The Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Advertising

Top 10 Company

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Advertising & Marketing

01 / Wieden+Kennedy »

For creating the nimble, novel Old Spice campaign. To promote the deodorant brand, W+K had its beloved pitchman, the Old Spice Guy, shoot 200 hilarious videos for Twitterers, bloggers, celebrities, and everyday Joes. The result: more than 94 million views for the brand's YouTube channel; some 90,000 Twitter followers and 675,000 Facebook fans—and an Emmy for W+K. The firm was also behind Nike's "Write the Future" campaign, which was viewed online 12 million times in one day.

02 / Kraft

For recognizing and targeting an underestimated demographic. The company pioneered marketing to moms with some of the most inventive and effective digital marketing campaigns. Among them: "Real Women of Philadelphia," which had Paula Deen invite women to invent Philly cream-cheese recipes and cast themselves in their own videos as TV pros.

03 / Ford

For taking an audacious plunge into social media. Last year, Ford not only reprised its "Swap Your Ride" promotion, having Honda and Toyota owners test drive Fords and using the testimonials in its advertising, but also launched the Fiesta Movement. The new campaign put bloggers across the country behind the wheel of a Fiesta, so they would spread the word about the small car long before it launched in the U.S.

04 / Mullen

For coming back to win progressive social-media clients. After a rough few years laying off a quarter of its staff, trying to evolve to digital, and producing lukewarm creative, Mullen rewired itself and captured two symbolically and fiscally important new clients: Zappos and JetBlue.

05 / Vivaki

For driving collaboration inside and outside a giant holding company. The VivaKi Nerve Center is the centralized hub for developing company-wide tech platforms for Publicis Groupe. One Vivaki venture, The Pool, is attempting to create the emerging-media equivalent of TV's 30-second spot, partnering with heavyweight publishers such as YouTube and Hulu, content creators such as NBC and CBS, and advertisers such as Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods.

06 / Google Creative Lab

For behaving as an iterative, cross-disciplinary skunkworks. Among the best Last summer's interactive "The Wilderness Downtown" experience was a collaboration with writer/director Chris Milk and the band Arcade Fire. Set to Arcade Fire's new song "We Used to Wait," it's mash-up of Google Maps and Google Street View with HTML5 canvas, HTML5 audio and video, an interactive drawing tool, and choreographed windows that dance around the screen using Google's Chrome browser. And after the success of the "Parisian Love" Superbowl spot, Berdnt's team launched a "search stories video creator" for people to create their own versions.

07 / Horizon Media

For proving that private and profit aren’t mutually exclusive. With a slew of awards (Cannes, Mediaweek) and loyal clients (A&E, Sobieski Vodka), this media company manages to be inventive and profitable while remaining private and independent.

08 / Grey NY

For penetrating pop culture with story-driven marketing. Last year, Grey worked with Vimeo to create the largest community film project in history, Canon's "Beyond the Still" which won Titanium, Gold, and Silver Lions at Cannes.

09 / 360i

For navigating search and mobile with obsessive social-listening prowess, and creating hundreds of winning campaigns for clients ranging from Oreo (a Facebook game starring Shaq) to Alamo (launching a website to help users plan their perfect vacations).

10 / BBDO

For pushing beyond the 30-second spot. It may be a Madison Ave. behemoth, but BBDO made smart use of the web and Blu-ray with such campaigns as AT&T Headercam, the first webcam-enabled soccer match, and HBO True Blood Live Feed, in which viewers could link their Blu-ray players to their social media accounts and choose an experience based on one of the three character sets from the show.

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