Camp + King turned heads in late 2019 when it won the coveted Papa John’s creative account. But the 10-year-old agency did not stop at pizza—it went out and conquested more accounts last year, including tax preparing firm Jackson Hewitt, Earth-friendly household products maker Grove Collaborative and Athletico Physical Therapy. It also grew business with long-time clients Re/Max and Energizer, enabling revenue to surge by 17% to $20 million, according to the agency, completing what it describes as its best year ever—all during a pandemic that saw other shops take a step back.
“It’s a test of agency culture and being able to not only survive but thrive with our current clients and find ways to drive organic growth,” says Kristin Barbour, a partner and managing director of the Chicago office.
Camp + King, which also has an office in San Francisco, underwent a significant change when Havas took a majority stake in late 2020, expanding an initial investment the holding company made in 2011, when Jamie King and Roger Camp founded the agency. They still lead the shop, which is using Havas’ network to offer clients more diversified services when needed, forming what Camp + King describes as a “creative boutique with muscle.”
The agency’s notable 2020 work included its continued use of Papa John’s board member and franchisee Shaquille O’Neal in marketing that has helped the chain remake its image in the wake of widespread press coverage of an alleged racial slur used by founder John Schnatter. For Re/Max, the agency developed self-service marketing tools that its thousands of agents could use to burnish their individual brands. Camp + King also helped Boston-based Akili Interactive Labs launch EndeavorRx, a video game meant to treat pediatric attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The game requires a prescription and has approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
Camp + King, moreover, has a strong diversity track record: 56% of its director-level employees are women, 25% of its workforce iis multicultural and Black employees make up 11% of employees, according to the agency.