genetic details and creating a beautiful and intuitive user experience for 23andMe customers. It’s transforming the Xbox from a mere gaming platform to a hub for entertainment and communication. It’s a total overhaul of the Sports Illustrated website that generated a 49 percent boost in online traffic YOY. Translating complicated needs into simple, elegant digital experiences isn’t easy. These guys make it look like it is.
HAS WORKED WITH: 23andMe, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Twitter, XBox
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
A powerhouse retail and shopper-marketing agency that evolves with the times as evidenced by its acquisition of leading environmental design firm Chute Gerdeman. An expanded relationship with AB InBev includes Bud Light to bring to life the “Famous Among Friends” campaign in bars, restaurants and beyond. “The Baby Stroller Test-Ride” adult-size stroller experience for Contours had PRO Awards judges in hysterics and won the agency the most coveted award, the 2017 Platinum PRO. The Jack Daniels’ “Digital Lynchburg” immersive destination and VR experience to showcase the history of the brand’s distillery saw powerful results, including a 60 percent increase in site registrations. The agency’s quarterly “Supper Club” gathers employees to discuss items like AI and Machine Learning.
HAS WORKED WITH: AB InBev, Brown-Forman, Coca-Cola, Comcast, Samsung
RFP CONTACT: Tina Manikas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s review the nine-course social media menu before we dig in, shall we? Ad Management (social ads to grow your audience, engagement, traffic and sales); Community Management (ensuring customer comments are responded to in a timely manner); Content Development (blog posts and custom content calendars of status updates for your social channels); Social Contests (sweepstakes, photo contests, video contests); Influencer Marketing (social influencer identification, outreach and management to boost brand awareness); Social Media Relations (works with national media to get news placements); Social Intelligence Research (monitoring the social web to identify trends, insights and opportunities); Social Media Audit (what’s working and what isn’t and how you can improve); and Social Strategy (build a strategy best for your brand).
HAS WORKED WITH: Cisco, Qdoba, Upland Brewing Company
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
More than 250 events were produced in the past year by First, which has offices in Asia, Europe and the U.S. Barry Richard (formerly of the start-up Grass Roots) came on board as chief client officer and Jeff Kalpak (a veteran of BKA) was named president-Americas. First helped roll out Oath (born out of Verizon’s AOL/Yahoo merger) with activations at ad agency clients and offices around the globe; more than 9,600 employees engaged in 54 offices across 17 countries. The newly-renovated New York office includes cutting edge tech and… a taxi cab café (stop by and check it out). The agency’s annual ACEIT Awards honors staffers showing ambition, creativity, excellence, integrity and teamwork.
HAS WORKED WITH: Fresenius Medical Care North America, Mastercard, New York Times, Oath, UNICEF
RFP CONTACT: Jared Elish, firstname.lastname@example.org
This 20-year-old, New York City-based agency (which just struck a partnership deal with sister agency Isobar) believes that digital is more than just a marketing channel. Its sweet spot: helping brands radically rethink the role digital plays in their organizations, and using digital to create new business lines and revenue streams. Clients like their approach so much Firstborn has a 90-percent rate of return business. To boot, the agency this year became digital AOR for Pepsi and digital consultant for S&P Global. And that’s on top of new experiences for American Express, Hitachi, Frito-Lay and Chevron, among many others. Built new direct-to-consumer channel from the ground up for Nature’s Bounty (vitamins.com) and a sweet mobile-first Instagram series for Adidas’ biggest shoe launch. To keep its tech chops sharp, the agency is prototyping voice-first technology and new VR- and AR-based experiences. An annual pop-up art show at the ONE Club featuring employee work keeps the creative juices flowing, too.
HAS WORKED WITH: Nature’s Bounty, PepsiCo, S&P Global, Supercell, Vonage
RFP CONTACT: Kevin Arthur, email@example.com
Recent acquisitions for this Dallas shop include boutique agency Fusion Brand Experiences, research firm Exhibit Surveys, sports/entertainment event shop BaAM and industry fave tech firm Helios. This year, rolled out five new virtual reality services to meet the needs of a hungry industry: Design Explorer, Product Explorer, Films and Videos, Streaming and Custom VR Experiences. The largest ever brand experience for BMW Asia was implemented for the 5 Series launch, with over 3,000 guests in four days and more than 28,000 Facebook engagements to date. Disney alum Peter McGrath joined the agency as creative leader. San Francisco officemates regularly volunteer at a local food bank.
HAS WORKED WITH: BMW Asia, Brocade, Marketo, Sage, Splunk
RFP CONTACT: Melinda Lindland, firstname.lastname@example.org
Online reputation matters more than you think. Now more than ever, your potential customers are turning to the Internet for answers to all of their buying questions. Friendemic provides social media and online reputation engagement services and software solutions to hundreds of clients across the globe. These peeps are fluent in hashtags, put the contagious in viral and are trying to set a new standard for social ROI. Has a PhD is designing programs that get customers who have already bought your product to write reviews that tell consumers that haven’t bought your product that they gotta go buy your product. What else? Friendemic offers both traditional “managed” social services for clients as well as several DIY services in which clients use the shop’s software to manage their own online reputation and track their own social analytics.
HAS WORKED WITH: BMW, Northstar, Owlet, Toyota
RFP CONTACT: Brent Albrecht, email@example.com
Branding is a specialty for this shop, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017 by opening a second location in Portland, OR (its HQ is in Plymouth Meeting, PA). ProLease, Project Risk Analytics, HighPoint Solutions and Government Revenue Solutions are among the shop’s recent new client wins. A new end-to-end narrative created for digital pathology brand Proscia helped put the brand’s mission in context for a number of audiences, including investors, educators, pharmaceutical companies and academic researchers; carefully selected imagery helped humanize a data-driven fight against cancer. Office fun at FVM includes a summer Olympics, volunteer work for nonprofits like Cradles to Crayons and Valley Youth House, and foosball.
HAS WORKED WITH: Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Clery Center, Lightpath/Altice Business, Proscia, Univar
RFP CONTACT: Tom O’Brien, firstname.lastname@example.org
Talk about scoring digital points early: This shop created the first websites for the NFL, NHL and Gatorade, and developed one of the first national internet promotions for Gatorade and the NBA. Gage is headquartered in Minneapolis, with offices in Seattle and Newport Beach, CA. Volunteering is encouraged; the agency supports several nonprofits with pro bono design and p.r. work including Avenues for Homeless Youth and the Page Education Foundation. Twenty-three million media impressions were secured for the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge with a family-friendly celebration of the refuge’s 40th anniversary; attendance goals were surpassed by 40 percent and numerous industry awards were won.
HAS WORKED WITH: 3M, Microsoft, Norwegian Cruise Line, Thomson Reuters, Walmart
RFP CONTACT: Tony Rivera, email@example.com
Like a fine wine, Jack Morton’s Beantown sister agency keeps getting better with age. For Welch’s, the interactive agency mixed content and digital amplification to reposition the CPG brand as more of a local, craft “farmer-owned, farmer-grown” brand—all to reintroduce and re-endear the company to Millennial mommies. For its much-publicized Audible campaign, ComicCon attendees were invited to play an audio listening game that tested their sci-fi and fantasy audiobook knowledge in a timed contest pitting seven opponents against each other in a multiple choice gamification format. In order to win, they needed to guess the most correct answers in the least amount of time. The faster and more accurate the guess, the higher the score. To encourage trial, each player received an Audible card for a free download, and top scorers were awarded larger prizes and entered into the daily leaderboard for a chance to win the daily grand prize.
HAS WORKED WITH: Audible, Harvard Business School, Kronos, Welch’s
RFP CONTACT: wearegenuine.com/contact
Few, if any, agencies have the global footprint that Geometry has. With teams in 56 markets and the backing of parent WPP, its clients enjoy unparalleled reach to the changing international marketplace—a key asset for this brand activation and shopper agency. Operates by the philosophy “inspiring people to buy well,” and does an excellent job developing programs that influence buyer behavior, drive conversion and make a measurable impact on clients’ bottom lines. Made bigger commitments last year into multicultural and continues to grow its offering of proprietary tools that map and analyze shoppers’ purchase decision journeys. Our editors enjoyed a recent American Airlines pop-up activation that was so beautifully retrofit (in a matter of weeks, no less) tourists wandered in to buy coffee and plane tickets.
HAS WORKED WITH: American Airlines, American Express, BEAM, E&J Gallo, Shell
RFP CONTACT: Debbie Kaplan, firstname.lastname@example.org
GEORGE P. JOHNSON
Expanding its global footprint, GPJ opened new offices in Dallas to support the Toyota account, and Oslo, Norway to build GPJ’s northern European presence. Increasingly, the shop is focusing on data and analytics to increase engagement and conversion. Five agency clients were represented at CES 2017, including Honda, Toyota, IBM and Nissan. Honda’s stand drove an impressive 94 percent opt-in rate. Part of independent agency network Project Worldwide, GPJ was named a Best Place to Work in Events by Event Marketer and the Austin American Statesman. Murals, turntables and beer taps keep office morale levels up and stress levels down.
HAS WORKED WITH: Cisco, IBM, Rodan + Fields, Salesforce, Toyota
RFP CONTACT: Scott Kellner, email@example.com
Clients that come to this veteran experiential agency tend to stick around. In fact, ten of the agency’s top 15 clients have been on the roster for more than 15 years. Among them, P&G, which was one of 15 clients and dozens of brands GMR activated at the summer Olympics in Rio. Was lead agency on the NFL’s VIP hospitality experience at Super Bowl LI and then set up shop for Warner Bros. and Esurance at SXSW. A new, and growing, VR offering helped earn the agency and client Humana an Ex Award, and is setting the pace for how to use the technology in the healthcare industry. All of GMR’s work is derived from eight in-house centers of excellence that give GMR’s team of 1,300 the tools they need to seamlessly activate on a global scale. We hear the new global HQ in Milwaukee pretty sweet, too. Yoga classes, wellness pods and a “barcade?” Yes, please.
HAS WORKED WITH: Comcast, Esurance, MillerCoors, NFL, Procter & Gamble
RFP CONTACT: Becky Petska, firstname.lastname@example.org
A founding member of the Worldwide Partners B2B agency network, Godfrey has been in business since 1947 and 100 percent B2B focused since 1977. The agency works in a number of industrial verticals, including automation and control, construction machinery, chemicals and materials handling. Several recent client wins of note include AMK Automation, Axis Lighting, IEEE, Pentair, Reed Minerals and Quaker Chemical. Agency leaders have been out and about, speaking at several recent B2B events, including the MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston and Marketing to Engineers in Chicago. A new social approach the Lancaster, PA, shop created for Nora Systems generated a 40 percent traffic increase in the first month. Nice.
HAS WORKED WITH: Avantor Performance Materials, Glatfelter, JLG Industries, Nora Systems, Johnson Controls
RFP CONTACT: Josh Albert, email@example.com
From Viceland to Netflix, some of the world’s most prolific and disruptive brands have leaned on this New York-based design, branding and strategy studio to build their visual identities. Gretel’s mantra: “We create usable hierarchy for new or unruly brands.” This shop also knows how to activate those cool, clean logos across a wide variety of platforms, translating typefaces into video and animations that bring their client’s more intrinsic qualities to life. We love the work for IFC that perfectly captures the brand’s unique sense of humor. Also impressive, the Google animations that took over nine of Times Square’s biggest screens over Thanksgiving and Gretel’s reimagined New York Times Magazine logo.
HAS WORKED WITH: Apple, Netflix, Google, Knoll, Viceland
RFP CONTACT: Larissa Marquez, firstname.lastname@example.org
Woman-owned and operated (what’s up, Cassie and Gabrey), this self-described team of “creative dreamers and logistics ninjas” maintains a who’s-who client list of Fortune 500 and emerging brands. New clients this year along include YouTube, Target, Nike, Dropbox, Nest Labs and Under Armour. One recent standout program: Google’s Block Party Tour—a tiny house-inspired traveling neighborhood that invited attendees to immerse themselves in Google music products in an organic and authentic way. The campaign generated a 58 percent increase in purchase intent for Google Home, and 26 percent boost in purchase intent for Google Music. High employee retention rates and a promote-from-within ethos (36 percent of employees earned promotions last year), no doubt helped Grow earn a spot on Event Marketer’s Best Place to Work list. Private phone booths, an art library and a dogs welcome policy (regulars include, Herschel the lab and Doug the bulldog) can’t hurt, either.
HAS WORKED WITH: Dignity Health, Google, KinderCare, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Pernod Ricard USA
RFP CONTACT: Tami Anderson, email@example.com
Over 700 creatives spin ideas in 16 offices for gyro, which is on a mission to create B2B ideas that are human and relevant. The agency is part of the Dentsu Aegis Network and was honored by the BMA with numerous B2 awards, and as the BMA’s Agency of the Year three years running. Regular “lounge and learn” TED-style talks and live broadcasts from offices around the world fire up the creative teams. Medidata turned to Gyro for help creating an emotional connection with data managers, scientists and physicians. “The Architecture of Hope” campaign mixed digital, print and event tactics to boost engagement and revenue, with 21 percent growth forecasted for the year.
