Agency A-List 2013

Deutsch Is No. 10 on Ad Age's Agency A-List

Shop's Strong Work for Volkswagen Have Made Many Marketers Rethink Their Super Bowl Spots

By Published on .

Deutsch: Val DiFebo, Mike Sheldon, Linda Sawyer

For ages, Super Bowl advertisers had a routine: They went to a pool of the same agencies -- the kind well-versed in Big Game ideas -- knowing these guys had what it took to produce a winning commercial.

Marketers still do that, but in 2012, a new agency made a big splash in that pool. Deutsch has made many marketers rethink their game-day strategy, thanks to the charming work it's churned out for Volkswagen. It was behind "The Force," a Super Bowl ad the Interpublic Group of Cos. agency did for client Volkwswagen in 2011, which became one of the most-viewed commercials ever on YouTube.

Fans were delighted in 2012 to see Deutsch reprise the "Star Wars" theme it had popularized in the prior year's Super Bowl, this time a teaser with dogs barking the "Imperial March." Consumers posted videos on YouTube of their pets reacting to the teaser. Then, on game day came Deutsch's spot about an overweight pup trying to slim down so he could chase Volkswagens. The ad topped consumer-favorite charts and earned the automaker 1.9 billion earned media impressions, exceeding the prior year's Super Bowl campaign's results of 1.6 billion impressions.

Volkswagen CMO Tim Mahoney said that as a result VW has seen a several percentage-point uptick in consumers intending to consider VW the next time they go car shopping.

Now Deutsch has another VW Super Bowl spot for this year's game and it's challenge will be to outdo itself. Volkswagen is confident the agency can deliver. But what's even more interesting is others are too: several new clients called up Deutsch in 2012 to help them create Super Bowl ads.

In total, Deutsch has five spots from four clients in the Super Bowl. Its first work for Taco Bell will be a Super Bowl spot, the chain's first since 2010. The New York office in June picked up client, a regular advertiser in the game (this year it has two game spots), which had previously handled advertising in-house.

Last year Ad Age recognized Deutsch as an A-List standout, betting it would continue its momentum in 2012. Deutsch delivered, upping revenue 8%.

"We're really firing on all cylinders in New York and Los Angeles," said Linda Sawyer, CEO, North America. In any agency network, it's not unusual for different offices to experience different cycles -- one may spend a year absorbing new business, while another is trying to win new accounts. But both Deutsch offices were in sync, picking up organic and new-business wins and fortifying the management with new talent. And both are involved in Super Bowl work this year.

Deutsch, New York, expanded its relationship with Microsoft, adding creative for Outlook. Deutsch, Los Angeles, in May began working with Target -- one of several agencies succeeding hotshop Wieden & Kennedy -- on a project, a move that will likely result in additional work for the agency. And while the agency is currently in a review to defend its PlayStation work, its wins mitigate the potential loss.

If that weren't enough, last year Deutsch was named one of Ad Age's Best Places to Work.

Most Popular