Chemistry News

Dec 15, 2022

Adweek’s 2022 US Midsize Agency of the Year Shortlist

By Jameson Fleming

For the first time in Adweek’s Agency of the Year program, Adweek is releasing the shortlist of agencies considered for each of its Agency of the Year categories. Adweek has expanded the categories this year, adding Midsize U.S., Small U.S. and Multicultural to the existing program of U.S., Global, Internationaland Breakthrough.

For the Midsize category, U.S.-based agencies with 101-250 employees were eligible.

How we got here

Adweek invited any agency to enter (without an entry fee) by providing information about its past year and best work. A team of Adweek editors and reporters combed through the entries and created shortlists based on which agencies had the greatest potential to stand out in the final round.

In the final round, agencies submitted a more comprehensive questionnaire that provided information on client wins, revenue growth, work, DEI, sustainability, talent retention and more.

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ADWEEK’S 2022 US SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR SHORTLIST

A jury of Adweek editors and reporters deliberated over shortlisted agencies until they were ready for a vote to pick a winner in the category.

On Dec. 12, Adweek will reveal the winners of each category. Below, in alphabetical order, are the shortlisted agencies eligible to win Midsize Agency of the Year.

BBH

Three things we liked:

  • The agency added work with Google, Heineken, Barbie and Hot Wheels in 2022.
  • BBH refreshed its design and strategic comms capabilities. 
  • BBH’s yearly work for Google’s push to elevated Black-owned businesses on Black Friday.

Chemistry

Three things we liked:

  • Revenue increased nearly 40% behind winning AOR scopes with Five Guys and Krystal.
  • Chemistry added a minority-certified multicultural division, Chemistry Cultura, and grew it by 41%. It has presences in Miami, New York and Phoenix.
  • The agency’s work for Netflix, where it created a boy band to promote its reality shows.

DDB Chicago

Three things we liked:

  • The shop had an impressive new business year, winning five AOR relationships, including Orkin and Reynold’s Consumer Products.
  • The office won Cannes Lions across six projects for four clients, Skittles, Coors Light, Twix and Miller Lite.
  • The agency’s work for Twix ranked among Adweek editors’ favorite ads of the year.

Giant Spoon

Three things we liked:

  • Made several hires to build out capabilities in social (Kristin Maverick, formerly of 360i), business development (Lauren Gluck, previously of The Many) and overall creative with new partner Noel Cottrell.
  • The agency conducted audits to ensure it has 100% pay equity.
  • Giant Spoon’s revolutionary Stranger Things activation is among the best pieces of experiential work this year.

Johannes Leonardo

Three things we liked: 

  • JL has continued to add Kraft work over 2022 after successful launches like “La Dolce Velveeta” and “Meatifying Beauty” campaigns.
  • The shop is building out a predictive modeling and comms planning tool called Escape Velocity.
  • The agency’s work for new client Uber.

McKinney

Three things we liked:

  • The agency launched its health practice, McKinney Health.
  • The agency helps guide clients like Stop & Shop, Blue Diamond Almonds and Little Caesars on sustainability.
  • McKinney has made Little Caesars thrive on TikTok and produced a number of solid spots around the NFL for the brand.

Mekanism

Three things we liked:

  • The agency scored a 75% win rate on pitches in 2022.
  • Mekanism merged with Eleven, which positions it as the Plus Company’s flagship creative agency in the U.S.
  • The agency’s work starring Keegan-Michael Key for new client Stitch Fix.

Mischief

Three things we liked:

  • The agency is rapidly scaling behind AOR wins like Tinder, FanDuel Casino and Anytime Fitness.
  • Mischief has retained 100% of its employees.
  • The shop’s work for Coors Light with Patrick Mahomes.

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