HAS WORKED WITH: Aflac, HP, John Deere, TD Ameritrade, USG
RFP CONTACT: Angela Kyle, firstname.lastname@example.org
Its work for Saputo is a perfect example of the smart promos this agency unleashes into the marketplace. A back-to-school Frigo Cheese Heads program supported K-8 projects with cash awards. An essay contest asked participants to explain how their school could use a $10,000 prize. FSIs, shelf takers, banner and social ads, as well as SchoolFamily Media helped deliver more than 3,500 essays, along with 100,000 Cheese Heads samples. This agency’s specialty in CPG also paid off for Saputo’s Dragone Cheese sponsorship of St. Anthony’s Feast in Boston which featured a sampling booth, photo booth, kid’s face painting, culinary demonstrations, print ads and social media.
HAVAS SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Marching to the drumbeat of a can-do attitude and contagious positivity this powerhouse team drives killer experiences like the 83 evening celebrations for Coca-Cola tied to the city-to-city rolling street party that was the 2016 Olympic Torch Relay in Rio. Captured a Gold Ex Award for that work, among many others. Staged the first interior-wrapped Chicago train car for Nando’s restaurant chain that included coupons you could peel away from images of Peri-Peri peppers. Now that’s hot stuff. To encourage Millennial women to drink Chandon, an American Summer Fête transformed NYC’s Elevated Acre into a chic getaway for 750 guests. HSE is the result, this year, of merging experiential marketing agency ignition and content group Cake.
HAS WORKED WITH: Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Harley-Davidson, LVMH, TracFone
RFP CONTACT: Daniel Dao, email@example.com
With niche specialties in promotion and loyalty solutions, this high-energy team drives programs that motivate consumers and deliver striking results. For Smithfield Rewards, a portal was developed where consumers interact with the town’s real-life architectural structures. On the portal at the Taste of Smithfield restaurant and retail store, participants manage their accounts and earn loyalty points. An online engagement hub for Nathan’s Famous delivers the fun of Coney Island’s amusement park in a 3D experience where visitors can play games and ride the famed Cyclone roller coaster. Created a new tool this year called Amplified Sweepstakes, an innovation in which brands can include a chance to win within a news feed on Facebook and Instagram. Also rolled out Streak Couponing, another tool that helps brands incentivize repeat purchases with offers that increase in value as consumers redeem.
HAS WORKED WITH: AARP, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Samsung, Starbucks
RFP CONTACT: Jen Gray, Jen.Gray@HelloWorld.com
This shopper marketing agency offers expertise in promotion marketing and brand activation with a specialty in creative CPG executions. HMT has a unique understanding of the path to purchase and made important strides for clients in 2017, like reversing a downward sales trend at more than 230 stores through a partnership between Johnsonville Sausage and Ritz Crackers. The resulting “Stack it Up” campaign picked up a 2017 PRO Award. The agency increased staff by 27 percent to handle both organic growth from Mondeléz International and Oreo, as well as new clients such as Coca-Cola, Stonyfield and Skyfall Vineyard Wines. This female-owned agency plays to win.
HAS WORKED WITH: Back to Nature, Coca-Cola, Kraft Heinz, Mondeléz International, Stonyfield
RFP CONTACT: Patti Conti, firstname.lastname@example.org
Transforming businesses and brands in the digital economy is the name of the Huge game—as evidenced by the agency’ recent global “This is Real” program for the launch of LG’s V30 phone. And the killer flight of 20-second shorts all tied together to make Lenovo’s Yoga Book more relatable. The agency maintains the unique “small team” offering of tiny teams totally dedicated to big challenges—and it all flows through Huge’s simple, iterative design process. Clients are invited to join their own tiny teams as an active team member (interesting format), and design and prototyping always starts on day one.
HAS WORKED WITH: Barneys, LG, Lowes, Marvel, Pepsi, Sedki, Target, Under Armour, Vans
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
This self-described “30-year startup” is WBEC-certified woman-owned and independent. Key capabilities include branding, marketing strategy, content marketing and strategy, digital design, development and social amplification. A digital facelift for Organic Valley offered a nice 300-percent boost in newsletter sign-ups. We also love the unexpected yet totally brilliant branding solution for King Arthur Flour—a beautifully designed culinary publication called Sift. (Anyone else craving cake?) HZDG has also started brands from scratch, when the strategy called for it, including Canopy, a fresh new line of hotels for Hilton; 30 hotels are currently in development. You can find HZDG in Washington DC, New York City, Baltimore and Los Angeles.
HAS WORKED WITH: Canopy by Hilton, King Arthur Flour, Hilton Honors, Organic Valley, Volkswagen
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the original industry search marketing agencies, Hearst’s iCrossing uses its search roots to embed analytics and performance metrics in every content-based technology and digital campaign it works on. “We’re an agency that sits at the crossroads of pretty and gritty,” coos the shop. When Beam Suntory’s DeKuyper unit was barely showing up in search, iCrossing rewired the digital position so the cordial brand showed up as an ingredient in drink recipes—sales increased 200 percent. When UGG was looking to dominate Black Friday, iCrossing showed off its true roots when it blended paid search, countdown ads and personalized targeting into an online campaign that pushed sales up 77 percent.
HAS WORKED WITH: Amazon, BMW, LEGO, LG, Pepsi, SAP, Toyota
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
IGNITE SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media success comes to brands that have something to say, and know how to say it best. From blogs to Instagram, Snaps to Facebook Live broadcasts, woman-owned Ignite’s in-house team creates content that drives business results. Was one of the first agencies to unveil focused social strategy development—a well-defined, market-tested process for working with clients on social strategies, be it across the entire social media mix or small-scale plans for product launches. “Ignite builds custom social roadmaps for success aligning audience, objectives, strategies and tactics in a way that achieves specific, measurable results.” Really shines on the social management and representation scale as well—because your customers, fans and prospects expect a reply when they contact you on social. Ignite’s team builds relationships for leading brands daily, at night and on weekends.
HAS WORKED WITH: Daisy, Jared, Jeep, Lenovo, Lowe’s, Samsung, Staples
RFP CONTACT: Lisa Braziel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Only with great content can great brands make great connections even greater online. The ultimate reason this team gets up each morning? To turn brands into publishing and content platforms. The name stems from the agency’s positioning of itself at “the intersection of imagination and brand.” Social media programs for “funded startups and mid-market brands” is the interesting focus. The entire ImagiBrand team has a diverse background in storytelling, image management and social media marketing. With the growth of successful social media engagement programs comes an evolution of what brands like yours are buying from social agencies. Which is why ImagiBrand offers the now-default two-channel suite of agency services—social media, and social media management.
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Don’t let the fact that this independent is turning 50 in 2018 fool you—it’s perpetually on the cutting edge. A long-time partner of Ford and Jaguar Land Rover, Imagination is well-known in the auto show circuit as a master of compelling, high-tech product launch experiences. Its recent Future Mobility VR experience for Ford gave more than 9,000 auto show attendees a chance to strap into a 12-seat multi-sensory VR tour of Ford’s vision of the future, giving the brand a double-digit boost in perception and purchase intent. From Qatar to Detroit, no design agency on this list can boast the global reach. Truly a one-stop-shop for brands that need to execute on a worldwide scale, all backed by skilled international teams of creatives, technologists, strategists and designers. “We believe that experience is everything” is their mantra. We believe they can prove it.
HAS WORKED WITH: 3M, Canon, Ford, Commonwealth Bank, HSBC, Shell
RFP CONTACT: Gabrielle Chamberlain, firstname.lastname@example.org
If music, entertainment or sports gets your target audience’s motors running, IMG can help you step on the gas. This worldwide agency, acquired and back by talent powerhouse WME, has direct access to a worldwide pipeline of celebrities and influencers, plus long-standing relationships with more than 100 college and pro sports teams. Activated nine clients at Super Bowl LI last year, and racked up more than 9,000 event days in 2016. Continues to expand its offerings, getting into martial arts and esports video game competitions, and investing in its Strategy & Insights group by tripling the size of its department to help clients “strike the perfect balance between science and art.” Grew its Visa business from a few events last year to creating its Global Experiential Playbook. And added one of Creativity’s “Ones to Watch,” new SVP/ECD Ryan Wagman, to the staff roster to amp up its creative capabilities.
HAS WORKED WITH: Coca-Cola, DirecTV, Marriott-Starwood, Under Armour, Visa
RFP CONTACT: Christine Tedcastle, email@example.com
The recent acquisition of Atlantic bolsters the exhibit, event and corporate interior design capabilities of XM, part of Event Marketer’s Fab 50 and IT Lists. The agency’s expertise includes 30 years of global healthcare convention experience, including physician focus groups and clinical development communications. On a more playful front, a PlayStation VR tour put client Sony’s then yet-to-be-released system into the hands of eager gamers and retailers, generating more than 64,000 engagement and 6.1 million impressions. Three-quarters of non-PS4 users said they’d be likely to buy a unit after trying PSVR. An internal awards program boosts morale and gives staffers a way to honor colleagues who have gone the extra mile. Fun fact: The XM staff speaks over 15 languages.
Won a 2017 PRO Award with client Aflac for the “Holiday Duck Campaign for Pediatric Cancer Research.” Designed the holiday-themed Duckchat app to increase social and digital engagement using a custom keyboard with Aflac duck emojis and GIFs. Another function made it easy—via a “get involved” button—for Aflac customers to donate additional money to its cause. The Aflac duck himself was totally impressed: the app was downloaded over 3,189 times, GIFs were shared over 2,214 times and more than 885 people clicked the “Get Involved” button. For Nestlé, Index developed an R2D2 product that converts to a cereal bowl—complete with a spoon—for several of its cereal brands. Exceeded goals in several markets including Malaysia where 80,000 pieces sold out immediately with the mechanic of “Buy2, Get R2D2 bowl free.” Notable happenings this year: Expanded into the sports and theme park industries and opened an office in Shanghai.
HAS WORKED WITH: Aflac, Burger King, Cereal Partners Worldwide, General Mills, San Francisco Giants
RFP CONTACT: Charlie Gaffney, firstname.lastname@example.org
A lot of agency’s say they specialize in “never been done before,” but this one really walked the talk this year. Its HP-Intel activation at Panorama and Coachella pushed every technology boundary to create a festival experience that could impress even the surliest squad of seen-it-all millennials. (It impressed HP, too, with a 6.4 point boost in market share—three times its program goal.) The agency also created the first-ever live-action HP Omen Challenge gaming competition on Twitch. Not to mention more than 25 red carpet movie premieres and related experiences for everything from “Trolls” to “Moana.” (Make way! Make way!) Kick started a sustainability division this year and launched new client programs in Germany, London and China.
“The worst point of view comes from behind a desk,” according to this agency, and we couldn’t agree more. Inspira will celebrate its 10th year in business next year, an occasion it celebrated earlier this year with a move into some sweet new digs for its HQ-based team in Norwalk, CT. (You had us at “Guinness on tap.”) A diverse client roster and deep expertise in the beer, wine and spirits industry keeps the business coming and the office bar fully-stocked. The Strategy and Analytics department doubled in size this year in response to clients’ need for stronger and more customized measurement and ROI solutions; check out the cool proprietary tool that shows how client activations are mapping to sales in real time. We are still talking about the Thomas’ Bagels mobile tour featuring a 28-foot toaster on wheels, and we know the client is still loving the boost in purchase intent. Some nice accolades this year: Inspira was voted a Best Place to Work in Connecticut, and founder Jeff Snyder was recognized as a finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year program.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bimbo Bakeries, Diageo, Henkel, Nestle, Reynolds
RFP CONTACT: Jeremy Litchfield, email@example.com
Growth in the agency’s New York office led to the hiring of two new executive producers, Jude Braunstein and Eric Carpenter, who help meet client demand and mentor junior staff. The KUDOS initiative gives employees a way to send thanks and points to colleagues—earn enough points and you can redeem them for gift cards. The teambuilding then translates to clients: For Intercept’s annual meeting, participants were immersed into an Indiana Jones-style escape room activity to learn about obstacle handling and patient support services. For Amway’s Achievers gathering to honor top performers, a 17-piece orchestra, acrobats and dancers created excitement and engagement.
HAS WORKED WITH: Amway, Atlassian, Genentech, NetApp, Oracle
RFP CONTACT: Chris Dalton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Independent again and lovin’ it: Founding partners Scott Cullather and Kristrina McCoobery purchased the agency back from its former parent company Time Inc. in July. The Galaxy Note8 tagline “Do Bigger Things” was the mantra for the Unpacked 2017 launch event where 1,700 guests at the Park Ave Armory were transported into a high tech future world created for client Samsung; creative camera angles shared the experience with 46 million via livestream. For inspiration, the INVNT creative team started a design book share library. The New York-based shop has been recognized as a Best Places to Work by Event Marketer magazine.
HAS WORKED WITH: ESPN, General Motors, PepsiCo, Samsung, Subway
RFP CONTACT: Scott Kerr, email@example.com
With 6,000 people in over 85 locations across more than 45 markets, Dentsu Aegis Network’s shop has always played best with large-scale digital programs—and with a client list featuring some of the best Blue Chippers, we can see why. Example: To launch the adidas StellaSport brand in 49 countries spanning 21 languages, Isobar designed a laser-targeted (girls 17-19) digital engagement campaign that crossed screens and societies with 360-degree shopping, interactive videos and content created for a digital “urban playground.” Results? 100-percent sell-through. Enough said. The services are split into two key offerings: Brand Commerce and Product & Service Design. The company’s MindSight Direct platform offers clients a self-service way to dive into consumer emotional measurement, segmentation and behavior.
