Creativity Innovators of the Year: The Martin Agency

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Woot woot! The Martin Agency rides in on the back of the most popular camel in the world to land on Creativity's Innovators of the Year list. The rallying cry of officegoers everywhere whenever mid-week rolled around, "Hump Day," created for longtime client Geico, permeated deep into consumer consciousness, spawning countless parodies and even getting banned from a school.

But this Richmond, Va. shop, also one of this year's top contenders for Creativity Agency of the Year, proved that a viral hit for an insurance company wasn't all it was capable of.

For the world's most famous cookie, Oreo, it created what might be the happiest campaign of the year. "Wonderfilled" was a musical treat that began with a song composed by Owl City that spoke about the joy you share when you share an Oreo, and wondered what would happen if you gave an Oreo to various fictional villains, like the Big Bad Wolf. The journey continued -- the brand tapped country artist Kasey Musgraves and Chiddy Bang to put their own spin on the song. Joe Alexander, chief creative officer, said that this might have been one of his favorite campaign of the year. "I think the Oreo campaign felt new for us. It felt global, not just something for the States," he said.

The agency also proved that B2B doesn't have to be boring, and that it was capable of more than television work, thanks to an innovative campaign for Moen, which positioned faucets as a "statement piece" for your bathroom. To reinforce that, Martin collaborated with jewelry designers to create actual statement necklaces inspired by the faucets.

Martin seems to have a knack for creating extraordinary creative for what may seem like the most stodgy of clients. Take for example its fun, watchable work for Benjamin Moore, whose business it picked up in February 2013. One of our favorites was a Halloween prank, which asked painters and contractors to come work on a haunted hotel -- and scared the living bejesus out of them -- to make a very fun film.

The agency also proved it could continue to surpass itself. After creating award-winning campaigns for the JFK Presidential Library for a few years, it did some more great work to mark the anniversary of the President's assassination. "An Idea Lives On" was a poignant way to mark the event by focusing on the ways in which JFK continues to touch everyones lives, and collected stories of people, institutions and places named after the late President, also giving people the chance to add their own thoughts.

It was also a bittersweet year for the agency. Its president-- and creative heart and soul, Mike Hughes, was inducted into the AAF Hall of Fame in 2013, but lost his long battle with cancer toward the end of the year. As the shop's creative director for three decades, he helped turn the agency into globally-recognized creative player. We think he'd be proud.

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