Small Agency 2010

Small Agency of the Year, Northeast: Night Agency

By Beginning Its Pitch With the Consumer, This Digital Agency Truly Knows How to Engage Its Brands' Audiences

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Look at the work Night Agency did in 2009 for some of its major clients, and one thing is clear: The agency has a real grasp on consumer behavior.

GETTING INTERACTIVE: Efforts such as Keds' website relaunch held consumers' attention.
GETTING INTERACTIVE: Efforts such as Keds' website relaunch held consumers' attention.
Whether it was helping Dial orchestrate the launch of its Purex 3-in-1 fabric softener (the largest product launch in company history), relaunching the Keds brand and website or creating the Hoodie Remix contest for Champion, Night drove people to the web and got them to hang around, interact and even turn over information to its clients.

Kristin Kohler Burrows, president of Keds, said the agency's display of knowledge about the target consumer during an agency review in January 2009 is what "sold me at hello."

"Today, everything starts from the consumer, and I love the fact that that's where their pitch began -- with the consumer," Ms. Burrows said.

Keds originally brought aboard Night Agency to handle the relaunch of its website. But the success of that relaunch, which included a double-digit increase in traffic and positive consumer feedback, led to more work and what looks to be a potential long-term relationship. "We felt the agency had capabilities that could help us beyond the website relaunch and help us to engage the consumer across different platforms digitally," Ms. Burrows said.

The 6-year-old New York-based digital shop has 30 employees, and its revenue for 2009 was $5.2 million, up from just more than $4 million in 2008.

Darren Paul, one of the co-founders of Night Agency, said the work for Keds represents the agency's concept of digital, which it believes is spreading to the retail space. "Not so long ago the idea of digital was relatively confined to computers," Mr. Paul said. "But this campaign shows how digital and digital thinking works within cross-channel efforts where creativity can spread from the web to mobile to social media and to real life through events and retail.

Hanes tasked Night Agency to raise awareness of its partnerships with Disney, Susan G. Komen, Michael Jordan, the Salvation Army and the Arbor Day Foundation. The company launched an interactive site for each partnership where consumers could either create T-shirts or play games such as mini golf. Overall, the sites drew 1.2 million visitors, who spent an average of three minutes and 26 seconds on the sites, generated 43,000 promotional opt-ins and more than 26,000 email addresses. More than 16,000 T-shirts were designed.

Mr. Paul said the agency's approach is that everything has to be driven by ideas because he believes ideas and thinking can outperform spending.

"The ideas we look to come up with are meant to travel with consumers when they leave the web and go back to their real lives," he said. "We look for that earned media value that brands can generate through good ideas."

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