22Squared makes a name for itself by taking a stand
Recognizing the serious problem of feeling helpless when it comes to doing more for social equality, 22Squared gave the power to the people last year with Invisible Hate. Working with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Atlanta, the agency created a tool where users could geo-locate the over 700 Confederate monuments in the U.S., “digitally deface” them, and share the results on social media. The agency also provided templates for users to contact their local governments to ask for the removal of all racist symbols. Since Invisible Hate began in the middle of last year, nearly two dozen Confederate monuments have been removed.
Taking a stand with such projects, which included a film in support of voter turnout ahead of the Georgia runoffs, are helping the Atlanta-based shop stand out in the competitive agency landscape. For 2020, 22Squared says it logged $63.4 million in revenue, a figure it projects will increase by 11% this year. The agency had no layoffs for its 319-person staff last year; instead, it grew its employee base by 15%, recruiting new clients such as Amazon Studios, school textbook publisher McGraw-Hill, and Columbia Care, the cannabis company. By running a campaign emphasizing the supportive role of Publix, the grocer, for consumers during COVID-19, 22Squared helped cement its value to clients during the ever-changing pandemic. With “Pint-Sized Heroes,” 22Squared worked with Baskin Robbins to highlight the ways children were helping out last year, by making face masks and assisting the homeless.
As the nearly-century-old company continues to evolve, 22Squared restructured in late 2020 by introducing two sister companies, Trade School and Dendro. The three entities now sit under the Guided by Good brand umbrella, which is designed to inject more humanity and empathy into advertising. It’s a trend many shops are moving toward as clients continue to search for partners that reflect their own brand values.
According to 22Squared, “It’s no longer acceptable to think only about the bottom line but also what constructive value your company or products bring to citizens—and how future generations can have better, more informed lives.”