Any hot ad shop can win awards—but how about papal condemnation? 72andSunny provoked a furor when it put His Holiness in a lip-lock with grand sheikh Mohamed Ahmed al-Tayeb for a Benetton campaign. The aim is to get clients in a cultural conversation, says partner Matt Jarvis—no matter what. The Los Angeles-based agency turned K-Swiss shoes into must-haves with its use of Kenny Powers, Danny McBride's Eastbound and Down character. The groundbreaking three-way between the HBO series, brand, and celebrity led to a reported 250% increase in K-Swiss's online sales. The campaign was so true to McBride's character that he and Eastbound cocreator Jody Hill recruited 72 writer Matt Heath to work on the show's third season.
Illustration by Peter Oumanski