• Client of the Year: Chipotle Mexican Grill - The Content Marketing Master
    Branded entertainment and content marketing seem to be everywhere now. But relatively few brands of any size, in any category, have to date demonstrated the full power of these creative platforms as resoundingly as Chipotle Mexican Grill. As the advertising community is well aware, the fast-casual restaurant brand, working with creative agency CAA Marketing, has now bottled viral lightning twice in two years with groundbreaking, feature-movie-quality animated videos.
  • Supplier of the Year: Acxiom - Who's On First, What's On Third?
    If you had to pick the most vexing and talked about subject on Madison Avenue in 2013, it most likely would be one that falls under the banner of "Big Data." In fact, if you're an industry pro, just reading those two words together probably gave you a sense of discomfort and a desire to stop reading this article right now. Don't, because what you are about to read will put you at ease, or at the very least will give you hope that someone is working on a solution that will get you there very soon.
  • Full Service Agency of the Year: Mediahub/Mullen - Killing the Competition
    Boston-based Mullen, a unit of Interpublic Group, had an outstanding year on both the creative and media fronts. Against all odds, it dazzled Adland with its unlikely win of the Acura creative review in which it was considered a dark horse contender at best. The agency tapped into the cultural zeitgeist with campaigns like the one it did for realtor Century 21 in which it sold the home of Walter White, the anti-hero in AMC's hit drama Breaking Bad after the series ended earlier this year.
  • Small Agency of the Year: Spark - Sometimes, Innovation Is Right Behind You
    Normally, when people think about innovation they think about moving forward. Sometimes, it requires a step backwards. Chris Boothe is proving that in his transformation of Spark SMG from a small, industrial-focused, lesser-known, conflict shop of big sister and brother Starcom and MediaVest into what could well be the agency of the future. To remind his team that sometimes the past can be prologue...
  • Holding Company of the Year: IPG Mediabrands - Automation Pilots
    In October 2012, Matt Seiler assembled the top managers of Interpublic's disparate Mediabrands organization for a high-level meeting to discuss a strategic pivot he wanted the holding company to make in 2013 that he believed would change, not just how Interpublic's agencies buy media, but the way much of the world does. Already leaders in the rapidly growing programmatic media-buying business, Seiler told his team he wanted them to accelerate the process and set a goal of making 50% of all the media bought by Interpublic agencies automated within two years.
  • Executives of the Year: Jim Elms and Peter Mears - Teaming for Success
    When Jim Elms and Peter Mears took on their new roles at Initiative last February the task was two-fold: reinvigorate a global media shop that had stumbled a bit while simultaneously integrating the roughly $1 billion media operation of sibling agency Draftfcb. They didn't waste any time injecting change into the organization. After a quick assessment they streamlined the agency's planning process and introduced a new set of operating principles - in effect creating a new agency culture. And they convinced every one of Draftfcb's media clients to make the transition to Initiative, which accounted for approximately $30 million in …
  • Agency of the Year: Carat - Returning To Its Roots
    When London-based Carat opened shop in the U.S. marketplace in the mid-1990s, it transformed Madison Avenue, forcing all of the major agency holding companies to unbundle their media departments into free-standing media services agencies. Carat didn't force Madison Avenue's hand because it was a pure-play, independent media-buying shop. Those had existed in the U.S. and other markets around the world since the 1960s. (In fact, Madison Avenue's oldest agencies - names like J. Walter Thompson and N.W. Ayer & Son - essentially began as media shops, repping newspaper advertising space). What differentiated Carat, and what forced Madison Avenue to capitulate, …
  • Fast Forward: Courage, Discipline and Foresight
    One of the interesting things about writing these introductions to MEDIA magazine's annual Agency of the Year editions is that they always coincide with the end of a calendar year, and so, like many other people this time of year, I'm not just reviewing what our winners have done these past 12 months, but what's been taking place in the world around us. Needless to say, I believe everything around us is accelerating - in large part - because of the acceleration of media options and ways of experiencing them. The most ironic part for me, is that I get …
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