Bailey Lauerman, Campfire Take Top Honors at 2013 Ad Age Small Agency Awards

Croatia-Based Bruketa & Zinic Is International Agency of the Year

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Union Pacific work from Bailey Lauerman
Union Pacific work from Bailey Lauerman

Bailey Lauerman took home the top honor at this year's Advertising Age Small Agency Awards. The 74-person shop, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, was named Small Agency of the Year at the Small Agency Awards Show held in Portland, Ore., capping off Ad Age's annual Small Agency Conference.

"Byzantium Tests," an effort for Cinemax show "Hunted" created by Campfire, New York, was named Campaign of the Year. "Byzantium Tests" included an immersive, interactive microsite, but began with a guerilla out-of-home campaign featuring the security firm -- Byzantium -- alongside the words "We're not for everyone, just the 1% that matters."

Bailey Lauerman was named Ad Age's Small Agency of the Year in the Midwest Region in 2012. In the last year, the shop appointed a new CEO, Andy Fletcher, consolidated its offices, changed billing and employee-payment structures and continued its push beyond traditional advertising into research and development, software engineering, experiential space design and more. With clients including Bass Pro Shops, Union Pacific Railroad, Walt Disney Co., the agency is projecting 7% revenue increase for 2013.

Portland-based Pollinate took home silver in the Small Agency of the Year category. Mono was the silver recipient in Campaign of the Year for its "Everyday Collection" effort for Target Grocery. Last year, Mono's Human Doing" campaign for BlueCrossBlueShield Minnesota was named Campaign of the Year.

Bruketa & Zinic, an agency in Zagreb, Croatia, was named International Small Agency of the Year. And Denver-based Cactus nabbed Pro Bono Campaign of the Year for "Man Therapy," a campaign for the Carson J. Spencer Foundation & Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention. The Pro Bono Campaign of the Year was a new category for 2013.

Continuing a tradition started by John Coleman, founder-CEO of Via, Ad Age's 2011 Small Agency of the Year, Jerry Bodrie, one of the founders of 2012 Small Agency of the Year, Baldwin&, Raleigh, N.C., was on hand to pass the honor to Bailey Lauerman. Previous winners have also included: Pereira & O'Dell, San Francisco; and Rockfish Interactive, based in Rogers, Ark., which is now owned by WPP.

"This year's competition was fierce," said Ad Age Deputy Managing Editor Rupal Parekh, one of the judges. "The number of entries was up across the board, making judging that much more difficult. Not surprisingly, the breadth of work -- whether it be for small businesses or national players -- is impressive. We also see signs that more and more major marketers are turning to small and independent shops for creative solutions."

This year also saw a substantial increase in the attendees to the Small Agency Conference, with registrations almost double what they were last year.

"This is our fifth year doing this and -- not to sound like a big softy -- but it continually inspires me to judge this competition," said Managing Editor Ken Wheaton, who also judged the competition. "The staff size for these agencies might be considered small, but there's nothing small about their ideas."

To learn more about these agencies, watch for the August 5 issue of Ad Age , which will feature profiles on each of the award-winners.

SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR

GOLD: Bailey Lauerman, Omaha, Neb.
SILVER: Pollinate, Portland, Ore.

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR

GOLD: Campfire, New York: Cinemax's "Byzantium Tests"
SILVER: Mono, Minneapolis: Target Grocery's "Everyday Collection"

INTERNATIONAL AGENCY OF THE YEAR

GOLD: Bruketa & Zinic, Zagreb, Croatia

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR: PRO BONO

Cactus, Denver: "Man Therapy" for Carson J. Spencer Foundation & Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention

SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: CULTURE

Brokaw, Cleveland

SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: 1-10 EMPLOYEES

GOLD: Standard Time, Los Angeles
SILVER: Division of Labor, Sausalito, Calif.

SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: 11-75 EMPLOYEES

GOLD: Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners, Philadelphia
SILVER: Crossmedia, New York

SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: 76-150 EMPLOYEES

GOLD: Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener, Los Angeles/Seattle
SILVER: Eleven Inc., San Francisco

SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: NORTHWEST REGION

GOLD: Copacino & Fujikado, Seattle
SILVER: Mutt Industries, Portland, Ore.

SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: NORTHEAST REGION

GOLD: Nail Communications, Providence, R.I.
SILVER: Our Man In Havana, New York

SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: MIDWEST REGION

GOLD: Sullivan Higdon & Sink, Kansas City, Mo.
SILVER: Solve, Minneapolis

SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: SOUTHEAST REGION

GOLD: Big Communications, Birmingham, Ala.
SILVER: Trone Brand Energy, High Point, N.C.

SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: SOUTHWEST REGION

GOLD: TDA Boulder, Colo.
SILVER: HAPI, Phoenix, Ariz.

SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: WEST REGION

GOLD: Threshold Interactive, Los Angeles
SILVER: Traction, San Francisco