Top Ten Advertising Companies of 2012 is compiled from a list by Fast Company.
For creating collaborative three-way branded entertainment that works. The L.A.-based ad shop has demonstrated a knack for working beyond conventional ad frameworks and in the spaces where Hollywood and Madison Avenue intersect. That approach has resulted in an eclectic and impressive body of work: a line of baby mattresses and bedding created from the ground up at 72 and buzz-magnets like its ongoing K-Swiss work in conjunction with HBO’s Eastbound and Down character Kenny Powers and “The Vet and the N00b,” the recent campaign for Activision’s record-breaking Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The launch film, directed by Peter Berg (Hancock, The Kingdom) starred Sam Worthington and Jonah Hill in the titular roles and racked up 13 million views in its first week online. “The mandate is simple–get our clients in a cultural conversation,” partner Matt Jarvis says of the agency’s MO. Read More
For making fast-casual dining sustainable and marketing it like no other fast food, to the tune of $1.84 billion last year. The burrito hub increased its use of local produce in 2011 to more than 10 million pounds, double its 2010 goal. Read More
3. Networked Insights
For using data analytics to make more effective ad, media buying & original content decisions. MillerCoors, MTV, Samsung, Kraft, EA Games, Gawker Media, Charles Schwab, Microsoft, GroupM, MediaBrands, and Universal McCann have all hired Networked Insights in the past year to in some fashion apply web analytics to their content-making decisions. The Madison, Wisconsin-based company, which informed $5 billion in media spending last year, uses complex mathematical formulas to tap into Internet conversations for data that helps marketers make better decisions. Read More
For building a burgeoning Internet advertising giant in Latin America. The ad network, which dominates social-media advertising in Brazil, has now partnered with the Argentinean social analytics firm Popego to combine forces and offer targeted, social-media powered advertising across the continent. Read More
5. Buddy Media
For becoming “the” arbiter between brands and Facebook. The software that Buddy Media sells to advertisers can be used for other social media sites; however, the bulk of its business comes from those who want to manage their Facebook presence, including buying ads from Facebook. The company added close to 200 new customers in 2011, including some of the world’s most recognizable global brands, retailers, and media companies such as Ford Motor Company, Hanes, ESPN, Hearst Corporation, and Virgin Mobile USA.
6. Dentsu Network West
For conquering the U.S. advertising market from Japan. The venerable Japanese advertising holding company has succeeding where no Asian outfit has before thanks to its unique approach. Rather than acquiring every hot agency, it makes bets on a single agency within a particular discipline. The plan is to become an actual network of partners rather than a conglomerate of scale. Traditional agency McGarry Bowen, interactive powerhouse 360i, and boutique digital production house FirstBorn are some of its holdings that have helped it organically grow business 32%.
For evolving the art of “the influencer” into a science. For decades companies have spent big money to try to identify and nurture word-of-mouth influencers. Klout is finding the people who are experts at creating, aggregating, and sharing content that moves online, and measuring influence for marketers, based on that. Some of the biggest and brightest marketers and brands such as Disney, Audi, Starbucks, and Nike have incorporated Klout influencers into their traditional marketing efforts. And it is working. According to Klout, each influencer in one of their Perk programs generates an average of 30 pieces of content and millions of possible impressions. The cost per thousand impressions is incredibly low compared to other forms of advertising and it is organic since it is being generated by people who already love the brands.
For building Apple-like buzz around a new product line. Last September, Target unveiled its exclusive 400-piece limited edition Missoni for Target line to greater demand than you’d expect on a typical Black Friday. It deftly stoked demand through chronicling the line’s every development on one of its Facebook pages to using a 25-foot robo doll dressed in head-to-toe Missoni named Marina to “blog” about the collection during Fashion Week. On the day of launch, Target’s website crashed several times throughout the day and hundreds of shoppers lined up at stores early in the morning the day that the limited offerings of bikes, luggage, clothes and housewares went on sale. Everything was gone within six hours.
For proving that iconic TV advertising can still captivate, provoke, and get people buzzing, even on the heels of its postmodern Old Spice campaign juggernaut. The Portland agency scored touchdowns for client Chrysler in two consecutive Super Bowls, first with its 2011 Emmy winning Eminem-does-Detroit spot, and then with its two-minute Clint Eastwood-narrated “It’s Halftime in America.” The indie network also helped finance nine startups through its Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE) arm, which not only connects entrepreneurs to the agency’s creative braintrust but also gets them access to clients like Coca Cola and Google.
10. Big Spaceship
For being a crack team of digital inventors. Its What Do You Love? campaign for Google is a metasearch tool designed to help users utilize and explore the endless possibilities of Google by inviting them to learn something new about their favorite things while interacting with Google’s broad range of services. Big Spaceship also created “The Expressive Web” for Adobe to help designers and developers maximize the capabilities of HTML5 and CSS3 to design the modern web. And Taco Finder has been called “the app I never knew I needed,” a unique compass that directs iPhone and iPod touch users to the nearest taco using GPS technology–part of its growing portfolio of creative digital intellectual property.