Top 3 Ad Agencies That Are Creating Extraordinary Video Content (and the secret behind their unparalleled success)

Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK.
— Don Draper

Don says this line in the very first episode of Mad Men, and this is crux of advertising. Ad agencies that create innovative campaigns around their consumers happiness come out on top.

Below I’ve mentioned 3 ad agencies that are not just winning a plethora of awards for their extraordinary campaigns but also the hearts of their consumers.

1. Droga5

Advertising doesn’t have to be pollution. Advertising can be amazing. Advertising can contribute to culture. Advertising can lead culture. Advertising can solve social issues... I believe in creating ideas that consumers actually want to engage in, creating movements with our thinking and not bombarding them into submission... There is good business doing good.
— David Droga

Who’s Droga5, you ask?

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Suffice it to say, Droga5 has been making pretty crazy waves in the digital world since their advent in 2006.

Droga5 is an advertising agency. Sounds pretty simple, and common, right? After all, every other day a new ad agency pops up ready to make a mark on this chaotic digital world.

However, this ad agency has created some of the most popular, and highly creative video campaigns for brands we all know and love. They attribute most of their success to innovation; constantly evolving their advertising strategies and thinking completely out-of-the-box.

Among other massive names, their client roster includes,

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Secret behind their stupendous success?

We win more business, not because of pitching but because clients say, ‘We like the work you’re doing.’
— David Droga

Some of their most popular campaigns include,

1. Prudential, “Day One,” 2011

This insurance giant approached Droga5 and put their creativity to test. Droga5 accepted the challenge, and created a highly popular campaign called ‘Day one’. It revolved around people who had recently retired and how they felt like to wake up on first day of their work free life. It was eye-opening, heart-warming and proved that video campaigns in the financial services niche can be extremely powerful and humane, too.

"Throughout this generation, there is a hope and a belief that they will make it through. They will be OK," say the campaign's press materials.

2. Under Armour, “I Will What I Want,” 2014

Droga 5 was given a difficult task of ‘creating an empowering and beautiful space for Under Armour Women’s brand to grow.’ And that’s exactly what they did through this amazing video bursting with raw passion.

“The campaign shows all the contradicting opinions she (Giselle) is constantly exposed to and the focus and determination it takes to tune out the noise and will what she wants." David

3. MailChimp, ‘Do you mean Mailchimp?’ 2017

4. The New York Times, ‘The truth is hard to find,’ 2017

In all their campaigns, you’ll notice they don't shy away from exploring subjects and ideas that are unusual, while still staying true to the brand’s core principals and their audience. And this is what gives them an edge over all others.

2. Carat

We are the audience agency. We have always been focused on insights, research and data—and in a world where digital is the dominant economy, the ability to know more about our clients’ most valuable audiences through behavioral data gives us the ability to lean in much further” and help create programs that make an impact.
— Doug Ray

Along with several other awards, Carat has won,

  • Cannes Lions, Carat UK, Cannes Lions, 2015
  • Media Agency of the Year 2017, Ireland
  • Adweek’s U.S. Media Agency of the Year, 2016
  • mUmBRELLA, Carat China, Media Agency of the Year, 2015
  • Anuncios, Carat España, Media Agency of the Year, 2015
  • B&T, Carat Australia, Media Agency of the Year, 2015

A team with over 35000 people spread across 5 continents and 24 time zones, Carat is a full service, award-winning, and a pretty darn awesome ad agency. They take a holistic approach with their strategies; taking care of planning, optimization, online and offline media buying, strategic consulting, development and support of integrated communication strategies.

They’ve represented a multitude of hugely popular brands, including

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Their secret? Strategic planning through potent power of data and a healthy dash of innovation.

“We have a habit of challenging legacy conventions, which has served us well,” says Michael Epstein, CEO of Carat US. “We have the ability to be very agile and flexible in our solutions.”

Some of their popular campaigns include,

1. Bodyform Responds: The Truth 2013

Richard Neill wrote a highly viral post, with over 20k likes, about being mis-sold on the concept on menstruation by Bodyform over the years.

This UK maxi pad brand responded him by releasing a hilarious, tongue-in-cheek video, ‘The truth’. It clocked over 3 millions views in just the first week.

See for yourself,

Using humour and harnessing a highly popular post, Carat teamed up with Bodyform to create an unconventional, bold, and amusing video.

'Carat has created an original and uniquely personalised response, brilliantly PR-ed by Myriad, allowing Bodyform to quickly engage in consumer conversations in a meaningful way.' Yulia Kretova, Brand Controller, at Bodyform

This video campaign was so popular, it ended up winning,

  • Gold Lion, Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2013
  • The Grocer Marketing - Advertising and PR (MAP) Awards 2013
  • Gold Lion (Cyber Lion – Online Video) - Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2013

2. Adidas: Supercolor Live 2015

Carat created ‘Supercolor Live’ - a live event in London featuring Pharrel William and bursts of vibrant colors - to launch their Supercolor collection.

3. Mindshare

Way back in 1905, Nobel prize winning bacteriologist Robert Koch presciently warned, ‘the day will come when man will have to come fight noise as inexorably as cholera and the plague’.
— Norm Johnston, Chief Digital Officer, Mindshare Worldwide

Started 20 years ago, Mindshare is one of the most successful (and creative) media and marketing agencies in the world. It has over 7,000 employees, in 116 offices across 86 countries. They’re a pretty big deal.  

They’ve won so many awards year after year for their exceptional (creativity, effectiveness and marketing) ad campaigns that it’s hard to keep track of all of them (it’s over 696 awards, for sure, though). Below are a few of them,

  • Gold and Silver Media Lions - Cannes Festival of Creativity [Nike & Dove]
  • 2 x AdWeek Media Plan of the Year (US)
  • Media Network of the Year - Campaign Asia Pacific
  • Media Agency of the Year, EMVIES 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Agency Network of the year, Festival of Media APAC Awards 2017

Facebook, Unilever, Mastercard, Ford. Mindshare has created winning campaigns for all these big names and so many more.

How do they fight digital noise and make sure their campaigns stand out from the crowd? By assessing the niche market, coming up with bold ideas and challenging the status quo. They’re famous for keeping their finger on the pulse of new media.

Some of their most ingenious campaigns include,

1. Dove: Change the rhythm

Women are often discouraged to participate in sports as it’s supposed to decrease their physical attractiveness. After gathering data, Mindshare partnered with Dove to create a powerful video that challenges all these beauty ideals and more.

Result? Lots and lots of applause.

2. M & S: Love Mrs Claus

Marks and Spencer’s most customer-centric campaign till yet is ‘Love Mrs Claus’. With women lamenting the the lack of female role models, Mindshare decided to reconnect M&S with their lost female oriented audience through this campaign.

"Mrs Claus is the result of thousands of conversations that we had with our customers to understand what they want from M&S – which is warmth, empathy and a touch of humour presented in a modern and contemporary way.”

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, executive director of customer, marketing and M&S.com

This campaign was a huge hit. It,

  • Received over 80 million views
  • Had over 6000 sales of Mrs Claus iconic red dress
  • Increased its quarterly sales for the first time in six years and had a 5.9% increase in sales
  • Was hailed the best Christmas campaign by Evening Standard, Sun, Daily Mail, Express and Metro.

The Telegraph declared that ‘In a bid to help 2016 come to a less crashing end for women, M&S have saved the day with their Christmas offering’.