REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION

March 11, 2024

A-List & Creativity Awards 2024

Agency Standout

Curiosity kept growing rapidly in 2023 on the strength of its biggest accounts, reporting revenue up nearly 25% to $16.7 million. That includes work on two of the fastest-growing brands of the Cincinnati shop’s neighbor, Procter & Gamble—Native and Zevo.


But Curiosity’s biggest claim to fame of late may be its funny and decidedly crude ads for emerging independent brand Dude Wipes. That includes TV and social video ads in which a school teacher holds a class on the new way to wipe butts using oversized wet wipes, strategically paired pink balloons and windshield wipers clearing muddy windows.


Another 2023 Dude Wipes spot where various men drop their pants in public (down to their skivvies) to show off their clean rear ends even made it past network censors to show up in four regional markets during the 2024 Super Bowl.

High art it’s not, but it moves sales. Dude Wipes’ revenue soared 23% in test markets vs. 8% elsewhere before a national rollout in January. The cheeky creative led to press and social sharing that spawned more than 84 million impressions even during testing.

 

When Curiosity won Dude Wipes in 2022, it beat out Chicago shops that had been pitching the Chicago-based company. Agency executives leveled with the Dude Wipes team about not having had the sort of edgy work in its portfolio the brand was interested in, said Ashley Walters, the agency’s chief development officer. But, she said Curiosity argued, “Bet on us, and we’ll bet on you. And it’s been that kind of relationship since.”


New campaigns for Brooks Running, Fresh Direct and 14-year client Altafiber (formerly Cincinnati Bell) also have helped the agency thrive. So did wins that included Academy Sports and the media assignment for Gorilla Glue.


Curiosity’s three-month TikTok pilot program, TokShop, and its in-house culture audit program Newsroom have added work from Academy and Dude Wipes, respectively, helping fuel 16% organic growth from existing clients. And Curiosity’s in-house studio Curio handled 175 productions, accounting for 12% of agency revenue.


—Jack Neff

Reprinted with permission from Ad Age. © 2024 Crain Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
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