There's no small thinking to be found in the following profiles of the agencies who took top honors in our 2016 Small Agency Awards. Even if the shops range in size from 1 to 150 employees, they're big on ideas, big on entrepreneurial spirit, big on experimentation and big on culture—topics that are on the minds of pretty much every reader of Advertising Age, regardless of sector or size. This year, we also saw a few big risks.
Three of the winning agencies—Zulu Alpha Kilo, Anonimo and Zambezi—cut ties with their biggest clients in order to pursue other opportunities. And Zambezi did this after buying out its largest investor, Kobe Bryant. Spoiler alert: The risks paid off.
Ultimately, these shops serve as a microcosm for the larger industry. While some are going the full-service route—providing creative, media and production solutions—others are specializing in digital, social or events. Still others are selling their ability to crank out the massive amount of creative needed to feel the automated beast. And there are a few here that don't quite fit the old definition of agency at all. We hope you enjoy meeting them.