Grey is the most innovative ad agency?! Grey?! Gasp! Spit-take! Here’s why.

February 19, 2010 — Leave a comment

Fast Company just put out a story on the most innovative ad agencies.

Grey took #1. They have typically been known for pretty straight communications for huge brands. Nothing very innovative or earth shattering. Just safe blocking-and-tackling. They weren’t even in the top 10 last year.

Their historical “yawn” position put them in the backseat underdog spot when it comes to innovation. And that can be a great place to be.

Humans love when the underdog wins. Clearly, Fast Company does too. You could argue with a few of their choices as maybe-not-so-legit, but for Grey, this is certainly nice news. They won 17 of 19 pitches in `09.

It takes some brave souls and ridiculously hard work to turn around a ship as big as Grey. As a 102 year-old company, they’ve been around longer than the rest of the top 10 combined. And changing a 102 year-old ain’t easy. I think this is part of what Fast Company is rewarding. The change of Grey. And hey, the work is pretty damn good too.

E-trade babies. The hilarious truTV spot with Punxsutawney Polamalu that ran in the Super Bowl. The cool NFL slo-mo spots. Nice stuff.

But THE most innovative? Discuss.

The rest of the list:
Firstborn, a pretty amazing digital multimedia shop
Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, known for Burger King, Old Navy, Gap, Dominos
Unilever, the packaged goods giant (an kinda odd choice)
R/GA, the digital communication agency of the decade
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, one the offline greats has been rocking online
Mr Youth, newish to the scene & Mashable’s social media agency of the year
Mindshare, all the stuff around the ad
Katalyst, Ashton Kutcher’s brainchild. Cool idea, but will it last? Hmmmm…
Trumpet, a cool New Olreans up-n-comer

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