5 Top Small Agencies From The 2015 AdAge Small Agency Awards

Now in its 7th year, AdAge’s Small Agency Conference and Awards recognizes the top small agencies worldwide each July.

In addition to highlighting unique challenges and opportunities for this unique market in a conference format, AdAge awards the top small, independent agencies with less than 150 employees in categories ranging from B2B campaign of the year to best agency culture.

Here’s a look at our top 5 small agencies that made waves at the awards this year. You can find all of the winning small agencies on Agency Spotter- take a look to find your next partner!

Small Agency of the Year- O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul

This Chicago-based agency is known for “big brand creativity with startup ingenuity.”

Working with brands like Big Lots, Pizza Hut, and Amazon, OKRP provides the big agency experience of its founders in a more nimble, personable small agency environment.

Through holiday campaign work, OKRP helped to boost Big Lot’s sales by 1.4%, in addition to generating $4.2 million in revenue for Turtle Wax and Yum Brands.


Digital Campaign of the Year- SS+K

Despite only 48 people at this New York based agency, SS+K won five Cannes Gold Lion Awards and earned new business from 5 clients in 2014.

In addition to being known as the agency that helped elect and re-elect President Obama, SS+K won the Digital Campaign of the Year for their “Awkward Family Viewing” campaign for HBO GO.

Garnering 5 million views over two days, the campaign was lauded by the HBO client, who said, “It’s the first time our ads are as good as our programming.”

top small agencies ss+k hbo go campaign


B-to-B Campaign of the Year- McKee Wallwork & Co

With their “Senseless Robot” campaign, McKee Wallwork & Co. helped show the world that print is still a force of nature for client International Paper (IP).

By partnering with two Japanese inventors, the agency built a robot that created random graffiti art on large sheets of paper lining. The robot was debuted at IP’s booth at the HOW Design Conference in Chicago.

Attendees of the conference could win pieces of the artwork by posting pictures from the booth on Instagram and Twitter, which resulted in thousands of social media impressions. In fact, Instagram even temporarily shut down the IP account due to overactivity.

mckee wallwork & co senseless robot


Best Culture- Elite SEM

After receiving a variety of accolades for culture, including Crain’s #1 Best Place to Work in NYC Award in 2013, Elite SEM snagged the top culture award at this year’s AdAge Small Agency Awards.

Elite SEM offers some amazing employee benefits: free lunch and snacks 5 days a week, unlimited paid vacation, and equity for each employee starting on their first day of work.

The agency’s secret to great culture? Creating “great lives for great people” through empowering employees to contribute to the agency’s future.

elite SEM crain's #1 best place to work


International Small Agency of the Year- Gravity Road

This London-based agency is known for partnerships with a variety of the world’s largest alcohol brands, including Grey Goose, Bacardi, and Bombay Sapphire. Other lucrative clients include the Huffington Post, Cadbury, and Pandora jewelry.

In 2014, Gravity Road launched the biggest YouTube cocktail channel in the world, as well as garnered the #1 SEO spot for key influencer cocktails for Bacardi.

gravity road international best agency

The Benefits of Working With Small Agencies

Consider pairing with a small agency for your next project- smaller shops have greater flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions, and often have more unique, creative cultures.

Ready to start your agency search? Check out a variety of agencies, from advertising to user experience design, on our platform today!

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Nichole Wolf