Talented pros holding media jobs in online advertising agencies would probably agree that the juiciest success stories come in the form of big steps, like winning a monster account or bagging a glittering raft of awards. But if you were an account manager or an art director at the New York agency Anomaly, you’d beg to differ.
Since its inception, the agency has steered away from headline-grabbing pitches. Instead, Anomaly puts the success of its business model down to effectiveness. As its founding partner David Deland explained in a recent interview for AdAge, it wants its clients’ businesses to grow, not glitzy but ephemeral features in the news-business machine.
And you’d have to be a pretty curmudgeonly account manager not to concede that the shop’s success has been most impressive. Its U.S. and global revenue expanded by 25 percent last year, it opened an office in Asia and, over the last three years, it’s grown by a walloping 350 percent.
A quick glance at its work shows why: the intensely moving ad it did for the Budweiser Super Bowl, which featured a Fleetwood Mac soundtrack backing a Clydesdale coming-of-age story, was the third most-shared Super Bowl spot in history and topped last year’s AdMeter in USA Today. Bud ranked a somewhat underwhelming eighth in the beer advertising league tables in 2012. Thanks to Anomaly, it shot to No 3 in 2013.
As the Anomaly website explains, the name means “Deviation or departure from the normal or common order, form, or rule. Syn: Abnormality, deviation, eccentricity, exception, irregularity, rarity.” And as a philosophy for growing its clients business, it’s paid off handsomely. It’s longest standing client, Converse, evolved from $305m Nike acquisition to a worldwide marketer with bragging rights over a 17 percent hike in sales last year, not least because of Anomaly’s clever “Shoes are boring. Wear sneakers” campaign. The agency has also helped Converse to become the 9th largest brand on social media.
Its real passion, however, lies in its devotion to its own brands and to intellectual property (Eos, for example, outsold ChapStick last year to become the USA’s best-selling lip balm). It’s also created an Emmy Award-winning cooking show with Eric Ripert (“Avec Eric”).
Quiet, steady success, account managers may agree, is a pretty good way to go.