Small Agency of the Year, Midwest, Gold: Space 150

For a Shop Where Change Is (Literally) an Absolute Constant, Success Comes With the Territory

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It may seem excessive for an agency to change its identity every 150 days, but that 's exactly what Space150 does (hence the name). Every five months, the shop updates everything from business cards to the website to signage on the door.

"We call them versions, like software," said Space150 founder Billy Jurewicz. "If you try to invent a mission statement for 20 years, it's tough to predict what that 's going to be like. Even the Constitution has amendments."

The agency just launched its 28th version, this one helmed by its president, Marcus Fischer. "Everything we preach is that change is constant and permanent, so we live it and breathe it," he said.

Space 150 took over Times Square for Forever 21.
Space 150 took over Times Square for Forever 21.
That philosophy goes back to the agency's founding in 2000, just as the tech bubble burst. Many agencies touting digital prowess didn't make it past the dot-com collapse, and Mr. Jurewicz knew that in order to survive, his agency had to constantly evolve. What started primarily as a small digital shop has turned into an agency that executes campaigns with interactive billboards, creates proprietary software and even has a research-and-development think tank called Spacelab.

Some of the agency's biggest clients have included American Express, Optum Health and Dairy Queen. But the agency's standout work comes from clients such as Discover Boating, where the agency turned to Facebook to sell boating in the midst of the recession, when families were vacationing less.

Space150 also took over Times Square for clothing retailer Forever 21 with a digital billboard using computer-vision technology to create an augmented reality for pedestrians. The billboard featured models snapping pictures of pedestrians, then picking them up, kissing them and putting them in their bags.

The agency, based in Minneapolis with offices in New York and Los Angeles, has grown to include 134 employees, a 55% jump in head count since 2009. In 2010 Space150 took in $24.2 million in revenue, a 72% increase from 2009 -- the height of the recession.

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