Agency A-List 2016

Creativity Innovators: The Martin Agency

50 Years Old and More Surprising Than Ever

By Published on .

Even at 50 years old, The Martin Agency proved that Richmond, Virginia is still a hotbed of creative innovation. The shop proved as funny as even on Geico, with new ads featuring suprising cameos from Dora the Explorer and a kraken.

Most notably, the agency charmed awards judges and consumers alike with the fabulous "Unskippable" campaign, a welcome reminder that the best creative ideas can flourish in the most unlikely of places -- including the dreadful world of online video advertising. It turned boring, everyday moments (like a famiy dinner, a backyard BBQ) into laugh-out-loud scenarios and captured viewers' attention way past the 5-seconds that people are likely to spend on a pre-roll ad.

The effort landed the agency the coveted Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Film as well as Ad Age's first ever Campaign of the Year award. It also led to the shop's most award-winning year in its 50 years.

The agency also conceived one of our favorite do-good campaigns of the year, "Supreme Save the Date" for Jesse Tyler Ferguson's Tie the Knot. The integrated effort encouraged gay couples hoping to get married to bombard Supreme Court Justices with their wedding "Save the Date" notices, in an effort to convince them to vote in favor of marriage equality.

Just before the vote, it culminated with a laugh-out-loud funny ad in which Mr. Ferguson played the Justices with comedic flair, including Elena "Ragin'" Kagan and Ruth "Notorious RBG" Ginsburg.

And the creativity is spreading from the shop's Richmond, Virginia home base. The Martin Agency bolstered its New York office with the appointment of James Robinson as ECD and its London hub with Daniel Fisher as ECD.

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