DNA was awarded Ad Age Magazine’s 2021 Small Agency of the Year for the Northwest, Gold. To say we’re super excited, proud and humbled would be an understatement. In all honesty, and as much as I know we have wanted to receive this recognition for years, it didn’t come a year too soon.
Achieving Small Agency of the Year has been a goal of ours for a while – like for most of our 23 years since founding. And receiving this award is no small achievement. Every year, hot new shops open – spinoffs from the big national holding companies, teams of creatives leaving recognized shops to give it a try on their own. For Ad Age to take notice, an agency needs to demonstrate exceptional work in creative, business, innovation and culture. It’s not easy to win.
For DNA, this award has been 23 years in the making. 23 years of working with exceptional people, establishing productive, long-term relationships with great clients, continually pushing to do our best work possible, and as a result, improving the bottom line.
But receiving this award now has special meaning given the significant headwinds COVID presented. Through COVID, we held true to our approach of people first, product second then profit. While other agencies were laying off staff and cutting salaries, we doubled-down on our team. We didn’t lay off a single person and didn’t reduce a single salary. We made a commitment to hire diverse talent – and achieved a 100% hire-rate of BIPOC, female and LGBTQ DNA’ers. We did a quick pivot to become even more creative with less access to production resources, leveraging our in house production company (a new capability) and cranked out some of our best work ever while saving money for our clients. We leveraged our data and insights tools to create Best in Show Regional ADDY and National ADDY award-winning work, and created an AI bot that has proven to disrupt child sex trafficking.
In the advertising business, it always comes down to the people. We’ve been fortunate to have so many great people come through our doors, which set us up to have one of the most talented teams and leadership in advertising today. Thank you to every single DNA’er – today and yesterday, who helped create who we are. This Ad Age award is for you.