Ad Age names Fallon McElligott Agency of the Year

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When Minneapolis-based Fallon McElligott pitched the Prudential Insurance Co. of America account in early 1995, a boulder blocked its path: the long-running "Piece of the rock" slogan and icon.

The agency didn't want to bulldoze a piece of ad imagery with a century of equity in it. On the other hand, the rock carried some undesired weight. The solution: Dump the slogan, keep the icon and make it personal. With a campaign labeled "Be your own rock," Fallon won the $60 million account.

Transforming a brand by redirecting its existing strength has become a Fallon specialty. In the past two years, the 15-year-old agency has done it for brands as diverse as Prudential, Nikon and Purina Dog Chow. At the same time, it has achieved the same feat on the inside, turning a highly regarded, regional print agency into a highly regarded, national agency that's a new-business machine.

For holding its creative edge while adding big-time bulk to its client roster, Fallon McElligott has been selected as Advertising Age's Agency of the Year for 1995.

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