Small Agency of the Year, West, Silver (Tie): BarrettSF, Duncan Channon
Why It Won: The agency picked up 10 new clients in 2016, including Zappos, Jet.com and Salesforce, and challenged itself to try new things, such as complex site builds with e-commerce capabilities. The shop also self-published an illustrated book, "The Pumpkin and the Pantsuit," to explain the U.S. presidential election to kids, with profits going to the Children's Defense Fund. (Yes, the book personified Donald Trump as an orange gourd.)
The Work: For Humboldt Redwood, the agency did bizarrely funny spots featuring a ventriloquist and a talking wood plank named Timothy McTimber. When the client asked for more work, but didn't want to add much to the budget, BarrettSF made new spots from the same footage, changing up the dialogue.
Why It Won: Last year started out rough for Duncan Channon, losing its biggest client after a CMO change. But the agency rebounded by attracting more work from six existing clients and winning $2.5 million in new business. Last year turned out to be the San Francisco agency's second-best ever, with revenue of nearly $13 million, it reported, just shy of 2015's number. The agency also hired for and launched a new "social purpose practice" to focus on a brand's values, actions and social impact.
The Work: In 2016, said the shop, its ongoing Kona Brewing Co. campaign added three new TV spots that helped boost Kona's sales 15%. Ads featured two Hawaiian brothers enjoying life in paradise, bemused by what mainlanders obsess over, like fear of missing out or the latest viral video. For Kettle Brand chips, work included billboards that contained real packets of chips. In a nod to marijuana culture, the billboard proclaimed the brand "Oregon's second-best edibles" -- so it makes sense, then, that the chips were refilled every day at 4:20 p.m.