To celebrate Campaign’s 50th anniversary, we’ve put together a list of the 25 most influential agencies in the US over the past five decades. America’s advertising heritage is rich and vibrant: some agencies are still going strong after more than 100 years, many have made a big splash in recent years while others, such as D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, NW Ayer & Son and Wells Rich Greene, burned brightly for a time but have now been consigned to history. There is no such thing as a perfect run. Businesses have their ups and downs, talent comes and goes and the economy ebbs and flows. What follows is a list, in no particular order, that celebrates 25 standout agencies and highlights their best moments.
The Martin Agency
The Richmond, Virginia-based team is responsible for America’s much-loved (or hated, in some cases) insurance gecko. Geico has been saying “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance” for more than 20 years. It launched Geico’s “Did you know” ad series in 2013 after identifying a 93% recall of the “15%” positioning. The Martin Agency has helped Geico transform itself into a household brand through its simple yet powerful creative. A media budget of up to $1bn for some years has afforded the agency not only immense saturation but the ability to run multiple narratives at once.
It unearthed more creative gold in 2015 with Geico’s string of “Unskippable” YouTube ads. The brand’s message appears in the first five seconds, before the “skip ad” prompt, then characters freeze as the action continues around them. “You can’t skip this Geico ad because it’s already over,” the voiceover says. It was one of the most-awarded campaigns of 2015, taking home a Grand Prix in Film at Cannes for a spot in which a family at dinner freezes while a dog devours their food. Geico has been the fastest-growing insurance company in the US for more than 10 years.
The Martin Agency, founded in 1965 and later acquired by IPG in 1994, closed its New York City office last year and moved into a space shared with its parent company.
See the full list on Campaign US.