Gold: Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein have achieved iconic status in the advertising world. Since founding Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P) in 1983, the duo have been responsible for some of the smartest advertising campaigns, and their achievements were recognized in 2019 when they received the Cannes Lion of St. Mark Lifetime Achievement. Awards.
Although GS&P is a rare example of a successful founder-led agency within a holding company, its success is due to more than the efforts of Goodby and Silverstein. Two other GS&P leaders are recognized by United States campaign this year — Graham North for Strategic Planner and Margaret Johnson for Creative Person.
Johnson embodies one of GS&P’s primary goals: to be an agency where diverse creative visionaries can grow into industry leaders. Half of GS&P’s associates and 73% of its department heads are women. The agency’s policies to close the gender gap have also contributed to the bottom line, with a 40% increase in revenue since their adoption in 2016.
For GS&P, 2020 has included great creative work while addressing the issues that have defined the year. For PepsiCo, the agency created four memorable and humorous Super Bowl commercials – for Cheetos, Doritos, SodaStream and Pepsi Zero Sugar. A holiday window program with PayPal has increased brand awareness, and Adobe ads have highlighted the creative work it makes possible.
At the same time, GS&P created the Not a Gun campaign for the Courageous Conversation Global Foundation, Respond2Racism (which included a first-responder Twitter bot to educate people tweeting anti-Asian messages), and Life Under Water, a documentary about the plastic pollution.
Wieden+Kennedy has come a long way since it was founded 38 years ago in Portland, Oregon by Dan Wieden and David Kennedy. Their first client was Nike, and Wieden+Kennedy helped build it into a global brand as the agency grew to become a global presence. It now employs 1,540 people in 52 countries.
Wieden + Kennedy remains Nike’s AOR, and this year they’ve helped their audience make the transition to staying fit from home. Wieden+Kennedy also reinvented Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan to “Don’t Do It” in an effort to raise awareness about racism. Public Service Announcements for Oregon Governor Kate Brown regarding COVID-19, a Ford payment relief program and the all-organic relaunch of the Ford Bronco and a McDonald’s campaign to provide workers with First responder health and thank you meals have been highlights of her work for other clients. In total, Wieden+Kennedy added 27 new customers in 2020, representing $32 million in revenue.
Bronze: mischief at no fixed address
While other agencies struggled to transform, Mischief @ No Fixed Address opened its doors amid the pandemic, led by Greg Hahn and Dave Lafond. Mischief quickly made an impression with surprising and cheeky campaigns for clients such as Capri Sun, OKCupid and Kraft Mac and Cheese. The agency used Deepfake technology to get Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin to deliver messages on behalf of the nonprofit RepresentUs and encouraged Kraft Mac and Cheese consumers to “send noodles.” The work pushes the envelope, but the results are impressive: a 250% increase in website views for RepresentUs and over 500 million impressions for the noods campaign.