Tougher than leather: Like the prehistoric relic its name conjures, Razorfish, one of the very first interactive agencies, has weathered cataclysmic shifts in the online environment, surviving two recessions and remaining intact through four acquisitions.
Flipping and mixing recession? What recession? While the agency business was hit hard by the economic downturn last year, AKQA enjoyed one of its "most productive and fruitful years ever," says AKQA global creative director Rei Inamoto.
A vital connection is made: It didn't matter how ugly the online ad industry got in 2009, iCrossing managed to shrug it off. Research firm eMarketer estimates companies spent $22.4 billion, down 4.6 percent from the prior year, for online advertising in the United States.
How local can global go? Publicis Groupe's mobile marketing agency Phonevalley may not be planning global mobile domination quite yet, but it certainly has a worldwide plan. Since its acquisition by Publicis in 2007, Phonevalley has brought mobile expertise into 30 of the company's agencies in 10 countries. If 2009 was the year that most media companies got mobile religion, then Phonevalley best demonstrated what it means to share the best practices across borders but respect the regional differences in media usage.
In early 2009, Verizon Wireless knew it was headed for a showdown with AT&T. Months away was Verizon's pact with Google, the launch of the Droid smartphone and the company's effort to elbow AT&T out of the iPhone contract. It was dawning on the phone giant, known as "Big Red," that to be iPhone-worthy, it had better get acquainted with the insular, urban-teen and young-adult demo that sets the youth agenda.
Your brand is not your own anymore. It belongs to consumers, to social media and, frankly, to whoever is talking about you. In fact, the growing importance of social media is giving rise to a new type of marketing that Shiv Singh, the vice president and social media lead at Razorfish and author of the just-released book Social Media Marketing for Dummies dubbed, in a recent report, "Social influence marketing."
The day we announced the honorees of OMMA magazine's 2009 Agency of the Year Awards, an intern at R/GA, which we selected as Agency of the Year, tweeted "Does this make us interns of the year?"
Hulu hooping across platforms: When it made an upfront-style deal with Hulu, Mediavest moved millions of dollars out of broadcast and into the digital space for such old-line clients as Procter & Gamble, showing the confidence to make industry-leading moves, with the scale and means to pull them off in meaningful ways. And it has paid off.
Social to the bone: Many agencies are fond of saying they are digital at the core. Crispin Porter + Bogusky may make a claim further than this. It is social to the bone.
Born to run: Working both with agency partners such as Droga5, Wunderman and Ogilvy as well as, increasingly, as digital AOR (including recent wins Aflac and SoBe), Firstborn has raised the bar for advanced design and development that feels somehow simple and intuitive to users. After all, all the fancy 3-D animation in the world doesn't amount to much if it feels forced or unnatural.