R/GA Is No. 10 on Ad Age's 2014 Agency A-List
R/GA is proving it's not just about digital.
With U.S. client wins like Samsung, Victoria's Secret, E-Trade and Moet Hennessy, the agency that made a name for itself with digital is diversifying with a new emphasis on TV work. "A traditional agency would have gone from TV to the internet to mobile and social," said CEO Bob Greenberg. "R/GA is the first company to go the opposite way."
The agency's U.S. headcount grew slightly last year to 1,075, up from 995 on Jan. 1, 2013. The big growth came in its Los Angeles office, which swelled from three employees to 40. It's there, in a 15,000-square-foot space in the Playa Vista neighborhood, and in the New York and London offices where much of the editing and creative work for TV production will take place.
R/GA did broadcast-quality production work for Samsung, Beats by Dr. Dre and Bailey's last year, according to Mr. Greenberg. Having an agency that can "move at the speed of culture" is key, said Beats By Dre Exec VP-Marketing Omar Johnson. The brand -- which has worked with R/GA since 2011 -- accounted for 72% of the $99+ headphone market in the U.S. during the five-week holiday period (Black Friday- Christmas week), according to NPD's Weekly Tracking Service.
Mr. Johnson pointed to "Hear What You Want," a campaign that debuted at the end of last year with spots featuring NBA player Kevin Garnett and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who mute unwelcome noise with their headphones. More spots iterating on that idea, including one featuring a soccer star, are in the pipeline.
"We haven't created ads -- we've built platforms," Mr. Johnson said.
The agency is also developing services such as its business-transformation practice, which Mr. Greenberg describes as a consultancy to compete with the likes of McKinsey or Accenture. For the AARP, it built a social platform called Life Reimagined, where people can find content to help them plan for retirement. The group also recently won Volvo's business as its digital-strategy agency.
R/GA's digital business continues to fire on all cylinders. Its U.S. mobile revenue jumped to $60 million last year from $40 million in 2012. For spice-maker McCormick, it built a product called FlavorPrint that serves up recipe suggestions based on input from users on what foods they like and ingredients and cookware they have. And for Nike, it pushed out a redesigned Nike.com with better e-commerce integration, which yielded a 33% increase in sales on the site within eight months of its launch.