#LASpotted: A Chat with Mistress

Sometimes a social agency. Sometimes a digital agency. And at times a technology company. One thing is for sure, Mistress is an internationally-awarded and recognized creative agency that creates compelling connections and interactions for their clients.

Founded by five partners with agency experience working for the some of the most renowned agencies like Ogilvy and Mother London, the five founders have grown Mistress to be voted as one of the top 10 Hottest Creative Companies in LA by Adweek, have the 6th most watched ad on YouTube, and been awarded at Cannes, Clios, Adage and more.

If that isn’t enough for you to keep reading below…I don’t know what else to tell you!

Inside Mistress

Location: Santa Monica, CA

Check out Mistress’ portfolio on Agency Spotter

In LA Since: 2009

Core Services: Brand Advertising

Company Mantra: “Where Discipline Meets Experimentations.”

# of Employees: 44

# of Four-Legged Employees: 10!

Office Tally: How many _______ do you have?

  • Sports Heads: 9
  • Foodies: 13
  • Movie Buffs: 5
  • Netflix Addicts: 4
  • Live Event Nomads: 7
  • Agency-Lifers (aka workaholics): 6

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Does your agency have a cool origin story?

At the height (or the depths) of the recession, the ad business was hurting, media was becoming more fractured, and clients were searching for ways to reinvigorate their brands. Five partners from three continents thought there was no better time to found Mistress. Born in that environment the agency would approach problems differently, be more nimble in its thinking, more creative in its solutions, and be positioned for success as the economy recovered.

See any trends, LA Natives VS Transplants?

We have 12 native Angelinos, 23 from the rest of the US, and 9 internationalists coming from all sorts of places including France, Australia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Germany, and Lithuania. That’s about 20% international!

Most Interesting Physical Thing in Our Office?

Dax Shepard’s Head.

“Great work begins with great clients, and we’re incredibly fortunate at Mistress to work with a lot of them.”

– Mike Toofer, Director of New Business


Partners in Crime

In 10 Words or Less, What We Do for Our Clients:

We Invigorate Their Brands.

3 Characteristics We Look for in Potential Clients:

  • They have a vision, a mission or a purpose we can buy into.
  • They have truth and equity we can tap into.
  • They have a product/service we’d use ourselves.

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Our Clients Love Us Because:

Mistress always brings a lot of passion to the relationship.

Clients We’ve Helped:

Mattel, Coca-Cola, Netflix, Paypal, Disney, Brown-Forman, VH1, TNT, KIND Snacks, Ubisoft, Hilton, IMAX.



LA Confidential

LA is known for entertainment (Hollywood, TV Shows, Games, etc.), how does your agency engage with the LA scene?

One of the reasons we opened Mistress in Los Angeles was to leverage the talent that is unique to LA – producers, actors, musicians, directors, and more recently entrepreneurs in the LA tech scene. One of Mistress’s first jobs was creating a branded TV show for Red Bull that became the highest rated program on Fox Sports Network. For Hot Wheels, we created a special 30-minute program that aired live on ABC after the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500, and our campaign for the brand was developed into a feature film in collaboration with Legendary Pictures. More recently, we’ve developed campaigns for VH1’s Dating Naked, TNT’s Legends, and Netflix’s original series, Narcos. These are opportunities that were made possible in large part to being located in Los Angeles.

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The #1 Thing We Love About LA:

The optimism. LA has always been a town where anyone can become famous – the way Mistress looks at it is that applies equally to brands as it does people. That’s why it’s so entrepreneurial and creative. The creativity in Los Angeles runs much deeper than Hollywood. It’s a wonderful place to be in advertising.

Best Food Spot in LA?

Roy Choi’s Kogi Truck…still.

What does #agencylife mean to you?

Creative problem solving.

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Lights, Camera, Action!

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Daniel Kim