The winner of Ad Age’s Small Agency of the Year award last year has now made it to the Big League. Chicago-based Highdive was the breakout agency star of the Super Bowl in 2020, wowing audiences with its “Groundhog Day” spot for Jeep after securing Bill Murray to reprise his famous role in a do-over that turned the day from boring to magical. The spot for the Jeep Gladiator won every major Super Bowl ad poll. It topped our own list here at AdAge, ranked No. 1 on the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter and scored an Emmy nomination.
And if one successful Super Bowl ad wasn’t enough for a rookie agency, it also won plaudits for its memorable Big Game spot for Rocket Mortgage, starring Jason Momoa as a short, skinny, balding version of himself. The latter ranked No. 5 on the USA Today AdMeter.
Highdive says its mission is to “create the healthiest client and agency relationships in the world”—and judging by the fact that Rocket Mortgage tapped it for a second Super Bowl ad, it’s doing something right.
Founded in 2016 by agency talents from the likes of DDB Chicago, Leo Burnett and Ogilvy, Highdive says its nimble business model allowed it to seamlessly shift to remote working in 2020 as the pandemic struck, while fostering a supportive and flexible working environment.
Even in quarantine, its “whiteboard culture” of constant brainstorming was able to continue and it built on its momentum throughout the year, doubling in size, increasing its revenue and gaining new business, including being named agency-of-record for The General, Airheads and Fruit-tella. Highdive also made strides with diversity, including hiring Director of Talent and Inclusion Lois Castillo, and ensuring all employees attended the 3% conference.
Aside from its Super Bowl hits, Highdive built on its creative credentials with campaigns like “Unstoppable,” for Ram Trucks, which saluted the spirit of small business owners during the pandemic, and “Step Up” for Boost Mobile, which re-framed the brand’s position in the marketplace by positioning it as the catalyst for a higher quality of life.