HAS WORKED WITH: Coca-Cola, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, GM, Google, LEGO and Royal Caribbean
RFP CONTACT: Paul Buranosky, firstname.lastname@example.org
Content marketing and immersive technology expertise (like virtual and augmented reality) was bolstered in 2017 to help clients explore new worlds. Jack Morton rethought the attendee experience for the eBay Open in Las Vegas as part of the “Fill Your Cart With Color” brand campaign. Over 1,400 business sellers experienced features like customer care consultations and pop-up workshops. Recent honors for Jack Morton include Clio, Cannes Lions, MITX, Reggie and Chief Marketer PRO Awards. This Boston-based shop offers an exchange program between offices for employees that want to try a new locale—26 employees took advantage of this perk in 2016.
Employer branding and internal communications are among the newer focuses for this New Jersey agency, which started in 1985 as a general marketing shop and moved into the digital realm, developing capabilities in mobile, SaaS and increasingly, machine learning and artificial intelligence. “Cool Sh!t” is the theme of quarterly get togethers where everyone shares what art or pop culture happenings are inspiring them personally and professionally. LG enlisted JK to connect with commercial space designers—targeted landing pages spoke to unique verticals with a single message across all touchpoints. The result was ten times the engagement of other recent efforts.
JONES KNOWLES RITCHIE
Sometimes you need a second set of eyes to see what was there all along. JKR has mastered the art of giving old brands a fresh face to the world, and new brands the kick start they need to stand out. With studios in New York, London, Singapore and Shanghai, this design agency has done visual identity and packaging work for some of the world’s biggest brands. We love the clever take on the pizza box for Domino’s that looks like a… wait for it… pair of dominos. Also impressive, the millennial-friendly take on the Wheaties brand and its iconic cereal boxes. Budweiser’s new look was also a smart study in using a light hand in just the right way to keep just enough of the original branding intact. From store shelves to delivery trucks, this agency knows how to translate identity into impact.
HAS WORKED WITH: Anheuser-Busch, Domino’s, General Mills (Wheaties), Kashi
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Expanded capabilities in CRM to blend data insights, social behavioral sciences and creative development is helping brands take their customer relationship management efforts to the next level. Augmented reality is also an increased focus for Los Angeles-based Kern—clients like DirecTV Now are using AI to engage prospects at events. An immersive experience created for American Express card members helped showcase the benefits of mobile payments, generating a 93 percent completion rate and 16 percent clickthrough for more information. Staff education is a major commitment through programs like Kern College, Omnicom’s Emerging Stars and Omnicom University. The shop also hires out of the DMA’s educational program. In lieu of holiday gifts in 2017, Kern made donations to hurricane relief efforts.
B2B vertical focuses at this shop include automation, robotics, supply chain, energy and telecom. A Google partner with a specialization in search advertising, Koroberi is a phonetic spelling of the Australian aboriginal word “corroboree,” used to describe a gathering of leaders in times of conflict or celebration—an apt metaphor for the lives of marketers. The agency helped Yale Materials Handling Group create a new Twitter strategy that increased followers by over 200 percent and social engagement by over 400 percent. Koroberi is based in Durham, NC near the Research Triangle, home to numerous business-to-business start-ups and established B2B companies. Triangle Business Journal named the shop one of the Top Internet Marketing and Design Firms for 2017.
HAS WORKED WITH: Agile Media, Eco-Site, Honeywell, Honeywell Intelligrated, Hyster-Yale Group
RFP CONTACT: Natalie Fioto, firstname.lastname@example.org
You would be hard pressed to go through a day without encountering one of Landor’s signature designs. From refreshed packaging for Kraft Mac & Cheese to recycling cans in Central Park, this multidisciplinary design firm’s innovative, bottom-line conscious work can be found on everything from packaging to airplanes. Founded in 1964, with 27 offices around the globe and the support of the Young & Rubicam Group network within WPP, few design firms have the history, reach and in-market expertise Landor does. It all adds up to an impressive portfolio of global clients and thoughtful work that uses innovative branding and design to change behaviors and move people into action.
HAS WORKED WITH: Jameson, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Old Spice, Nike,
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Launchfire’s winning recipe is a compelling blend of game-based marketing programs, CPG clients and sticky content to drive sales, in-store engagement, email opt-ins and to educate consumers, among other goals. Take its work for Harris Teeter. A Holiday Match & Win let customers spin a wheel to collect ingredients in a featured recipe that drove interest for CPG partners. If all of the ingredients were collected, the player was entered for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card. The campaign earned three 2017 awards, including a Hermes Creative Award. The new gamified product hub lets consumers browse and interact with clients’ products in one place—a big hit for holiday campaigns and big shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
HAS WORKED WITH: Canadian Tire, Costco, Cracker Barrel, Harris Teeter, Shoppers Drug Mart
RFP CONTACT: Romeo Maione, firstname.lastname@example.org
Content creation and community influencer management rule at the agency that, like a good laundry service, is timely, fresh and crispy—“but we don’t shrink anything.” For Beats, Laundry staffs full-time community influencers in six countries that feed trends and moments to the local markets—and the global brand. For Muscle Milk, Laundry created a video series and digital content that repositioned the brand away from “bros” and connected with everyday athletes. And for longtime client Amazon’s Kindle brand, the agency does it all—owned, paid, and earned media, plus social media content and everything in between. The Laundry ideation process starts with data, which informs strategy, which drives creative and then influences targeting. Clients say the work mixes the right platform, the right content (the oldest narrative paradigm in the newest mediums), the right people and the right time to generate the best ROI.
HAS WORKED WITH: Adobe, Amazon, Beats by Dre, LG, Nike
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
LEADDOG MARKETING GROUP
This agency excels at bringing unconventional sports and sports experiences to the masses. Like its Formula E activation that transformed gritty Red Hook, Brooklyn, into a fan village and high-end hospitality experience. Or the Roland-Garros French Open experience on the streets of New York that featured a full-size clay court and Parisian food stalls. Or Louis Vuitton’s America’s Cup World Series, which came to NYC for the first time in nearly 100 years. And the first-ever Ryder Cup Trophy Tour with PGA of America. Clearly, the list goes on, people. An acquisition by CSM Sport & Entertainment last fall only bolster’s LeadDog’s reach and resources in sports, but don’t overlook their chops in other verticals, like its creepy-good activation for “The Handmaid’s Tale” at SXSW (just Google it). A new in-house division called Breed works with cutting-edge start-ups like The Drone Racing League.
HAS WORKED WITH: Adidas, Coca-Cola, Intel, The National Football League Player’s Association, Volkswagen Group
RFP CONTACT: Danit Aronson, firstname.lastname@example.org
How to survive the Windy City’s epic winters, you wonder? Keep Pernod Ricard as a long-time client—and keep the bar stocked. This shop has deep expertise in spirits, with recently expanded wine, champagne and off-premise retail marketing efforts adding dozens of new activation markets to its roster. But booze is hardly its only game. Legacy this year added new clients Limitless Coffee and Tea and Manchester City Football Club to the roster. A pre-populated Twitter vending machine served as just the right millennial-minded engagement for a TGI Fridays program that had consumers lip syncing their guts out and sharing on social to the tune of more than 16 million social impressions. In-house analytics resources and offerings, including data aggregation, for new insights and key takeaways back everything up with a watchful ROI eye. An Event Marketer Best Place to Work, this shop added 75 full-time employees and 300 part-time employees this year. We’re thinkin’ it’s the free weekly massages.
HAS WORKED WITH: Constellation Brands, Hewitt Associates, L&W Supply, Pernod Ricard, Yokohama Tire Corp.
RFP CONTACT: Nate Stillman, email@example.com
Created out of a merger between two Tennessee-based event management companies, LEO draws on its intrinsic Southern hospitality to create experiences and meetings across five continents in 23 countries, including Spain, Belgium, Canada, the U.K. and Costa Rica. Forty full-time staffers work in the agency’s three core focus areas: meetings and event management; creative, content and brand marketing; and production services. The shop has expertise in the public events sector, producing corporate-sponsored festivals such as KAABOO Del Mar where cool technology like RFID chip- embedded wristbands and a concessions app updated in real time enhance the experience. Leo is a founding partner and sponsor of the Jay Uiberall Foundation to help underserved youth in the Memphis area.
This self-described “brand maker from Silicon Valley” has worked with a virtual who’s-who of startups and big-name tech brands, but some of its most interesting work bridges that gap between branding and identity, retail and online, to deliver some really compelling case studies. For client The Vitamin Shoppe, Liquid Agency transformed a 50 percent fall-off rate between new and returning customers into a multi-pronged digital + live campaign and delivery service that’s earned more than a quarter million customers. More than 100 employees across offices in San Jose, Portland, Santiago, Chile, and New York employ what they call Silicon Valley Thinking, a more experimental and collaborative counterpoint to traditionally long, linear branding processes that utilizes “rapid prototyping methodologies” to see which ideas work. Global lecturer, author and business guru Marty Neumeier serves as Director of Transformation.
HAS WORKED WITH: Adidas, Google, Jeep, Microsoft, Nike, Walmart
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can book mega talent like Garth Brooks and Keith Urban with a phone call, you know you’re an industry super star yourself. President Marcie Allen had a hand in bringing Brooks—and his wife Trisha Yearwood—to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta for the stadium’s first concert. Allen and her team create harmony between brands and music artists, like a Capital One sponsorship brokered on behalf of the Foo Fighters. These pacesetters spot trends and talent before others and incorporate them into breakthrough programs for clients. MAC helps keep Citi’s entertainment and engagement engine running and involved in more than 11,000 events each year.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bud Light, Citi, Frito-Lay, Samsung, Starwood
RFP CONTACT: Marci Allen, email@example.com
One of the youngest agencies in the experiential industry has quickly become one of the most formidable. An independent shop founded by a few 72andSunny and Crispin refugees, Magnetic today boasts 70 employees across its New York City and London offices, and a whole gaggle of cool clients willing to try new things. Like the Netflix Emmy voting campaign that transformed 24,000 square feet into a virtual theme park filled with oversized installations, interactive photo experiences and reception spaces all inspired by the Netflix shows we all love to binge. And speaking of Netfix, we still love the Bluth’s Frozen Banana Stand pop-up—one of the earliest Magnetic programs and a sneak peek into the minds of these crazy geniuses. Also worth checking out: Hulu’s Instagram-busting “Seinfeld” apartment replica. Seriously, these guys understand what fans love and know how to give it to them.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bacardi, Facebook, Google, Hulu, Netflix
RFP CONTACT: Jessica Reznick, firstname.lastname@example.org
Profit-driven digital business strategies are at the heart of what this Tribeca-based studio offers its roster of Fortune 500 clients. Whether it’s a radical streamline of one of the world’s most downloaded apps for client The Weather Channel, a Twitter-based holiday campaign for Sephora that boosted followers by 46 percent, or a new UX design and business model for Jet.com (which was purchased four weeks after launch by Walmart for $3 billion—bam!), Makeable thrives on putting smart, growth-minded digital experiences at the forefront of the brand experience. We love the Webby award-winning “I went to MoMA and…” program that had art lovers scanning and sharing their museum experiences on projected surfaces and social media.
HAS WORKED WITH: American Express, MoMA, Sephora, The Weather Channel, Uniqlo
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
One of the original below-the-liners has increased its focus on developing and implementing promotional games of chance across multiple platforms—globally. A rewards program for Global Citizen targeted members in Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK and the U.S. Members earned points by taking specific actions at the campaign site, like tweeting, emailing, signing a petition or uploading a photo to social. Points were then used to enter sweepstakes to win featured concert tickets. With a specialty in pharma/healthcare, M-K does work for Klick Health, Digitas Health and GCI Health. This independent shop just moved its HQ from Woodbury, NY, to Syosset, NY. Dogs welcome.
HAS WORKED WITH: BJ’s Wholesale Club, Elan Financial Services, Google, SnapAV, Western Union
RFP CONTACT: Marty Glovin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Immersed in shopper marketing since its inception 17 years ago, this shop is priming its expertise with client P&G for retailer specific promotional marketing programs. For UV Vodka, a Phillips Distilling product, the task at hand was to reverse a downward sales trend. Enter the “Salute to the New Heroes” campaign targeting Millennials that welcomed home servicemen and women and helped them find sustainable employment. The program rewarded user-generated “salutes” to veterans with the hashtag #SaluteToHeroes and donated $1 to Veteran Job Fairs. A record number of retail displays and retailer buy-in helped push sales up by double digits. DSX, a new internal tool and database of all major digital offerings will help account teams plan smarter. Randomly mixes up client teams and departments forcing people to work together that typically don’t—all in a hunt for the coveted MLab Medallion.
HAS WORKED WITH: Farm Rich Foods, Phillips Distilling, Prestige Brands, Twin Cities Orthopedics, Western Union
RFP CONTACT: Mark Lenss, email@example.com
MATCH MARKETING GROUP
Most agencies today offer measurement capabilities, but few are as intrinsic to the way the agency does business as this one. Everything centers on the Data-Driven Experience Planning model, a strategic blueprint the agency uses to provides predictive and performance intel for targeting, prospects, context and sentiment. Once in activation mode, clients can tap into their own customized DMP (Data Management Platform) to course correct in-market and in real-time. With expertise that spans mobile, retail, influencer, pop-up, design, build, execution and field operations, and now with its recent acquisition of content production company Jerry Rig, and all its commercial and editorial capes, (not to mention its state of the art production facilities), this Boulder, CO-based shop is playing to win. For a recent Jennie-O turkey program, Match masterfully captured a live tasting experience and leveraged it into content later used for social media, digital, print and TV. The program generated a healthy 37 percent boost in sales.
