Jamie Barrett, Steve Simpson, Will McGinness

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(FROM LEFT) Barrett, McGinness, Simpson
(FROM LEFT) Barrett, McGinness, Simpson
Two weeks into 2007—after receiving scads of year-end accolades—Goodby lost Saturn, "the biggest account we'd ever lost," as creative director Steve Simpson puts it. Still, a year later, the agency has come out well ahead with $2 billion in new business wins that brought in clients like Sprint, Hyundai, and the NBA. The success is, in no small part, due to the agency's success in adapting to the digital world, perhaps better than any shop founded before "integration" became an industry mantra. How did they do it? "We never created funky departments or funky separate companies with these dangerous sounding names," says Simpson, who believes a creative who doesn't do new media is as absurd as one who doesn't do radio. "Everything has to stay in the creative department and everybody has to learn the skills." And skills seem to be in no short supply at the agency, judging from its clever "Get the Glass" online game—which took the long-running "Got Milk" campaign onto the web—or the brilliantly meta Rolling Rock effort, in which the company's marketing manager appears on TV to apologize for ads that consumers can only view online. Not to mention massive cross-platform efforts for Sprint, Hyundai, and longtime client HP. "You have to not only say it, you have to live it at the top and it's important that the leadership really does embrace this model—and that's been the key to our success," McGinness says.

McGinness, on how new media has changed advertising: "I think the innovation that comes inherently with new media has revitalized advertising. There's more of an innovative spirit that's pervasive throughout the whole industry now—and it's not just innovation with technology. It's innovation with media and new ways to communicate. I think preople are thinking in a much broader way about all the different ways to reach the consumer."

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