Smarter Than Ben Franklin: Discover Philadelphia Creative Agencies


There’s more to Philly than the Liberty Bell.

A vibrant marketing and advertising industry might not be the first thing you associate with Philadelphia. Your brain may instead jump to the Wharton School at UPenn, the home of Comcast, or to the notorious Philadelphia Eagles fans who once booed Santa Claus.

The City of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia is a compound of the Greek words philos, “loving,” and adelphos, “brother”) lies only 95 miles from New York City, but don’t call the Pennsylvania capital small fry.
The home of brotherly love also has top creative agencies
Commerce runs deep in Philadelphia – it was once the financial and commercial center of the country. That history continues to influence the local economy. No one industry dominates; instead you find a diversity of companies specializing everything from pharmaceuticals to retailing. The same can be said for Philadelphia creative agencies – there’s a bit of everything here.

A City of Neighborhoods and Big Brands

Philadelphia is known for its neighborhoods: Rittenhouse, Northern Liberties, Mount Airy, Graduate Hospital, Passyunk. Within these neighborhoods and just beyond the city limits lie 12 Fortune 500 companies. As an economic and educational hub, Philadelphia generates $347 billion per year in gross metropolitan product.

DuPont, the world’s fourth largest chemical company, is across the river in Wilmington, DE. Comcast (#43 on the list of 500) and Aramark both call Philadelphia proper home. Allentown, a few miles outside the city, hosts gas and electric company PPL and aptly-named chemical company Air Products & Chemicals. Feeling hungry? Campbell Soup Company is across the Ben Franklin Bridge in Camden, NJ. Not on the Fortune 500 list but still of note is Knoll, the upscale design-focused furniture company, located outside the city in East Greenville, PA.
Philadelphia creative agencies and neighborhoods
Then there’s the long list of Philadelphia educational institutions, which seems natural for the city that birthed the first American business school and medical school. A shortlist includes University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, St. Joseph’s University, Thomas Jefferson University, and Drexel University. Any company here, creative or otherwise, will have their choice of smart, eager interns.

Rocky was a Creative (of sorts)

Brotherly Love breeds a metropolis teeming with outside-the-box people making their mark. This is a city that loves the arts, beautiful parks, and scrapple.

Philadelphia has more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other American city. A walk down South Street passes the eye-catching tiled murals by artist Isaiah Zagar. The Rodin Museum holds the largest collection of work by Auguste Rodin outside of France. Across town you can channel your inner Rocky and run up the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Continue along the banks of the Schuykill River to Fairmount Park, the largest landscaped urban park in the world.
Philadelphia agencies are fast passed just like NYC agencies
Philadelphia’s inherent creativity bleeds into the fabric of the city. There are more creative agencies here than you might think, doing work that might make your jaw drop. Independent digital agency Brolik creates digital experiences for customers of McDonald’s and Nationwide. Strategic branding agency Shamlian Creative works with Citibank and Chase on credit card design. The city’s location on the Northeast corridor is prime. Neither New York or DC is very far away, just a few stops on Amtrak or manageable drive on I-95.

Find Your Philadelphia Creative Agency

Stay tuned to Agency Spotter in the coming days for an in-depth look into Philadelphia’s creative agencies. Bookmark our hub page for all things Philadelphia and Agencies. This is the insight you need before starting your Philadelphia agency search. Read through our agency profiles, search the site, and find the right Philadelphia-based design firm or ad agency for your project faster than you can say, “cheese steak.”

Image credits in order of appearance: Liana Jackson, Lucius Kwok, Michael Righi.


About Claire Wallace

Claire writes about strategy, insight, and advice to help inspire smart and savvy marketers. She completed her MBA at UMass-Amherst and has been a team member at City Sports, MIT, and an organic farm in Maine. A former student-athlete at the University of Wisconsin, Claire now runs marathons, for fun! On her bucket list is climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, dining at Per Se, and running the beautiful trails in New Zealand.