It's that time again, when agencies get to show us all the phenomenal work they produced throughout the year -- and just as important, how that work is working for their clients.
Ad Age is now accepting submissions for our annual Multicultural Agency of the Year award, honoring the best shops targeting ethnic consumers. Last year's winner was Conill, which had a terrific story about growth in the digital area, creativity and effective solutions for its clients, such as its "Somos Muchos" initiative for Toyota.
The multicultural winner will be named on Jan. 23, 2012, as part of Ad Age 's annual Agency A-List report honoring the best agencies in adland (including an international Agency of the Year). Your entry will also be considered for the Agency A-List, and any other agency lists in that report. Last year, LatinWorks was named to the Agency A-List -- our ranking of the 10 best agencies in the U.S. And several other agencies, including Zubi and Lapiz, were featured in our lists of outstanding agencies and agencies to watch.
Below, we answer all your questions about the submission process. If you have additional queries, please contact Ad Age 's international and multicultural editor Laurel Wentz.
What do we look for?
Evidence of business success for the agency, conveyed via revenue growth, income growth and a killer new-business record. If your agency has developed innovative channels for making money, such as collaborative projects, ownership of IP , influencing or even creating product, make sure to include those, too. As always, Ad Age weighs heavily how the agency has delivered strong results for its consumer-marketing clients. We're looking for shops that are coming up with creative and effective solutions to clients' business problems, with meaningful, measurable results that back those claims. (Please note, here at Ad Age , we believe that "creative" isn't always the most beautiful or edgy TV commercial, but rather the most creative thinking about a problem.)
So what should you submit?
At minimum, the following five things should be included in your submission:
Three to five of your very best client case studies, including all the relevant work you did for them as well as an explanation of the challenge you were facing, your strategy, your tactics and, most importantly, the results. We prefer hard business results like sales and market share, but we'll also consider other indicators, such as evidence of how work has penetrated popular culture; media pickup; consumer engagement numbers (e.g., YouTube views, tweets). You can also include publicly available data such as the numbers provided by IRI. Be inventive -- but be accountable. If your creative work is in Spanish, you don't need to translate it. It's fine to submit creative work in the original Spanish.
A picture of your growth. We realize some of you will need to be inventive here as you sidestep Messrs. Sarbanes and Oxley. We need you to let us know: how your revenue has grown or declined in year-to-date percentage terms and explain a bit about where that revenue comes from (e.g., 5% mobile, 30% digital); your projected calendar-2011 revenue; explain any headcount changes; and talk about performance vs. Ad Age estimates of your performance last year.
A detailed list of account wins and losses with their estimated revenue per annum.
We're interested in your multicultural insights. As a multicultural agency, feel free to share your insight into the ethnic group(s) you target , whether African-American or Hispanic (Spanish-dominant, bicultural/bilingual, English-speaking, etc). This can be in the form of including Hispanic insights in your case studies (item 1), or perhaps you've done your own research you'd like to share. This is an area where multicultural agencies really have a though leadership role, and we'd love your entry to reflect that .
Describe your agency culture in no more than 250 words. What have you done to foster talent, a creative workplace, collaboration?
Share a few photos that you think represent your agency. They could be of your principals and top execs, the agency space, the bar cart, the pool table. This will give us a flavor for the special vibe you've created at your agency, but will also be retained for potential use in our A-List package, either print or online, and beyond.
Is there anything important to add to that ?
Since you've asked, yes, there is : Bear in mind that anything you send might end up being published -- think of it as entering the public domain. We're not going to make you Multicultural Agency of the Year or consider you for the A-List for all the secret things you're doing that you can only share off the record.
How do you submit?
This is the key part. For starters, this is a paperless process. Think green! Eschew the hard leather-bound portfolios and plastic DVDs and, instead, put everything up on a website and send us the URL. There are no points for fancy presentation here -- use a Tumblr account, Wordpress, we don't care (though, we hope you won't opt for a PDF). The easier information is to find and digest, the better. Send the URL to Laurel at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no charge to enter.
What's the deadline?
Nov. 22 . This will NOT be extended.
Can we have an extension to the deadline?
See previous question. This gives you a month to submit and us just a few weeks to read, research, interview, write, photograph, design, etc. We're being fair, so please, please try to get all your entries in by Tuesday, Nov. 22 .