HAS WORKED WITH: adidas, Ford, Hormel, PepsiCo, Progressive Insurance
RFP CONTACT: Jason Wozny, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ottawa-based and B2B focused, this shop won two 2017 BMA B2 awards. Several new clients came on board this year as well, including Donnelley Financial Solutions, Thinkwrap and Appboy/Braze. The agency enabled global revenue management firm Service Source to rebrand from a buttoned-up service company to a friendly SaaS-type organization. Betterful, McMillan’s new pro bono initative, helps non-profits create new brand identities. One recent case in point: H’Art of Ottawa was transformed into Being, highlighting its mission of championing artists and writers with developmental disabilities. Jeff Plowman—formerly of Havas Worldwide and McCann Erickson—recently came on board as vice president of client services.
HAS WORKED WITH: Commvault, Donnelley Financial Solutions, HUB International, Schneider Electric, United Rentals
RFP CONTACT: Robert Hyams, email@example.com
One of the industry’s leading influencer marketing agencies, connecting brands with passionate socially-engaged audiences through social influencers, influencer marketing, YouTube influencers, bloggers and Instagrammers. Branded and sponsored content campaigns engage audiences, drive brand awareness, brand engagement and product sales. Mediakix’s influencer marketing campaigns span fashion, home, design, lifestyle, men’s, travel, photography and tech sectors—and they reach an audience of more than 25 million fans. The YouTube influencer work is head and shoulders above what many other agencies offer—Santa Monica-based Mediakix builds custom sponsorships, recruits influencers, activates across the web and brings it all home with real-time reporting and analytics.
HAS WORKED WITH: Blue Apron, Birchbox, Hallmark, Nordstrom, Sleep Number
Three new public relations experts recently joined the team to expand the shop’s capabilities in the communications and earned media space. Research and strategy, creative, technology and client experience are also among the agency’s core disciplines. Formerly known as Sacunas, Merit added a Portland, OR, outpost to supplement its Harrisburg, PA, home office. Staff accomplishments are celebrated with sponsored experiences from their personal bucket lists. This is sweet: Just Born—maker of Mike and Ike and Hot Tamales candies—tapped Merit to create an interactive experience capitalizing on a partnership with NBA All Star Paul George. Over 2,000 users visited the microsite daily.
HAS WORKED WITH: Cardone Industries, Case New Holland, Intelex, Just Born, PennAir
RFP CONTACT: Erin Zakin, firstname.lastname@example.org
This 18-year-old San Francisco-based design firm has a shelf stuffed with awards for the websites its created over the years, but today, it’s far surpassed its early accomplishments to become a highly strategic shop known for developing meaningful brands and experiences—regardless of platform. Specializes in product design, UX, experience design, brand strategy, product design and business design, and offers clients broad reach and deep resources thanks to parent company GlobalLogic and its 30 locations across 12 countries. One case in point, among many success stories: A reimagined online experience for San Francisco Ballet increased revenue 18.5 percent within one year after launch and sparked a 29 percent boost in conversions across all devices.
HAS WORKED WITH: Clear, Lush, San Francisco Ballet, Sonos, Ubisoft
RFP CONTACT: Alicia Bergin, email@example.com
A team of 130 digital and marketing professionals works out of offices in Seattle, Austin, Singapore and London to serve B2B and technology marketers. Their focus on social, digital and content marketing is described as customer-centric, data-driven, massively scalable and relentlessly analytical. The agency is the 2017 Microsoft Supplier of the Year, and won numerous awards in 2017, including Marcom, W3, BMA and Loyalty360 honors. Metia’s development, IA, content and search teams worked together to develop Export Britain, a new website for the British Chamber of Commerce to help UK businesses learn more about exporting. The site helps thousands of businesses connect with local chambers and market partners around the globe.
HAS WORKED WITH: Dell, Expedia, Intel, Microsoft, Salesforce
RFP CONTACT: Carrie Mcllveen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Market-leading start-ups, enterprises and VCs are the core customer base for this Boston-based strategic communications firm, which allows many team members to work remotely. Workplace software provider Know Your Company turned to Metis to reach more prospects via a website optimized for conversions, an improved social media presence and an e-book. The results were impressive: Software trial sign-ups were up 57 percent, quality leads were up 14 percent and a 34 percent increase in sales over a 90 day period were realized. Perks at Metis include parental leave, reduced hours on Fridays in the summer, charitable matching contributions and work anniversary massages.
HAS WORKED WITH: Crimson Hexagon, ClearSky Data, Highrise, XL Hybrids, Zaius
RFP CONTACT: Melissa Cohen, email@example.com
“Brand building in the modern media culture” is the mantra. A deep bench of creatives craft stories from brand positioning, brand truth and audience insights. The work is executed across digital platforms: skippable reroll, Snapchat stories, muted autoplay, short-form Instagram originals and multi-part branded content documentaries. Clients swear by the entertainment, information and emotion-based content. Why? Because it gets viewed—and shared. Is proud to promote its “no one size fits all” content playbook filled with smart questions like: How will you create this content? What form will it take? Should you partner with a platform? Which ones? How will it roll out? YouTube versus Facebook versus your own site? Mistress specializes in understanding the strengths of each platform and partner, and in creating content that maximizes opportunities across video, mobile, apps, social and more.
HAS WORKED WITH: Coca-Cola, Finlandia, IMAX, Paypal, Starz, TripAdvisor, Qdoba
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
If we could only highlight one client program for all you discerning marketers, it would be the Gatorade Fuel Lab—a campaign that targeted high school athletes to reintroduce the brand as a “fuel” instead of a “drink.” From the VR and geolocation technology to the dramatic transitions and reveals to the thoughtful journey through space to the hyper-customized and personalized engagements, this program didn’t leave a moment underutilized. It’s a window into the thoroughly innovative thinking going on at this growing shop, the power of experiential (when its used right) and MKTG’s deep understanding of what moves consumers today. The recent integration of Team Epic into parent Dentsu Aegis’s portfolio of agencies rounds out MKTG’s offerings across sports sponsorships and social media. Employees and clients alike appreciate the “no jerk” policy.
HAS WORKED WITH: AT&T, Diageo, NHL, Nike, RJ Reynolds
RFP CONTACT: Bryan Duffy, email@example.com
This agency is 100 percent business-to-business focused, with concentrations on market segmentation, branding, competitive research, content strategy and analytics. MLT recently increased sales enablement services and moved to a new Atlanta office location where account work is focused on an agile process to give clients direct interaction with key team members. The agency launched a new website for NAVIX Consultants with deeper content marketing offerings (including whitepapers, blogs and videos) and full integration with marketing automation and CRM systems via Hubspot. Office décor includes vintage advertising posters from the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s to make the space visually stimulating to creatives.
HAS WORKED WITH: ASD-USA, Bennett Graphics, NAVIX Consultants, OmniMetrix, Solar CrowdSource
RFP CONTACT: Billy Mitchell, firstname.lastname@example.org
The mantra here is impactful brand activation experiences. It offers a robust nationwide network of 35,000 brand ambassadors. Some of those ambassadors staffed a Sprint experience at Six Flags engaging visitors with digital scratch offs that revealed free Flash Passes and Sprint-branded giveaways. And… they kept that party going all day long. Organic growth and new clients doubled revenue year over year allowing investments in experienced new hires and expanded office space. Twenty-seven-year experiential marketing veteran Robert Job joined as EVP growth strategy, no doubt helping complete this shop’s evolution into a full-service experiential marketing agency. The agency also on-boarded a new creative director and director of client services.
One of the only experiential partners that has it all in-house—strategy, design, fabrication, execution and measurement. The streak continues again this year with the addition of new clients SAP, and Chevron, which selected Momentum as its sponsorship AOR. Kia, Fanta, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Georgia Pacific and illy were also new adds to the client list this year, all no doubt inspired by MWW’s ability to deliver smart, tech-fueled activations across a wide variety of disciplines including shopper, promotion, experiential, sports, music and entertainment. For Verizon, it brought the first live-streaming Oculus Rift VR experience to the Indy 500. For American Express, it activated the first IMAX live screening of an NBA game for Golden State Warriors fans. Also for Amex, it invented Air Tennis, a multi-sensory, 4D haptic game and the latest iteration in a long line of cutting edge technology experiences the agency has rolled out for the brand. Amped up its shopper/retail practice this year with SHPR (Strategic High Performance Retail), to better target opportunities, improve measurement and tap into cognitive intelligence using IBM’s Watson technology. Also launched a new esports practice with PMK BNC, and created new technology platforms, including 3D modeling, VR prototyping and telepresence robots.
HAS WORKED WITH: American Express, Coca-Cola, SAP, U.S. Army, Verizon
RFP CONTACT: Richard Black, email@example.com
One of the only agencies on this list that can scale XXXL ideas. The agency that makes other agencies say, “Damn, I wish we had thought of that.” Has impeccable talent for developing “out there” ideas that also make perfect, strategic sense. Like the way it reimagined Oracle’s flagship B2B event, OpenWorld, entirely through a B2C lens, kicking off a whole slew of “festivalized” conferences across the industry. Or Bud Light’s Whatever, USA, which marketers in every category are still studying. This year, the agency acquired content company Contend, and promptly won an Best use of Events for Content Ex Award for its combined effort on the Chrysler Pacifikids campaign (Google it—it’s delightful). The deal included former Omelet CCO and marketing guru Steven Amato—a nice win. Also brought into the Mosaic fold metal fabrication house JBR, whose fabrication work an be seen on the new Budweiser Stage.
HAS WORKED WITH: Anheuser-Busch InBev, Coca-Cola, Dell, Microsoft, Oracle
RFP CONTACT: Nicole Yelsey, firstname.lastname@example.org
The self-proclaimed “creative studio” that says “we do some of this, and some of that, all while refusing to box ourselves into the typical industry monikers,” isn’t lying. The level of creative is outstanding and unfettered. And the level of passion among the staff is almost not to be believed. Has been producing innovative work for client Pepsi for years, including one of the first campaigns to use a live event—a Hyped for Halftime concert featuring Blake Shelton—as content for use across traditional media. A call for consumers to bring Pepsi concerts to their hometowns localized the experience and, wait for it, created yet more content for distribution on and offline. Our favorite of the Project: Worldwide family of agencies, Motive combines its formidable in-house creative talents and strategic offerings with the additional capabilities of its 13 sister agencies (when needed).
HAS WORKED WITH: PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch, Snap, Dickies, Edrington
RFP CONTACT: Krista Nicholson, email@example.com
2017 was the best year ever for Moveo, with 25 percent year over year growth, nine new clients and eight new team members. Branding, lead gen and customer engagement are the agency’s top three drivers of growth for clients, particularly in the B2B healthcare vertical. Cardinal Health needed to develop a new way to generate more qualified leads and help customers find the right solutions. A decision support tool created by Moveo quickly became one of the top tools in the team’s arsenal for sales and onboarding. Fun fact: Each office in the Chicago HQ is named after a favorite local brewery.
HAS WORKED WITH: AMITA Health, Cardinal Health, Hospira, Keck Medicine of USC, Molex
RFP CONTACT: Bari Scheinbach, firstname.lastname@example.org
Embraces the concept of “frontierism” to move clients forward through channel innovation spanning three sectors. Fast, efficient content is created by a full-service Unit 3C production studio. Quick-turn creative chops include videos, social platform activations and traditional and non-traditional digital storytelling. And online media buying and planning across social, influencer, mobile, video, OTT and beyond—powered by parent Publicis’ ZenithOptimedia. For Delta, Moxie created one of the longest Facebook Live events in history: a 55+ hour event featuring more than 430 celebrities, Delta partners and company leaders. For Chick-fil-A’s catering push, the shop designed a social handbook made up of party tips and recipe hacks that helped educate and entertain fans while helping to take the stress out of planning gatherings and hosting. What else? The DecisionIQ insights offering uses analytics and full-time data scientists to collect and compile insights.
HAS WORKED WITH: Chick-Fil-A, Delta, Moe’s, Rachael Ray, TGI Fridays, Verizon
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
This B2B shop is focused on producing measurable marketing outcomes based on three pillars—considered purchase marketing, global marketing management and performance-based accountability. Client McKesson wanted to create awareness for a new suite of enterprise healthcare technology solutions. Nelson Schmidt increased booth traffic at the HIMSS healthcare trade show by 29 percent to help McKesson launch the new med tech imaging solution Consensus. In the initial phase, 345 demos were performed, representing $150 million in potential sales. The agency was named one of the “10 Coolest Offices” by Milwaukee Business Journal. Pro bono efforts include support of the summertime Live at the Lakefront free concert series on Lake Michigan.
HAS WORKED WITH: Lennox Industries, McKesson, Regal, UL, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
RFP CONTACT: Christopher Vitrano, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to reach the college crowd, consider this veteran agency. With deep roots across more than 2,200 colleges and universities across the country, a database of more than 4,400 college brand ambassadors and partnerships at bookstores and student centers, you’d be hard-pressed to get the kind of reach and access this team can offer anywhere else. Last year’s immersive L.L. Bean Northern Lights Holiday experience at the brand’s HQ in Freeport, ME, was a true retail wonderland. Did we mention the post and beam barn with real reindeer inside? The experience created a merry 18 percent boost in foot traffic over the prior year. For the millennial audience, Newbridge shifted gears and created the Razer Stealth computer tour, an immersive VR and gaming experience that racked up nearly 100,000 demos in 2017. NL now offers design and fabrication services and, fun fact, the agency owns its own food truck.
