Good News: One Last Extension for 2015 Small Agency Awards

Agencies Have Until May 8 to Get Submissions In

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Muhtayzik Hoffer co-founders John Matejczyk and Matt Hofherr at the 2014 Advertising Age Small Agency Awards in Austin, Texas.
Muhtayzik Hoffer co-founders John Matejczyk and Matt Hofherr at the 2014 Advertising Age Small Agency Awards in Austin, Texas. Credit: Darcie Siiteri

Are you a small agency that's making big gains for your clients? Then show us what you've got. And do it before May 8 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Due to overwhelming demand, we've made one last extension. But this is the final one. Judging will begin shortly after.

Ad Age's annual Small Agency Awards contest is now open, and independent shops anywhere in the world with 150 or fewer employees are invited to enter.

The goal of these awards -- now in their seventh year -- is to ensure that the smart thinking and innovative brand ideas produced by smaller shops are getting their due. Even as more marketers big and small turn to smaller shops, all too often this community's work isn't being recognized in the big awards shows.

The best part? Winning a Small Agency Award doesn't just put hardware in the trophy case, in the past it's brought in new business, boosted employee morale and more.

"Our new business activity increased and recruiting became a bit easier, but the real benefit was the momentum it created with employees. It was the first great moment for our company," said Andrew O'Dell, CEO & Co-Founder, 2010 Small Agency of the Year Pereira & O'Dell, started by Brazilian ad exec PJ Pereira. The shop's gone on to win three Grand Prix awards in Cannes.

After Ad Age named its first-ever Small Agency Award winner in 2009, that agency, Rockfish, was snapped up by WPP in short order.

Other past winners in this contest include The Via Agency of Maine, North Carolina-based Baldwin& and Nebraska-based Bailey Lauerman. Last year the crown went to San Francisco shop Muh-Tay-Zik Hof-fer.

"Becoming the Ad Age Small Agency of the Year transformed us. We doubled our size--head count and revenue--in just one year," said John Coleman, founder and CEO of Via, the 2011 Small Agency of the Year. "If you're running a great agency, you must throw your hat into this ring." Via, in fact, created a Stanley-Cup-like trophy to commemorate the event and handed it off to Baldwin& the following year, creating a new tradition.

The Small Agency Awards are becoming increasingly international, as Ad Age showcases work from the best independent agencies around the world. This year, Ad Age is working with Adlatina, Ad Age's partner in Spanish-speaking Latin America, to increase participation from the thriving independent agency sector in that region. In 2014, two of the four international winners were from Argentina, Nico Pimentel's +Castro and Coupe.

The 2014 International Small Agency of the Year was Swedish agency Deportivo, and +Castro and South African agency Volcano were the Silver Award winners. Coupe, also from Buenos Aires, won the Pro Bono Campaign of the Year, a new category last year, for "The Children Notwork" for Advertisers Without Borders.

To keep the show accessible, all entry fees are under $350. The deadline for entry is May 8. Submit here. (If you want to gather everything you need before plunging in, rules and details can be found here.)

As in years past, we'll award gold and silver for an Agency of the Year -- Overall; Campaign of the Year -- Integrated; Campaign of the Year – Digital; Campaign of the Year – B-to-B; Campaign of the Year -- Pro-Bono; and Best Agency Culture. We'll also award winners in three size categories for Agency of the Year, plus regional winners (Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, West, Northwest and Northeast) and international winners. In addition to the international category, international agencies are also eligible to compete for the integrated, digital, B-to-B and Pro-Bono Campaigns of the Year.

The contest is open to independent agencies with staff of 150 people or less. Agencies that are at least 51% independently-owned can enter. For questions about eligibility, head to our handy FAQ page on the Small Agency Awards site.

"The Small Agency Awards not only gives small, independent agencies a chance to showcase their work to us, but to marketers as well," said Ken Wheaton, managing editor at Ad Age. "Judging by testimonials from previous winners, marketers are definitely paying attention. We've seen some shops grow too big for the awards show; we've seen others fiercely hold on to the 'small' in small agency."

Winners are announced in July at Ad Age's Small Agency Conference and Awards Show, an annual event which travels to vibrant ad markets around the country. For 2015, we're headed to Boston, one of the most historic cities in America.

The event will be held July 29 & 30 at the Westin Copley Place, in Boston.

Again, the entry deadline for awards is Friday, May 8. For complete details on how to enter the awards and to register for the conference, head here.

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