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Small Agency of the Year, Southeast, Silver: iStrategy Labs

D.C. Agency Is Big on In-House Experimentation -- and Delivering Work for Clients

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From left: Zach Goodwin,  creative director; Nathan Smooth, CTO; Peter Corbett, CEO; DJ Saul, CMO-managing director; Kristen Rudzki, VP-client service; Joe Flasher, VP-engineering.

Every agency will tell you it's embraced technology and innovation. Washington, D.C.-based shop iStrategyLabs means it.

"It's been part of our DNA from the start," said DJ Saul, iStrategyLabs' chief marketing officer.

Since opening in 2007, the 49-person shop has been putting out work showing how digital and experiential go hand in hand: real-life cranes that users control via Facebook for Nickelodeon; a locker that takes selfies for the Washington Redskins; a box that orders pizza for you at the touch of a button; and an internet-controlled apple shooter for MillerCoors' Redd's Apple Ale.

Though delivering on client objectives is paramount, a lot of iStrategyLabs's best work is the result of experimenting in-house, where different skill sets rub shoulders with one another. Mechanical and electrical engineers sit alongside copywriters, and programmers tinker with tools that eventually become open source.

iStrategyLabs also has deep roots in D.C.'s local tech scene. In addition to being the founders of DC WEEK, it also has investments in a number of local startups.