You name the technology and this agency has a handle on how to use it—and use it right. A talented team of creatives, designers, 3D animators and developers VR, AR, projection mapping, motion tracking, gesture control, hologram, facial recognition and emerging tech for events trade shows, festivals, concerts and more. We’re lovin’ the award-winning McDonald’s pit crew VR experience that had NASCAR fans doing a timed tire change and sharing their results on social. The Google cardboard 3D VR tour of new Under Armour Brand House in Boston for media sure was a refreshing take on a press release. Also worth a look: a proprietary body movement and motion analysis technology, now at Trek stores, that will fit you to the proper bike. New offices in Chicago’s West Loop offers clients ample space to play with the latest toys, like infinity room mirrors, LED walls and holograms and an “Immersion Room” with the latest VR technology.
AI-based tools are leveraged at this Austin shop to gain customer insights, optimize performance media and create dynamic B2B content throughout the entire marketing funnel. The agency is piloting a new demand gen predictive insights service in conjunction with 6Sense and testing an internally developed tool to customize lead conversion content. Dun & Bradstreet saw a 5X lift in ROI over previous campaigns with a campaign nFusion created to build awareness for D&B’s marketing and sales solutions. A multichannel campaign targeting quick service restaurant owners exceeded engagement with market qualified leads by 15 percent. NFusion hosts the Cojones Awards at SXSW to recognize courageous marketing leaders.
HAS WORKED WITH: Arrow Electronics, D&B, HotSchedules, Personify, Q2 Ebanking
RFP CONTACT: John Ellett, email@example.com
The industry juggernaut manages more than 13,000 sports and entertainment events each year across the globe. And its clients stick around forever, like BMW (28 years), Mastercard (25 years) and Home Depot (10 years). We love the 12,000-square-foot BMW interactive experience and Ultimate Driving Experience national tour. New clients like NBA, Adidas, Marriott, CVS, Guggenheim, Northwell Health and many others felt the power and signed on. Launched a global Media Rights Consulting practice and Go Suite, a collection of internal products like the on-the-go photo and GIF booth, Go Photo. Decorated with numerous creative awards for striking work. Encouraged 1,000 people to donate eight inches of hair to create wigs for people with cancer as one brand in a multi-CPG program for Walmart. Boldness multiplied.
HAS WORKED WITH: AB InBev, BMW, Delta, Mastercard, Taco Bell
RFP CONTACT: Danielle Byrd, firstname.lastname@example.org
This Beaverton, OR-based shop has nearly doubled in size over the last five years, and now has a team that’s more than 170 staffers strong. Opus creates events around the globe, from Dubai to Bermuda to Silicon Valley. Kim Kopetz returned to Opus as EVP of strategy after five years at Intel to lead the continued development of strategy offerings for clients. For the third straight year, the agency remains one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. The list is an annual compendium put together by Inc. Magazine based purely on revenue growth among private, independent companies.
HAS WORKED WITH: Alaska Air Group, Amazon Web Services, Anita Borg Institute, Dell EMC, Salesforce
RFP CONTACT: Kristin Waters, email@example.com
The beloved interaction agency uses data science, strategy, engineering and creativity to inform and influence one another. “Like an invisible arrow between each. Ours just happen to point both ways.” As it did for AT&T when Organic pointed that arrow directly at consumers to bring the strength of the brand’s 4G LTE signal to life—the #StrongCan campaign focused on real people using AT&T to achieve remarkable things. And for Kotex, when Organic devised a first-in-the-category campaign that actually had consumers talking about their periods (Google “the period shop” right now). And even for 100-year-old brand Quaker, which the agency reimagined as a digital experience with Alexa herself as an anchor tenant.
HAS WORKED WITH: American Family Insurance, AT&T, Kohler, Kotex, Poise, Quaker, Wells Fargo
RFP CONTACT: Michelle Tang, firstname.lastname@example.org
Recent client wins in the B2B/technology space include Element Fleet Management Corp., SATO Global Solutions, DocASAP and Truck Accessories Group. Joe Smith, the brand consultancy of Padilla, worked with Pratt & Whitney to create a new corporate brand platform for all its lines of business, as well as developing a visual identity system, aftermarket services brand positioning and internal culture transformation. The agency expanded its digital capabilities with the acquisition of INM United, which was integrated into Padilla’s existing creative and digital team. In 2017, the Minneapolis-based agency won 88 national and regional awards, including honors from PRWeek, PRSA and the International Association of Business Communicators.
PERFORMANCE MARKETING GROUP
Whether it’s a four tractor-trailer convoy or a single food truck it’s no secret this agency drives results. Notable happenings this year: Now handles all experiential marketing activations for the GMC brand; Launched a new mobile activation for the Roche Tissue Diagnostics division to connect with customers; And added trade show and convention offerings. Also brought on the IMSA WeatherTech Paddock Club and quickly got to work activating for VIP guests, teams and sponsors. Staged upscale environs to serve more than 1,000 meals per weekend at the races. Has a niche specialty in sports marketing and activation and a client specialty in auto. This team is religiously passionate about one team, and one team only: Go Colts!
PIVOT POINT MARKETING
This agency specializes in brand activation, integrated marketing and shopper marketing as evidenced by its launch of a new brand, Evivo, a baby probiotic, for Evolve Bio Systems. The breakthrough, integrated “Smart as a Mother” campaign educated Millennial moms about how Evivo works with breast milk and pushed sales up 46 percent. Also immersed in a rebrand for Chicken of the Sea and has added new media partners, gaming development partners and social media listening tools. A women-owned, award-winning agency with multiple honors, including multiple PRO Awards for its Chicken of the Seas: National Salmon Day promotion, this agency is on the move.
HAS WORKED WITH: Evolve Biosystems, Mattel, Musco Family Olives Co., Popcornopolis, Thai Union
RFP CONTACT: Amie Stanley, email@example.com
POINT TO POINT
Started 25 years ago as a small art studio, this Beachwood, OH-based shop has evolved into a full-service marketing agency specializing in B2B niches like building products, industrial manufacturing and food product manufacturing. Point to Point specializes in crafting brand stories and implementing martech solutions to convert prospects into loyal customers. Three distinct direct mail campaigns featuring free gifts created to engage Ferguson loyalty club members generated an impressive 54 percent redemption rate from builders, designers and remodelers. The Loctite Hybrid campaign dared to pull off a dramatic product demonstration, showcasing that three grams of their latest adhesive and one hour of cure time is strong enough to pull multiple freight train cars totaling 208 tons.
Its recent acquisition by Condé Nast (a unique partnership in this industry) offers Pop2Life and its clients exclusive access to the editors, audiences and trendsetting content published in Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Wired and other titles, while giving the publications the resources they need to amp up their brand experience offerings for advertisers. The agency will also have a hand in working on some of the flagship events associated with these publications, including Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards and The New Yorker Festival. Pop2Life took home an Ex Award in 2017 for its Hunt for the Yeti campaign for the Travel Channel (Google it, we dare you). Also a standout this year, The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter library pop-up for “The Daily Show” and Comedy Central. We’re sure the network loved the massive earned media response, too. Not sad!
HAS WORKED WITH: AMC Networks, Comedy Central, iHeartMedia, Macerich, Scripps Networks Interactive
RFP CONTACT: Michele Wiltshire, Michele@pop2life.com
Yes, they do ad campaigns. Ready good ones. But this Austin-based agency does integrated marketing—brand strategy, identity, experiences and events, retail design and activation and advertising—like nobody’s business. They call it “spreading the good word.” A few of many standout campaigns: a program for location-based dating app Bumble campaign during Fashion Week that touted its photo verification feature with a catfish sandwich food truck that played on the other catfish phenomenon. Or Casper’s multi-city anti-mattress-showroom “Snooze Bar” pop-up program, a part coffee bar, part cocktail lounge where people could book naps or stop by for pillowcases, slippers, waffles and signature drinks. Irreverent and strategically spot-on ideas seem to pour out of Preacher’s historic building HQ in downtown Austin, which is also home to permanent gallery for local artists.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bonobos, Casper, Crate and Barrel, Nike, Samsung, Squarespace
RFP CONTACT: Krystle Loyland, firstname.lastname@example.org
Some marketers see social media as the Holy Grail, the answer to all their problems, a magic wand that will cure all that ails them and physically force new customers to buy their products. Other marketers see it as a fad, a nuisance, a medium to only engage with grudgingly. At Project Bionic, the team believes that precision in day-to-day social media management for craft brands is the key to it all. “We stay present every day for every single one of our clients. Creating the best possible daily and making sure the community is a blossoming, vibrant one.” Clients use the team in a few capacities—as social media content creator, social media analytics team, social media planner, social media strategist… and ancillary marketing social media integrator.
HAS WORKED WITH: Almond Roca, Ezell’s, Mountain Thins, Main Vue, Rabbit, Virgo
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
This retail and shopper agency’s Content on Demand service creates hero images for products, product names and descriptions, and creates and optimizes brand content to help educate consumers and drive conversion. Specializes in CPG programs for some of the biggest names in the business. One momentous ask—and limited budget—set the stage for a national sampling tour to introduce the frozen snack, Doritos Loaded. The “Dare To Try Doritos Loaded” truck tour hit 27 retail stores in five key markets to unload 5,103 samples, inspiring more than 1,200 people to share photo booth pics. Propac also contributes to the greater good by partnering with clients to lend services to organizations like United Way, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, ALS and the American Heart Association.
HAS WORKED WITH: Frito-Lay North America, PepsiCo, Interstate Batteries, Ruby Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson
RFP CONTACT: Chase Daigle, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’ve visited The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, you’ve gotten a taste of the thoroughly unconventional approach to customer experiences Prophet is known for. This 25-year-old international agency, with 10 offices around the world and a comprehensive brand positioning, customer experience, digital and content strategy and growth strategy offering, prefers to call itself a “consultancy that helps clients find better ways to grow.” And it’s earned it. One example: Olive Garden’s Breadstick Nation campaign, a new platform the agency developed for breadstick-based experiences and products, that even included a traveling food truck. Because who among us doesn’t love OG’s breadsticks?) Weeks after the campaign launched, the restaurant group’s stock surged 15 percent and hit a new all-time high.
HAS WORKED WITH: Colgate, Crate and Barrel, GE, General Motors, Target, Visa
RFP CONTACT: Andrew Pierce, email@example.com
The mighty, massive global network spans 18 countries, with 2,000 employees representing over 20 nationalities. Decades after opening as a motion graphics house in 1977, the interactive “connected design” agency is thriving—and still delivering digital work based on founder Bob Greenberg’s philosophy that design should be both simple and iconic. By reimagining how brands interact with consumers, R/GA is reimaging how design and technology intersect—and at this intersection is some of the industry’s best work. Examples: For Guinness, an in-store VR tasting experience brought the brand to life virtually. For longtime client Nike, an in-store experience for Nike scanned customers’ clothes and suggested which shoes would suit them best.
HAS WORKED WITH: Google, Jet, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Nike, Samsung, Unilever, Verizon, YouTube
RFP CONTACT: Dave Edwards, firstname.lastname@example.org
From the beaches of Santa Monica comes the agency the defies to be defined and operates based on a simple north star—that customers no longer follower linear pathways and only by creating seamless, contextual and meaningful engagement will brands succeed. That’s deep. Core offerings: Brand Strategy, Audience Definition, Brand Research & Analysis, Brand Positioning & Language and Visual Identity Creation. For Bud Light, RED has repositioned the brand online to stop talking about friendship and start acting like a friend. For evergreen client Disney, RED provides strategy, creative and technology that makes the happiest place on earth also the happiest place in digital. For Audi, the agency is using ethnographic research to create strategic future digital marketing recommendations around the customer experience of an Audi buyer in 2025.
HAS WORKED WITH: ASUS, Audi, Bud Light, Crayola, Edmunds, ESPN, Microsoft, Union Pacific
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
You like that unmistakably fresh (and un-mattress-brand-like) Casper branding you see all over the subway? How about that nifty fold-out box your latest pair of Allbirds came in? Red Antler says “We create brands people can’t stop thinking about,” and we couldn’t agree more. Adept in the art of building brands for startups, and then bringing that brand to life across multiple platforms, this agency also offers industrial design expertise for those napkin sketch-stage brands that might need product design services, too. Based in Brooklyn, this shop has its finger on the pulse of what’s next and an even firmer handle on what it takes to introduce a disruptive brand to the market—and keep it there for the long haul.
