A Swedish shout-out to Ad Age's Small Agency of the Year winner

Mirimar founder John McKelvey hands off the show's trophy to Chicago's Highdive

Published On
Aug 06, 2020

Editor's Pick

Every year during Ad Age’s Small Agency Awards, it’s become customary for the outgoing big winner to cheer the new honoree in the form of a film. Previous years saw Terri & Sandy recalling what they did with the Small Agency trophy, which they affectionately dubbed the Smanley Cup, while BSSP spoofed Nike’s classic “Jogger” ad.  

This year’s top winner, Chicago’s Highdive, was honored in two films from the founders of last year’s honoree JohnxHannes. After last year’s win, the shop’s leaders parted ways to open their own new agencies—John McKelvey opened Mirimar in L.A., while Hannes Ciatti opened New York shop Alto. McKelvey did an official hand-off of the “Smanley Cup” from his home, but only after a few words in “Swedish.” 

His agency Mirimar recently debuted its first major effort, the U.S. brand campaign for payment app Klarna, which featured obscure pop culture content from Sweden, incorrectly subtitled with words singing the praises of the company. Mirimar replicated that technique in its congratulatory video, before McKelvey official passed on the trophy.

A separate film from Ciatti’s Alto was an ode to small agencies in the form of a dung beetle nature doc, and the night’s big winner, Highdive, went all-out with its acceptance film, which featured surprise celebrity cameos from the stars of its Jeep and Rocket Mortage Super Bowl ads. 


Aug 06, 2020
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