Small Agency of the Year, Midwest, Silver: The Distillery Project
Why It Won: The five-year-old Chicago shop said it grew revenue by nearly 50% in 2016 to $3.9 million -- all while sticking to its policy of declining to participate in requests for proposals. The logic: The shop said it likes clients that "know what they want, and start relationships built on mutual respect."
The Work: The agency's Christmas ad for grocery chain Meijer drew accolades for its heartwarming story of a Santa Claus look-alike (or is he the real thing?) thrilling children who spot him out and about town.