During 2020, the chief marketing officers for seven of Copacino Fujikado's clients—including those controlling its three largest accounts—departed their companies. Out of those seven accounts, the Seattle shop managed to hold on to four, but it came with a cost: layoffs of 10% of staff.
Copacino Fujikado triumphs over a tough year
Not long after, Jim Copacino and Betti Fujikado, who founded the agency in 1998, retired and turned the business over to three new owners. The agency committed to a long-term lease—and COVID hit just two weeks later.
“This is the story of an agency reborn,” the shop wrote in its Small Agency Award entry. “You think we’re being dramatic. We’re not.”
Its rebound, in fact, was dramatic. Copacino Fujikado ended 2021 with $7.14 million in revenue, just under the $7.23 million it managed before its world fell apart in 2020. The shop won five out of six pitches last year and has continued to hire talent from Ogilvy, MullenLowe, Cramer Krasselt, Publicis, Saatchi & Saatchi and more.
Amid all this, the agency’s work shone. Its humorous approach for Gesa Credit Union, pitching “a healthier approach to money,” poked fun at people’s old habits when saving and discussing finances. In one spot, a man lugs in a wad of cash frozen in a block of ice after being stored in his freezer. Another shows a teen approaching the subject so gingerly with her parents that the viewer is led to believe she is asking about sex.
The campaign, said Copacino, resulted in a 22% increase in unaided brand awareness and allowed Gesa to jump to first place from third in its competitive set. Moreover, loan volumes shot up 25%.
For Premera Blue Cross, the shop brought attention to people’s reluctance to discuss mental illness because they fear it shows weakness by bringing the ultimate tough guys to the discussion: hockey players from the NHL's Seattle Kraken.
And for Seattle’s Sound Transit Light Rail System, Copacino created a charming, brightly hued animation featuring the destinations Emerald City citizens can reach with the new rail line expansion. The ads resulted in a 118% lift in awareness of the Northgate Extension.
Copacino Fujikado, it seems, is also going places once again.