The call for entries for Advertising Age's 2016 Small Agency Awards is open. Show us how small, independent shops can make a big impact on marketers, but do so before April 27 at 11:59 p.m. ET. (Editor's note: This is the final deadline. There will absolutely be no further extensions. And all the begging in the world won't change that. --Ken Wheaton)
Independent agencies anywhere in the world with 150 or fewer employees are invited to enter the awards. Marketers are increasingly recognizing the power and creativity of small agencies, but even so, this community's work often goes unrecognized in the big awards shows. We want to ensure that the smart strategies and innovative ideas produced by these smaller shops are getting their due.
Winners will be celebrated at Ad Age's Small Agency Conference and Awards Show, which this year will be held in Miami Beach, Fla.
The location was actually proposed by Alberto Padron, the CEO of Miami-based Stinghouse, during a lunch-time "pitch session" at last year's Small Agency Conference in Boston.
Last year's Small Agency of the Year was O'Keefe Reinhard & Paul, while Wongdoody came in second with a Small Agency of the Year Silver award. More about them and all the great shops who took home honors last year can be found here.
This isn't just about having an awesome trophy to show off in your office. Winning a Small Agency Award often helps bring in new business and talent while lifting employee morale.
"Being named Ad Age Small Agency of the Year validated our start-up agency model and approach to being 'agents' for our clients in bringing in the best creative talent from within the agency and outside to deliver original creative work and ideas to our clients," said Nick Paul, president of OKRP.
"It is a seal of approval that justifies to clients why a small agency in a city like Nashville needs to sit at the table," said Ms. Day, Bohan's first female CEO since its foundation in 1990.
"Our new business activity increased and recruiting became a bit easier, but the real benefit was the momentum it created with employees. It was the first great moment for our company," said Andrew O'Dell, CEO & Co-Founder of 2010 Small Agency of the Year Pereira & O'Dell, started by Brazilian ad exec PJ Pereira. The shop has gone on to win three Grand Prix awards in Cannes.
After Ad Age named its first-ever Small Agency Award winner in 2009, that agency, Rockfish, was snapped up by WPP in short order.
Other past winners in this contest include The Via Agency of Portland, Maine; Raleigh, N.C.-based Baldwin&; Omaha, Neb.-based Bailey Lauerman and San Francisco shop Muh-Tay-Zik Hof-fer.
Last year, as the contest has grown increasingly international, Nómades, a shop based in Mexico City and Buenos Aires, took home the gold for Integrated Campaign of the Year for its "Soccer Gentlemen" campaign for Tecate. Mexico City based Arrechedera Claverol took home a silver in the same category. Señores, out of Sao Paulo, Brazil, nabbed a silver in the Pro Bono category and Secret Little Agency from Singapore grabbed one in the b-to-b category. Gravity Road, from London, was the International Small Agency of the Year.
To keep the show accessible, all entry fees are no more than $350. To enter, head here.
As in years past, Ad Age will award gold and silver for an Agency of the Year -- Overall; Campaign of the Year -- Integrated; Campaign of the Year – Digital; Campaign of the Year – B-to-B; Campaign of the Year -- Pro-Bono; and Best Agency Culture. We'll also award winners in three size categories for Agency of the Year, plus regional winners (Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, West, Northwest and Northeast) and international winners. In addition to the international category, international agencies are also eligible to compete for the integrated, digital, b-to-b and pro-bono Campaigns of the Year.
The contest is open to independent agencies with staff of 150 people or fewer. Agencies that are at least 51% independently-owned can enter.
Again, this year's Ad Age's Small Agency Conference and Awards Show, which this year will be held in Miami Beach, Fla.
In years' past, the Small Agency Awards & Conference has been hosted in New Orleans, Denver, Minneapolis, Portland, Ore., Austin, Texas and Boston.