Last year, Baldwin&, based in Raleigh, N.C., won Campaign of the Year for its "Find Your Burt" effort for Burt's Bees.
Previous overall winners include Via, in Portland, Maine; Pereira & O'Dell in San Francisco; and Rockfish Interactive, based in Rogers, Ark., which is now owned by WPP.
"The creative ideas and the strategic thinking we are seeing out of the small agency community is highly impressive," said Ad Age Agency Editor Rupal Parekh, one of the judges. "The work these shops are doing is original, unexpected and above all has a huge impact on their clients' bottom lines. I'd stack up any of the shops on our list this year against big agencies in terms of quality of output. They are really leveling the playing field."
This year saw an increase in entries from minority-owned shops and what are typically described as "multicultural" shops. A number of such shops took home awards based on results they're garnering not just for ethnic marketing, but for general-market marketing as well.
"This is our fourth Small Agency Awards and we continue to be impressed by the quality of entries, proving that size has no bearing on the ability to offer effective marketing ideas," said Editor Abbey Klaassen. "I can confidently say that our winners exemplify creativity, entrepreneurialism and ingenuity -- there's a lot to be learned from them, no matter what your size."
To learn more about these agencies, look out for the August 6 issue of Ad Age , which will feature profiles on each of the award-winners.
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEARGOLD: Baldwin&, Raleigh, N.C.
SILVER: Sub Rosa, New York
CAMPAIGN OF THE YEARGOLD: Mono, Minneapolis: BlueCross BlueShield's "The Human Doing"
SILVER: Johannes Leonardo, New York: Google's "Project Re: Brief"
INTERNATIONAL AGENCY OF THE YEARGOLD: Akestam Holst, Stockholm, Sweden
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: CULTUREGlass Agency, Sacramento, Calif.
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: 1-10 EMPLOYEESGOLD: Manifold, San Francisco
SILVER: The Distillery Project, Chicago
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: 11-75 EMPLOYEESGOLD: Commonground, Chicago
SILVER: Mekanism, San Francisco
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: 76-150 EMPLOYEESGOLD: LatinWorks, Austin, Texas
SILVER: Walton Isaacson, Los Angeles
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: NORTHEAST REGIONGOLD: Walrus, New York
SILVER: Cross Media, New York
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: MIDWEST REGIONGOLD: Bailey Lauerman, Lincoln, Neb.
SILVER: Modern Climate, Minneapolis
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: SOUTHEAST REGIONGOLD: JESS3, Washington, D.C.
SILVER: La Comunidad, Miami
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: SOUTHWEST REGIONGOLD: Rain, American Fork, Utah
SILVER: Proof Advertising, Austin, Texas
SMALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR: WEST REGIONGOLD: Magner Sanborn, Spokane, Wash.
SILVER: Muh-Tay-Zik Hof-fer, San Francisco