HAS WORKED WITH: Birchbox, Casper, Foursquare, Google, Zagat
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
RED HOUSE B2B MARKETING
Named after an architectural landmark in London, Red House’s culture is described as “casual academic.” (Intriguing, right?) Solutions offered here include strategic planning, account based marketing and content marketing, as well as automation support and analytics. The Alpharetta, GA, agency was named one of Medical Marketing & Media’s 2017 Agencies to Watch. A campaign created for Elsevier Nurses Trust to support the ClinicalKey platform gained engagement from 40 percent of prospects. The prognosis was great: 20 percent of MQLs advanced to sales qualified leads. Joe Youngs—formerly of Rauxa, Digitas and Equifax—came on board to lead the Red House consulting group.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bayer, Cognizant, Elsevier, McKesson, MedeAnalytics
RFP CONTACT: Steve Reeves, email@example.com
Founded 21 years ago by a brand ambassador nicknamed “Miller Lite Brad,” this Alexandria VA-based independent infuses all of its programs with a brand ambassador-centric approach. They call it the inverted pyramid, essentially prioritizing the brand ambassadors as an extension of the brand team—because if the BAs aren’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. A new talent management app streamlines the fieldwork from the more than 1,600 BAs the agency hires personally, pays well and manages directly. RedPeg boasts a growing and uniquely well-rounded specialization in esports, with solid work for teams (Team Solomid and Panda Global), game publishers (Square Enix, Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard) and brands interesting in cracking into the space (Geico). New president John Piester comes from Ignition—and brings all that tasty Coca-Cola experience with him.
HAS WORKED WITH: Accenture, Geico, Jagermeister, MTV, TD Bank
RFP CONTACT: Matt Sincaglia, firstname.lastname@example.org
This brand strategy, design and innovation agency thrives on problem solving and has a portfolio to prove it. One case study in point: Redscout client Gatorade, a well-known brand in an over-crowded category that is in the midst of an exciting multi-year strategy designed to transform the brand from a sports “drink” to a sports “fuel.” The agency is also leading the brand refresh for Kate Spade, an apparel brand that’s recently been challenged with moving forward after its founder departed the company. Never afraid of a challenge, that Redscout! Their mantra: “We believe that the best way to change a consumer’s perception of a brand is to change the way they experience it.” Satisfied employees across offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and London helped the agency win a spot on AdAge and Crain’s Best Places to Work lists in 2016.
HAS WORKED WITH: Domino’s, Gatorade, Kate Spade
RFP CONTACT: Alexandra Lee, email@example.com
This ROI-focused multichannel shop works with B2B, B2C and nonprofit clients coast-to-coast. Specialties include digital advertising, content marketing, direct mail, interactive design, SEO and public relations. A multichannel campaign for Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation exceeded goals by almost 400 percent. A customized AI Alexa skill was integrated into a recent Amazon Echo Dot offer for Luxottica subsidiary EyeMed, resulting in an eye popping 15 percent response rate. Interests are diverse at Responsory (a Johnson Direct company)—the staff includes the lead singer of a punk band, a yoga instructor, a Viking and a Civil War history buff.
HAS WORKED WITH: American Society for Quality, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Luxottica, TSI-Transworld Systems, West-Ward Pharmaceuticals
RFP CONTACT: Grant Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org
An indie shop grounded in the sports and lifestyle landscapes, this team brought together Winnebago and RV enthusiast and World Series Champion manager Joe Maddon for the Meet the Maddons campaign. PR hits went through the roof with pickups from ESPN and others. Staged the largest event in Chicago’s Navy Pier’s history for Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series: 200,000 fans from 48 states and 23 countries. Took a 7,000-square-foot semi on the road for Spin Master for 25 stops in 13 weeks. This year, the agency expanded the internal production team, shooting six brand spots, launched a global events consultancy and opened a London office. Recognized as one of the fastest growing private companies on the INC 500/5000 list seven times in the past eight years. Stop by on Mondays for a free breakfast.
HAS WORKED WITH: Continental Tire, Louis Vuitton American’s Cup World Series Chicago, Northwestern Mutual, Spin Master, Winnebago
RFP CONTACT: Larry Mann, email@example.com
RIDDLE & BLOOM
Formerly known as Fluent, this recently rebranded shop has a lot to be excited about right now. Hands down one of the most Millennial/Gen Z/Next Gen-savvy agencies in experiential, with deep research capabilities to help drive super smart and super targeted campaigns and spending. Capabilities span campus engagement, consumer insights, digital and social media strategies and experiential activations. An exclusive partnership with the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) and other campus organizations offers reach and unique “access points” with these coveted demos; a database of more than 100,000 students brings it all local. We loved last year’s Big Gay Ice Cream program for Nestlé that utilized the agency’s social media savviest ambassadors to drive awareness live and online for the iconic NYC parlor’s pints in grocery stores. Oh, and all new employees get their own customized bobble head.
HAS WORKED WITH: Geico, Microsoft, Nestle, Staples, Vera Bradley
RFP CONTACT: Darren Ross, firstname.lastname@example.org
This boutique agency is run by a husband and wife team who unleash sweepstakes and promotions for the restaurant chain industry and other multi-unit retailers. For five years running, the “Citizen Driver” contest has driven nominations for the best professional drivers on the road. For MOOYAH, every burger purchased came with a game piece with a 16-digit code and a bounce-back coupon. After entering the code, customers built their own burger using more than 25 ingredients and then opted in to join MOOYAH’s text and email clubs. Some 425,000 cards were distributed earning a 15 percent participation rate. The grand prize for the “MOOYAH Millionaire” campaign? You guessed it: One-million dollars.(Who’s craving a burger?)
HAS WORKED WITH: Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, Cedar Fair Entertainment, Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, MOOYAH Burger and Fries, TA Operating
RFP CONTACT: Leslie Allison-Seei, email@example.com
SAGMEISTER & WALSH
It’s rare that an agency puts out a volume of work representing its own brand that can rival the work of one of its clients. Sagmeister & Walsh—and its eponymous collection of books, films and posters—is one of those rarities. The worlds of fashion, art, activism, philanthropy and consumer goods collide at this duo-led strategy, design and production shop where clients ranging from fashion house Milly to rapper Jay-Z to CPG drink Red Bull to tech brand Snapchat flock to get an essence of the high-art sensibility S&M offers. The firm specializes in brand identities, campaigns, social strategy and content creation, commercials, websites, apps, books and environments. Check out the hard-bound book for the Domino Sugar Factory development in Brooklyn and reevaluate everything you ever thought you knew about producing a “brochure.”
HAS WORKED WITH: 7up, BMW, The Gap, BMW, Pepsi, Red Bull, Snapchat, Levis
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the one. The big doggy. The kingpin. The papa bear. The digital transformation agency that, in many ways, helped invent this category. Often imitated but never duplicated… at a time when digital empowerment is changing customer expectations at the speed of a blinking cursor, radical customer centricity is changing every rule in the playbook and keeping pace with competitors is often less worrisome than earning a place of relevance within your customers’ ever-evolving expectations—SapientRazorfish stands supreme at the intersection of design, data and technology. Look no further than the work for Dove and Mercedes for a true portrait of where this digital game is going.
HAS WORKED WITH: Asia Pacific Breweries, Audi, Carnival Cruise Line, Marks & Spencer, Miami Heat, Patron, Spotify, Walmart
RFP CONTACT: Brittany Slattery, email@example.com
SCHOOL OF THOUGHT
“Welcome to the Land of Actuallygiveadam” is the motto here, where passion, purpose and accountability are the mission. Located near the San Francisco waterfront, School of Thought welcomes about a dozen new clients in 2017, including Airbnb, mortgage lender Blend, cloud storage provider Druva, Montage Health and tech incubator PlugNPlay. Video storytelling is a specialty: The agency’s first such project, a video banner for the Hawaii Tourism Authority, set engagement records for the brand. A rebranding of Bridge Bank as “The Entrepreneur’s Bank” created enough interest to win School of Thought the contract to create a campaign for five more of the parent company’s regional banks. Sounds like a good investment.
HAS WORKED WITH: Airbnb, Bridge Bank, Milliman, Montage Health, Visit Oakland
RFP CONTACT: Tom Geary, firstname.lastname@example.org
Powers the social media and digital marketing efforts for brands big and small, regional and national. Launched in 2012 with the simple mission to help the brands connect with human customers more humanly. What started as a local social media management shop grew into the culture-driven, creative agency staffed by “Sculptrons” we know today. Social media management includes daily content planning, conversation monitoring and community engagement. To thrive in a “pay-to-play” world, Sculpt social buying services support the development, management and optimization of social ad campaigns that amplify awareness, traffic and conversions across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
HAS WORKED WITH: Blendcard, David’s Famous, Goodwill, Hyvee
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
“Transforming stories into live experiences” isn’t just a trending catch phrase for this Atlanta-based shop with outposts in New York City and Portland. It’s at the heart of what it’s done best for more than 24 years. With an impressive list of corporate environments and museum installations on its resume, Second Story today is uniquely qualified to bring the best ideas from the worlds of permanent installations to the needs of marketers looking for a way to immerse customers and attendees deep into their stories and culture. This firm was doing interactive and touch-based tech long before most marketers were, and remains on the cutting-edge today (being part of the SapientRazorfish group only elevates the offering). One case in point: Atlanta’s World of Coca-Cola, a corporate origin story-turned theme park-style destination with more than 13 different engagements. New installations at Whole Foods’ flagship, like touchscreen food pairing installations, also offer a tasty preview of the future of shopping—and the power of cross-selling.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Nike, MoMA, Intel, Whole Foods
RFP CONTACT: Rob Mammone, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thoughtful, modern design is a clear priority here, where designers and architects work closely with strategists to create spaces and experiences that are as beautiful as they are impactful. A relatively young shop in experiential, SET has a deep bench in retail and environmental installations which lends a sense of permanence to its pop-ups and other temporary activations. Verizon recently engaged the agency to reimagine its shopping experience for next-gen customers. For a taste of the design sensibility here, check out Sennheiser’s pop-up-turned-sculptural-installation made up of 2,200 dichroic “sound rods” that changed color based on the sun and a viewer’s position in the room—totally stunning. Offices in Portland, New York City and Los Angeles, and an acquisition of event agency Flourish in London is giving SET the footprint it needs to bring more of its innovative spaces and experiences to the masses.
HAS WORKED WITH: Coca-Cola, Hive, New Balance, Nike, Verizon
RFP CONTACT: Kurt Kujovich, email@example.com
SLACK AND CO.
A business-to-business pure play for 30 years and a charter member of the Worldwide B2B Partners Network, this agency racked up several big new client wins in 2017, including Choice Hotels, Bemis and ArgoFresh. A new microsite created for the Society of Actuaries is seeing a 47 percent rise in page views and a 30 percent boost in site time. Agency founder and chief experience officer Gary Slack was the inaugural inductee into the ANA’s B2B Hall of Fame. To get them started in the right mindset, every new Slacker gets a copy of P.M. Forni’s classic tome on manners and respect “Choosing Civility” on their first day.
HAS WORKED WITH: Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, Choice Hotels, Ingredion, Narrative Sciences, Society of Actuaries
RFP CONTACT: Gary Slack, firstname.lastname@example.org
For Marriott’s JW brand, managed community social engagement. For Intuit, designed an online QuickBooks Intervention campaign. For Cisco, executed a 12-week business training curriculum. And for Dairy Queen, used a digital “walk down memory lane” to reconnect with users online and drive a 51 percent engagement rate on Facebook that brought the cost-per-engagement to $0.01. The Austin agency gets credit for playing less where social is today and more on pushing clients to play where social is going tomorrow. Content and social media posts come together in most of the work, a perfect yin and yang between amplification and engagement. Absolutely one of our CM200 agencies to keep an eye on for 2018… and beyond.
HAS WORKED WITH: Burger Bar, Cisco, Intuit, Jive, Yoga Yoga
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Fluent in hashtags, filters and memes. When Premio Foods wanted to promote its product content across social channels, Socialfly design a program that served the videos up to consumers that had already liked and viewed Buzzfeed Food and Tasty videos. When skincare brand Skyn Iceland wanted to build awareness, the agency responded with a campaign that crossed all social platforms, engaged and interacted with their customers and fan base, grew their email list and supported retailers. Social media services include strategy development, community building, community management, campaigns and promotions and social media advertising. Influencer offerings span developing influencer networks, negotiating influencer rates, connecting brands with an in-house influencer database, plus event/launch coordination. Web consulting features web design, SEO services, programming and social media training. Creative services round it all out with email marketing, photography, retouching, graphic design and videography.
HAS WORKED WITH: Fox, Karl Lagerfeld, Maxim, Modell’s, Palm, Premio, Skyn
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Who knew there were social chops this hot in Birmingham, AL? They’re young. They’re diverse. And they probably know so much about your target audience because they are your target audience. The creativity is ranked high and the technical skills needed to measure and analyze results and program elements provide a true portrait of what’s happening—at all times. Interesting knowledge base? The shop understands that consumer sharing through “dark social channels” creates attribution challenges not faced by other digital marketing activities, requiring a special strategy for attributing the impact of those social elements on your business. Refreshing to see a social partner looking outside the typical big league social channels where so much chatter and interaction happens.
HAS WORKED WITH: A3C Hip Hop Festival and Conference, Chick-fil-a, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Mississippi State University
RFP CONTACT: Anna Weissinger, email@example.com
Luxury wine and spirits brands take note: this veteran agency knows what keeps you up at night—and has solutions to help you sleep better. Also has developed a nice portfolio of banking, CPG and media clients to round out their offerings. A new Insights department focuses on unearthing consumer data, cultural trends and hidden truths. A self-described “digital/social first agency,” tactics in the SoHo toolbox include mobile device IDs and geo-fencing technology that delivers in-app notifications and web-based ad units to hyper-targeted audiences. Its Release The Kraken sampling program offered consumers a taste of the brand through a PRO Award-winning gamification experience that pitted bar goers against an arcade arm wrestler. Beefed up its creative department this year by three new hires, and recently moved from its old Tribeca digs into new Tribeca digs that are practically glowing with natural light. TRIBECA 4EVR.
