Ad Age is now accepting submissions for our annual Multicultural Agency of the Year award, honoring the best shops targeting ethnic consumers.
Last year's winner, for the second year in a row, was LatinWorks. The agency had a strong story about growth, presented creative and effective solutions for clients, and was at the forefront of making the case that multicultural is the new mainstream.
The multicultural winner will be named as part of Ad Age's annual Agency A-List report honoring the best agencies in adland (including an International Agency of the Year). Your entry will also be considered for the Agency A-List, and any other agency lists in that report.
Last year, La Comunidad was named to the Agency A-List -- our ranking of the 10 best agencies in the U.S. And Conill was featured as one of our 10 outstanding agencies, while Dieste was on the list of 10 agencies to watch.
Many of you have done this before, so you know the drill. But we also want to uncover new potential honorees, so please do not shy away if you've never thrown your hat in the ring before.
To help guide you in the process, we've presented answers to the most frequently asked questions about submitting. Please read the guidelines for entry first. If you have additional queries, contact Ad Age's global and multicultural editor Laurel Wentz at [email protected], or (212) 210-0175.
GUIDELINES FOR ENTRY
What do we look for?
Evidence of an agency's business success, conveyed by revenue growth, income growth and a killer new-business record. If your agency has developed innovative channels for making money, including via collaborative projects, ownership of intellectual property or by influencing or even creating products, make sure to include those too.
Ad Age always heavily weighs how the agency has delivered strong results for its clients. We're looking for shops that come up with creative and effective solutions to clients' business problems, with meaningful, measurable results that back those claims. (And please note, we don't necessarily define "creative" as the most beautiful or groundbreaking TV commercial -- it can also be demonstrated with creative thinking about a business problem.)
So what should an agency submit?
At minimum, the following six things should be included in your Multicultural Agency of the Year submission:
1. Three to five of your very best client case studies, including all the relevant work as well as an explanation of the business challenges, your strategy, tactics and, most importantly, the results. The timeframe for this work is November 2012 through current day. We most highly value hard business results like sales and market share, but we'll also consider other indicators such as evidence of how work has penetrated popular culture and engaged consumers. You can also include publicly available data, such as sales or market share data. Be inventive -- but be accountable.
2. A picture of your growth. We realize some of you will need to be discreet here, but give us a sense of how your revenue has grown or declined in year-over-year percentage terms and explain a bit about where that revenue comes from (e.g., 5% mobile, 30% digital). We're interested in projected calendar 2013 revenue, a sense of how headcount has changed and any key senior hires.
3. A detailed list of client account wins and losses with their estimated revenue per annum. (If you have IP projects or other new revenue streams that are not client related, please note them as well).
4. Describe your agency culture in no more than 250 words. What have you done to foster talent, a creative workplace and collaboration?
5. Share a few photos that you think represent your agency. They could be of your principals and top execs, the agency space, the bar cart, the pool table. This will give us a flavor for the special vibe you've created at your agency, but will also be retained for potential use in our A-List package, either print or online, and beyond.
6. We're interested in your multicultural insights. As a multicultural agency, feel free to share your insight into the ethnic group(s) you target, whether African-American or Hispanic (Spanish-dominant, bicultural/bilingual, English-speaking, etc), Asian-American. This can be in the form of including cultural insights in your case studies, or perhaps you've done your own research you'd like to share. This is an area where multicultural agencies really have a thought leadership role, and we'd love your entry to reflect that. We're also interested in how you practice diversity. How many nationalities are represented at your agency? And please share your staff's gender breakdown and, if applicable, what percentage of your creative department is female.
Is there anything important to add?
Since you asked, yes: Know that anything you send might end up being published -- think of it as entering the public domain. We're not going to choose you for all the secret things you're doing that you can only share off the record.
How do you submit?
This is the key part. After all, what good is all that hard work that you put into the submission unless it's manages to reach us safely, and in the proper form? For starters, this is a paperless process. Think green! Put everything up on a website and send us the URL. There are no points for fancy presentation here -- use a Tumblr account, Wordpress, we don't care. Though, we really hope that in this day and age, you won't opt for a PDF. The easier information is for us to find and digest, the better. Send the URL to Laurel Wentz at [email protected] (and if it is password protected don't forget to send that too).
What's the deadline?
The final deadline is November 5. This will NOT be extended. Of course, if you hear about a new business win a few weeks before the December holidays and want to share that with us to add some extra oomph to your case, email us and let us know so we'll take it into consideration. And it's fine to include in your entry a big pitch that's pending.
Can we have an extension to the deadline?
See previous question. We need adequate time to read, research, interview, write, photograph, design, etc. So please, please get all your entries in by no later than midnight EST on Tuesday, November 5.
Does entering cost money?
No. It's free! (Though Ad Age does offer plenty of ways you can promote your agency in our pages and pixels outside the A-List, including the LookBook . For more info on those opportunities, contact Lisa Scotto on our business side at [email protected])