Small Agency Of The Year, Silver: DCX Growth Accelerator
It was behind a great campaign—for a company that later declared bankruptcy.
But DCX Growth Accelerator, a tiny 10-person shop, has proven time and again that it can pull off attention-getting activations and has still managed to earn Silver in Agency of the Year. The shop’s “Palessi” prank for Payless ShoeSource was one of the biggest plays of the year, turning brand perceptions of the shoe discounter on their head by tricking influencers into paying between $200 and $640 for shoes that cost closer to $30.
“Palessi” was not enough to save the drowning discounter from filing for bankruptcy, but at least Payless went out with a bang. The push drew 8.8 billion total global earned media impressions, spread globally to 49 countries; and was featured in more than 1,641 broadcast shows in the U.S. alone. Perhaps more importantly, it earned Payless a 42 percent increase in brand consideration.
Beyond “Paliessi,” Brooklyn, N.Y.–based DCX grew its revenue to $4.1 million in 2018 from $3.4 million in 2017 with clients including Indeed, for which it created a trio of engaging commercials that lifted the brand in the consideration set for users among entrenched job site competition.
Doug Cameron, DCX founding partner and chief strategy and creative officer, calls its strategy “asshole trolling,” a core focus of the shop since its 2015 founding that originated with pro bono projects. This year, DCX also gained national attention for “Bulletproof Schools,” in which it outfitted children with bulletproof vests adorned with logos of companies that did business with the NRA during a march in support of gun control. The effort generated 70 million media impressions and resulted in several of the companies cutting ties with the NRA.