Boo-yah! The big league global agency is hitting its high score right now, with some of the biggest clients, biggest experiences and most awards around. The shop has 10 offices around the globe, staffed by 450+ professionals who execute 2,500 events each year. A three-day event for Google was turned into a Burning Man-style experience with 380 speakers, 190 sessions, 85 code labs, 18 product teams and musical performances from Charli XCX. An experience for headphone maker Monster at CES included a custom Bentley tricked out with a Monster sound system, creating big noise with electronics retailers. The Volunteer Time Off program has clocked over 85,000 hours to date of staff support for organizations like The American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and Toys for Tots. One of the only experiential partners that has it all in-house—strategy, design, fabrication, execution and measurement.
HAS WORKED WITH: Anheuser-Busch, Google, LEGO, Peleton, Waze
RFP CONTACT: Kristy Elisano, firstname.lastname@example.org
Born in 2012 as a joint venture between The Dallas Morning News and Slingshot, this combination has bred an agency that, in many ways, operates more like a custom publishing company, creating content for brands on a daily basis. Works across many industries, especially retail, auto, medical, hospitality, travel and technology. Really shines on all things YouTube—these peeps are like chemists when it comes to training and testing on increasing the viewership of your YouTube videos and management of your brand’s channel. Remains one of only a handful of YouTube-certified agencies in the country, and undergoes rigorous training each year to renew that certification.
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
SPEAR MARKETING GROUP
This agency’s holistic approach to demand gen blends strategic expertise, creative flair and an understanding of martech to deliver measurable results throughout the entire lead lifecycle. And it’s working—more than 40 new clients came on board in the last 12 months. The shop also expanded its roster of technology partners to include Engagio, Uberflip and AutoPilot. IT solutions provider Datalink asked Spear to develop a multichannel target account campaign reach decision makers at 400 key accounts, generating an astonishing 13 percent response rate. Teambuilding events at Spear include a day at a local winery, painting classes and bowling nights.
HAS WORKED WITH: ChargePoint, CyberArk, Datalink, Navicure, Plantronics
RFP CONTACT: Howard J. Sewell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Perhaps the only agency on our list hailing from Music City, this Nashville-based boutique agency is the go-to shop for many of today’s hottest country music artists (hello, Taylor Swift’s iconic 1989 album). Offers up a full suite of design services including brand strategy and identity, package design, copywriting, environment design, web design, UX, UI and app design and animation. Serves as long-time branding partner for the CMA Music Festival, doing everything from identity systems to the website. Handles Toyota’s branding for its Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon activations (check out this program’s cool geometric theme). Was selected to reimagine Bonnaroo’s visual ID system into something that could be refreshed year over year instead of reinvented year over year. Fun fact: The agency’s new HQ in Nashville features The Vault, a 3,000-square-foot studio space surrounded by 30 inches of concrete—a convenient on-site setup for photography and video shoots, audio rehearsals and more.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bonnaroo, CMA Music Festival, National Geographic Channel, Toyota, Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Dedicated to demand gen for tech companies, this agency delivered over 80 campaigns for customers in 2017, resulting in 120 percent growth year over year. Starshot recently ramped up its focus on lead analytics and visualization capabilities for clients. A campaign to drive SMB leads for Hewlett Packard Enterprise Canada generated 333 leads and just shy of seven million impressions. Another effort for HP Inc. produced double the amount of leads expected, at less than half the cost. (Nice!) The shop is a supporter of the Toronto International Film Festival, and both the Toronto and Chicago offices are a dog-lover’s paradise.
HAS WORKED WITH: Facebook, Freshbooks, HP Inc., HPE, Microsoft,
RFP CONTACT: Jennifer Waters, Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org
Forget about silos: everyone here is adept at integrating their work into the entire marketing process. Revenue jumped in 2017, with a 24 percent increase year over year and a whopping 107 percent rise per client. In possibly a B2B agency first, a chatbot named Alan hosts the company website and engages visitors (a plain vanilla version of the site is there too for less chatty prospects). The shop was named ANA Business Marketing Agency of the Year 2017, and Stein IAS put its best paw forward with the B2 Best in Show winning “Cats Are Everywhere” campaign for Merck, fighting misconceptions about the flea and tick threat to felines, and winning numerous awards. Chair and chief client officer Tom Stein heads up BMA NYC.
HAS WORKED WITH: Merck, ABB, HSBC, Weight Watchers Health Solutions, Republic Services
RFP CONTACT: Craig Duxbury, email@example.com
SUDDEN IMPACT MARKETING
This Westerville, OH, shop added 10 new clients in the last year and expanded its penetration into four of its largest accounts. Also took home three Hermes Creative Awards in 2017—an impressive year, indeed. The agency developed a “martech as a service” offering around its tools and phone group, to enable low-friction campaigns for clients without the in-house support for timely marketing executions. The team oversaw 15 global launch events for ABB oil, gas and chemical solutions, including pre and post event communications. Basketball is loved here: there’s a half-court in the office and the first two afternoons of March Madness are celebrated as holidays.
One of the CM200’s top experiential shops is also one of the world’s most prolific festival producers. Meet Superfly, creators of Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, and an experiential agency in its own right. That “festivalization” effect you’re all chasing for your events right now? Yeah, these guys pretty much created it, and continue to craft experiences for clients that ride the line between brand authenticity and totally understated marketing. The result? Messaging that somehow slips right into a music lovers conscience and makes them say, “Hey, I like those guys.” Two new ventures, the recently launched Comedy Central Presents Colossal Clusterfest in San Francisco, and Lost Lake Festival in Phoenix, will provide yet more platforms for festival engagement for brands and clients. We’re also still talking about Superfly’s music festival-style experience at Google I/O that transformed the developers conference into one of the most talked about B2B events of the year. Rock on, people.
HAS WORKED WITH: Bose, Citi, Disney, Intel, Viacom
RFP CONTACT: Rich Goodstone, firstname.lastname@example.org
This certified woman-owned CM200 shop specializes in sweepstakes and contests. This year, brought on new clients, including a five-year deal as AOR for Megaphone TV for their legal and prize fulfillment needs. Now offers a new cost-effective platform, TurnkeySweeps by Sync, which is a cost effective timesaver that can be overlaid with instant-win games. Achieved a 52 percent email opt-in rate for American Eagle Outfitters brand Aerie using a sweepstakes and quiz to determine if the players needed a “digital detox.” The winner of the 16-day promo, and a guest, got a trip to do that detoxing in sunny California. Now that’s a testament to Sync’s specialty in retail.
With a sweet spot for developing larger than life stunts, you may have come across the World’s Largest Pinata for a major product launch for M&M’s or the first logo visible from space for KFC. Added to its impressive client roster AS Roma soccer club, the New York Racing Association, Crest and Sterns & Foster. On-boarded 20-year veteran Jason Blake as SVP, client dev. Planned and executed the Asbury Park Music in Film Festival, which raised $125,000 for the park’s music foundation. And executed a 42-day road trip for 25-year client Reebok and its Nano 6.0 shoe where the team muscled up and broke a sweat engaging with thousands of CrossFit enthusiasts.
HAS WORKED WITH: Hackensack Meridian Health, Johnson & Johnson, Reebok, Taylor Strategy, Weber Shandwick
RFP CONTACT: Bill Holtz, email@example.com
The work tells stories that go way beyond an entry, a click or a share. TD dives into strategy and analytics, and develops programs that “bring ideas to life with creative and technology, to create meaningful interactions that consumers actually care about.” Core services: Strategy & Analytics, Creative, Technology, Legal Compliance. For the NFL, TD launched a nationwide digital search for super kid influencers and brand ambassadors. For Mastercard, the shop created an engagement platform that gave fans the power to choose who deserved the most prestigious title awarded during Rugby World Cup. Nominated players were announced during the first half of matches—consumers voted in real-time during the second half. For Comcast, TD turned Xfinity stores into interactive exploration and gaming environments.
HAS WORKED WITH: A&E, Godiva, HBO, Marriott, Mastercard, REI, Speedo, Taco Bell, Toyo, USAA,
RFP CONTACT: Chris Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org
THE MARKETING ARM
Cannes Lions, ONE Show Pencils, Effies, Clios, Addys, Reggies… you name it, they’ve won it—this year. And this shop is about to become a bigger force to be reckoned with as it brings Young Guru on board as Chief Music Strategist. Who is Young Guru you ask? Only Jay-Z’s long-time soundman and audio engineer for Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Drake and others. Music strategy is one of 13 disciplines this Omnicom shop now offers, including content, digital, experiential, influencer, sports and more. All client work is done using a hub and spoke model where one account leader is the conduit to all of the agency’s services, which allows clients to pivot into other disciplines without lost time or friction. Take a look at The Spotted Cheetah in New York City, Cheetos’ first-ever fine dining restaurant, for a taste of the ideas being percolated here. Take a look at its work for State Farm to see how work for a long-time client can effectively scale to new targets, like it did at its Color Full Lives program targeting African-Americans with a podcast series and activation at Essence Festival and the BET Awards that earned a healthy six percent lift in brand perception.
HAS WORKED WITH: AT&T, Bacardi, Frito-Lay, Nissan, State Farm
RFP CONTACT: Maddy Bell, email@example.com
THE MARS AGENCY
This independent agency is hard-wired for retail and shopper marketing with a specialty in CPG. For Pfizer, and its Prevnar product, a surround-sound strategy was put in place to raise awareness of the pneumococcal vaccination among shoppers 65 and older. Demographic and psychographic MRI data was combined with vaccination sales volume then overlaid with key retailers and store segmentation to generate a high potential list of stores and markets. Activations included FSIs, parking lot billboards, large format signs at store entrances and multiple signage placements in stores directing shoppers to the pharmacist. Suzanna Bierwirth joined as chief creative officer bringing with her a bucketful of high-impact achievements, including restructuring and building the Smucker’s and Brown Forman businesses from shopper duties to AOR and leading award-winning creative for Coca-Cola and others. Crain’s named Mars a “Cool Place to Work.”
HAS WORKED WITH: Campbell Soup Co., Conagra Brands, Lowes, Nestlé Waters, Henkel
RFP CONTACT: Maureen OHare, firstname.lastname@example.org
THE MICHAEL ALAN GROUP
The principles of this 15-year-old New York City-based agency wrote the book—literally—on guerrilla marketing: “Guerilla Marketing for Dummies,” and continues to refine the craft with smart street programs. Its week-long activation for the reintroduction of MTV’s “TRL” included a custom popsicle truck, a custom app, spontaneous Times Square billboard cameos, games and pedicab rides—just the kind of experiences the network needed and millennials craved. This shop makes connections for B2B clients, too. An invitation-only activation for Microsoft at CES leveraged NFC technology, touch screens and VR to engage the brand’s retail partners in an immersive demo that felt like anything but a traditional demo. MAG also includes national tours, pop-up shops, product launches and drive-to-retail in its portfolio of capabilities, and was voted an Event Marketer Best Place to Work twice. We think it’s the annual secret Santa exchange.
HAS WORKED WITH: CNN, MTV, Northwell Health, TripAdvisor, Walgreens
RFP CONTACT: Erin Mills, email@example.com
THE MOBILE MEDIA LAB
Formed in 2012 by a group of Instagram experts that mastered engaging some of the first Suggested Users, the shop continues to be a leader in the Instagram marketing industry today. Clients rave about the unique insight into Instagram and the hands-on approach to finding the right influencers for brands. Behind Door A is a network of photographers who can document any event, anywhere—with posts that spark a compelling, large-scale conversation about your brand. Behind Door B is a network of Instagrammers tapped to promote a product or brand to a highly-targeted audience and create content for your social channels. Behind Door C is the ability to organize unique and memorable Instameets that directly connect you with your local target audience.
HAS WORKED WITH: Coach, Expedia, Puma Sony, Stoli, Timex
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE MX GROUP
Predictive content, telemarketing, sales enablement and account based marketing are among this shop’s B2B specialties. Mx offers clients its own tech stack and call center to help generate awareness throughout the buying funnel. Automotive software leader vAuto turned to Mx to help launch a new solution called Stockwave. Content supporting the tagline “Just turn it on” included a video mailer and emails to encourage convention attendees to visit demo stations. The results? Nearly 17 percent of qualified leads became sales. A “party cart” occasionally circulates this Chicago-area office with everything from margaritas and guacamole to hot chocolate with marshmallows. When can we come by?
HAS WORKED WITH: CCG, Cox Automotive, Huron Consulting, Siemens, Tempur Sealy
RFP CONTACT: Peter C. Wroblewski, email@example.com
THE PEDOWITZ GROUP
Helping make brands’ marketing operations teams successful by providing them with process, people, technology, data, content and analytics is the focus of this Milton, GA, agency, which serves over 1,500 clients, including 50 Fortune 2,000 firms and 20 Fortune 500 firms. Vertical market specialties include financial services, software, manufacturing, technology and business services. TPG recently partnered with business applications provider Infor and is a three time Marketo Partner of the Year winner. The partnering technologies are the centerpiece of the shop’s “revenue marketing” strategy. The firm’s consultants are in 21 states; president/CEO Jeff Pedowitz is a former vice president with Eloqua and chief strategy officer Debbie Qaqish is the host of Revenue Marketing Radio.
HAS WORKED WITH: Big Commerce, Citrix, Commscope, FTSE Russell, Zoetis
RFP CONTACT: Scott Benedetti, firstname.lastname@example.org
This award-winning entertainment marketing agency has solid expertise in music, comedy and pop culture. Drove awareness to Comedy Central’s New York Comedy Fest by blanketing NYC and Williamsburg Brooklyn with 300 wild postings and guerilla marketers. The campaign filled every one of the 3,000 seats. And, how many agencies do you know that have sourced a large area of land and then designed a stylized crop circle? Leave it to The Syndicate to get the job done for CAA, Live Nation Touring and Crush Management to announce the Panic! At The Disco Death of a Bachelor US arena tour. And, it all had to be done in secret until the videos launched, driving a striking 11 million views. Rock on people.
HAS WORKED WITH: Adult Swim, Comedy Central, Random House, Taco Bell, truTV
RFP CONTACT: Graham Rothenberg, email@example.com
THE XD AGENCY
Formerly known as GO! Experience Design, this Atlanta shop recently introduced new services in strategy, content development and portfolio analysis. XD took home a Bronze Clio Award for developing the Powerpuff Yourself avatar maker, popular at events like Comic-Con. In another animated adventure, the agency helped spread the weirdness that is Adult Swim’s “Rick and Morty” around the country (and possibly alternate universes) via the “Rickmobile” and its Don’t Even Trip Road Tour, shattering attendance and social expectations. The company lunch table known as Big Silver is home base for shared meals, cook-offs and pumpkin carving.
The big. The bold. The one. The agency that helped turned the entire world onto the emotional and business benefits of creating wild and mild viral videos. Remember the coffee shop telekinetic video that promoted the reboot of “Carrie?” The flying people soaring around New York to hype “Chronicle?” Yup, them. But to give credit where credit is due, we give props to Thinkmodo for designing the content path for the work, too—designing viral videos that don’t just rack up millions of views on YouTube, but also are created as snackable content that more often than not lands itself on national media channels and shows.
HAS WORKED WITH: AMC, Car Lister, Cosmopolitan, Fox, Oakley, Verizon
This shop boasts a phenomenal client retention rate, with many staying with Touch from five to 20 years. With offices in Seattle, London, Helsinki and Beijing, the agency is a partner to several Fortune 500 brands. Touch works with the 100,000 Opportunities Coalition to help Starbucks and other organizations provide training, interviews and jobs to disadvantaged youth around the country. For two years in a row, the agency’s design of the Target Fall National Meeting was recognized as one of the country’s best B2B environments. Virtual reality stations provided a guided tour of a Target store featuring several new retailing innovations.
HAS WORKED WITH: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Moet Hennessy USA, Starbucks, Ubisoft
RFP CONTACT: Mike Quinlan, firstname.lastname@example.org
This more than 30-year-old retail marketing agency is known for driving innovation, commerce and imagination. TPN’s Modal Dialogue ensures success in dynamic retail, first by identifying a target’s retail mode of behavior and then by creating content in sync with those modes. TPN won a 2017 Effie with Hershey for the Build a Better Basket at Dollar General digital program. At the Dollar General website, visitors used a virtual tool to drag and drop candy to make an Easter Basket. The virtual basket was then printed and brought to the store to make the real basket. The sweetness didn’t end there. Hershey saw its Easter candy sales at Dollar General improve by 25 percent.
HAS WORKED WITH: 7-Eleven, Bank of America, Grupo BIMBO, The Hershey Co., PepsiCo
RFP CONTACT: Christy O’Pella, email@example.com
Crafts innovative and impressive brand experiences in stores and beyond through digital, social and mobile applications. The team took a Gold Effie in the Omni-Channel Shopper Experience category and a Silver Effie in the Multi-Retailer Program category for the robust “Say it With Pepsi” campaign. In the U.S., Pepsi cans and bottles were emblazoned with more than 600 original emoji designs expressing all kinds of emotions and the hashtag #SayItWithPepsi. The integrated campaign crossed retail, tv, social and digital to overtake share from Coke during the 2016 summer months and engaged a new, younger generation of fans.
HAS WORKED WITH: Audi, Hershey, PepsiCo, Pizza Hut, Samsung
RFP CONTACT: Cesar Ortega, firstname.lastname@example.org
TriComB2B specializes in helping technical and industrial companies tell their stories. The agency employs 30 associates in Dayton, OH, with a wide range of expertise including brand strategy, content marketing, demand gen, public relations, video and animation, and web and mobile app development. Mike Bell, a former guest lecturer at the University of Michigan, came on board in August 2017 as the new vice president of creative. TriComB2B received six Addys at the 2017 Hermes Awards. A content marketing program for Honeywell Intelligrated included webinars and live presentations at major trade shows has resulted in over 60 new opportunities to pursue. An in-house wellness program includes walks through RiverScape MetroPark and healthy luncheons.
This agency knows how to expand its relationships. For Valvoline, it began with promotional products and grew into managing its on-site retail store as well as oversight of the company’s sports and entertainment portfolio. (Be warned: Spontaneous Nerf gun battles erupt on a moments notice.) Also this year, launched a 4,000-square-foot retail store on the Milwaukee Summerfest grounds to celebrate its 50th as the largest U.S. music fest. In just a few short weeks, launched a custom promotional program to announce a new company, Alight—formally Aon Hewitt. Landed the job of official merchandise provider for The Big E New England State Fair. And inked a deal to get client Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin’s names on the Milwaukee Bucks practice facility.
HAS WORKED WITH: Abbott Laboratories, Aon Plc, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee World Festival, Valvoline
RFP CONTACT: Matt Dlugie, email@example.com
UNITED ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
This entertainment, sports and lifestyle agency has p.r. at its core. These storytellers can spin a wicked tale to tell a brand’s story like the six-episode series it developed for the launch of Starbuck’s exotic Tazo Chai Latte for the home in collaboration with Padma Lakshmi. It also mixed up KFC’s first Extra Crispy-smelling sunscreen and then pumped out a killer marketing campaign—the product sold out within minutes. It launched The North Face flagship store with a narrative around Urban Exploration threading the message through custom content, media, VIP events and the launch. Well-known photogs relayed inspiring stories of influential New Yorkers who personify the brand. When all was said and done, five million social impressions were the all impressive outcome.
HAS WORKED WITH: The Home Depot, KFC, The North Face, Shire, Unilever
RFP CONTACT: Angela Filippone, firstname.lastname@example.org
The promo pioneer is running fast on a new biz streak with new portfolio additions including Wholesome Sweeteners and Candy, Energizer, Elkay, Nature Made, Coca-Cola and Starbucks. Its new Entertainment Services group connects the dots between negotiating and activating sponsorships. A mega push to get exposure for Evolution Fresh green juice hit digital, social, events and in-store to deliver the greens: a 9.8 percent lift on the featured SKU and 4,400 sweeps entries. Jaime Guerrero, VP digital, is leading the transformation of digital, social and mobile offerings. In addition to his deep roots in digital, he is also a NxGen Farmer co-founding a science lab that educates and inspires young people to help transform traditional farming. Upshotters do good work outside the office too, like making dog and cat toys and beds. Add armfuls of awards to this mix and it’s no wonder Upshot made the CM200.
Part design studio, part innovation house, part incubator—Ustwo is a poster child for how design studios, technology agencies and product developers are fusing into single-post partners that conceive, build and launch digital products for Blue Chip clients… and themselves. But no matter what the client and category, digital is the anchor of it all—woven throughout the fabric of every idea and campaign the agency (founded by two best friends in 2004) creates. Whether that means designing a way for Jaguar drivers to use their Apple Watch to interact with their vehicle, helping runners track and enhance their experience using the Adidas Go digital platform or creating a VR lost civilization for Land’s End, Ustwo continues to evolve with, and in some cases ahead of, the industry.
HAS WORKED WITH: Ford, Hasbro, Qantas, Sky, Sony
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
With offices in Manhattan and London, Velocity’s B2B content marketing efforts work to dive into the hidden pools of expertise at brands and showcase what clients need to know most about a potential partner. Content marketing programs from the agency include a content audit, creating a B2B content playbook, lead nurturing strategies and detailed analytics. A content hub created for vehicle leasing company LeasePlan included fun animated videos and other easy to consume pieces of content to showcase ways fleet managers could minimize driver downtime and costs. Velocity managing director Stan Woods started his career teaching at university level and has a background in military intelligence.
HAS WORKED WITH: Informatica, Kimberly Clark Professional, LeasePlan, Salesforce, Sprint Business,
RFP CONTACT: Doug Kessler, firstname.lastname@example.org
This Toronto-based influencer marketing and talent agency has connections with influencers that tell branded stories through engaging content that gets the world to figuratively “swipe right.” Understands the full social media sphere and channels and is impressively in tune with social sector trends and happenings—the good, the bad and even the ugly. Well versed in helping clients create an online personality that plays into the DNA of their brand. Pressing hard into a few trending areas, like the gamification of Instagram campaigns that make the visual platform more interactive, and the refinement of the maturing influencer model with new standards that add accountability, reporting, attribution, communication and a more defined ROI.
HAS WORKED WITH: Apple, Crayola, HP, Major League Baseball, McDonald’s, Microsoft
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
The social media agency for health, wellness and nutrition products and brands knows how to navigate the delicate web of channels, platforms, communities and blogs. Clients say the access to high-quality influencers and their original content is legit, delivering authentic recommendations to millions of health-minded, wellness-aware consumers. From gluten-free diet experts to fitness club owners and sports coaches, the network is impressive and extremely targeted and relevant. It might be a blog or Facebook post from a respected wellness authority, information delivered on YouTube from a favorite fitness guru, a recommendation given by a healthcare provider or registered dietician, or a sample received at a yoga teacher’s event. The right message from these trusted influencers can create shifts not only in brand awareness, but in consumer beliefs and behaviors.
HAS WORKED WITH: Blue Diamond, iHerb, New Balance, McCormick, Peeled Snacks
RFP CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Global manufacturers with premier-level brands are the core client base for this shop, which helps them connect with independent sales and dealer channels, and address both commercial and consumer audiences. Ongoing client work includes a marketing strategy and sales enablement B2B support relationship with major chainsaw manufacturer STIHL, and developing a new downstream product launch for industrial bolting provider HYTORC. Winsper received an honorable mention at the Boston Ad Club’s Hatch Awards for a new business outreach campaign tailored to dog food manufacturers. The effort featured an illustrated children’s book, “Corduroy and the Bothersome Itch,” about a dog searching for a tasty treat that wouldn’t upset his tummy or make him itchy.
HAS WORKED WITH: DIRA, HYTORC, Independent We Stand, Midwest STIHL, Northeast STIHL
RFP CONTACT: Gillian Lynch, email@example.com
Reimagining the logo and visual identity for one of New York’s oldest art institutions is no small undertaking, especially when opinionated New Yorkers are involved. Wolff Olins took on the challenge ultimately giving The Metropolitan Museum of Art the refreshed look it needed to expand its reach, broaden its visitor base and increase attendance. This 50-year-old agency clearly has the cajones to handle high-profile rebrands, (the firm also designed notable logos for (RED) and NYC), but it’s equally at home on the cutting edge with breaking brands like Grubhub, Spotify and zigbee alliance, to name a few. Maintains offices in London, New York and San Francisco where it focuses on building “radically better businesses” through leadership stories, customer experiences, employee experiences and smart deliverables.
HAS WORKED WITH: Grubhub, Hyatt, NYC, (RED), Spotify, The Met
RFP CONTACT: Chris Arakelian, firstname.lastname@example.org
WORK & CO.
The DUMBO digital product agency designs and develops for some of the brands you know and love—and compete with. For Chase, is using research, product strategy, design and iterative prototyping for new digital experiences. For Target, blending strategy, design, branding and activation for a new, guest-friendly digital experience. For Virgin, designed the first-ever responsive airline website. For Marriott, mixing up product strategy, design and ongoing optimization for a new mobile booking experience. What else? Has an ongoing relationship with Facebook’s product team and is working with the social giant to create new ways for consumers to share and engage.
HAS WORKED WITH: Chase, Disney, Facebook, Marriott, Target, Virgin America
RFP CONTACT: email@example.com
Yeager works with over one-third of the high tech companies on the Fortune 500 to create measurable, goal-oriented marketing solutions. Agency co-founder Mark Yeager was named 2017 Marketer of the Year by the American Business Awards, and the agency received numerous other honors this year, including two AMA Spectrum Awards and two MarComm Awards. The Phoenix-based shop helped Avnet launch a cloud marketplace for value added resellers around the globe, to date generating over 650 leads for the program. Listen to the agency’s “Top 3 for Tech Marketers” podcast for insights into its guests top three ideas, challenges, opportunities and more.
HAS WORKED WITH: Avnet, Cisco, Dell EMC, FlexPod, Puppet
RFP CONTACT: Renee Yeager, firstname.lastname@example.org
This demand creation agency focuses on creating buyer-centric solutions. In 2017, Seattle-based Yesler rolled out a comprehensive account based marketing approach to help clients execute ABM with their existing martech stacks. Client Zillow sought a way to engage with its audience in a casual, friendly way across social media. Short, informative DIY-themed videos showcasing everyday life hacks were the answer. A how-to video on how to create s’mores received over 1.4 million views, 10,000 likes and 75,000 shares, making it one the most successful social posts in Zillow history. Every Yesler employee receives education funds for professional development classes, workshops and seminars.