Zulu Alpha Kilo wins a big title

The shop beat out U.S. competitors at Ad Age's Small Agency of the Year awards show last night.


It’s not every year that a Canadian shop is named Ad Age’s Small Agency of the Year. Actually, it’s never happened before. But last night Zulu Alpha Kilo broke the U.S.-only streak, being crowned the first Canadian winner. (We’re betting the agency isn’t feeling so small anymore.)

Picking up the Gold prize at the awards show in Miami, the Toronto-based agency was up against 270 contenders, from England, Mexico anad other countries in addition to the U.S.

Zulu won top honours for its work with Cineplex (“Lily and the Snowman”), Interac (the “Be in the Black” platform with spots “Pet with credits: A dogumentary” and “Toy Store”), ParticipACTION (“Make Room For Play”), as well as its thought leadership with the “Say No To Spec” video that encourages industry folk to rethink the practice of spec work, created for strategy’s own Agency of the Year awards in 2015.

“From day one, the vision of Zulu was to one day have clients outside of Canada directly approach an agency headquartered in Canada,” said Zak Mroueh, chief creative officer and CEO, in an email to strategy. “With this win, we get one step closer to opening that door.”

The runner-up small shop was DeepLocal, out of Pittsburgh, which also won Campaign of the Year — Digital Silver for its Netflix socks that essentially transformed into a TV remote.

Ad Age’s Small Agency of the Year awards was established in 2009 in order to “ensure that the innovative campaigns and brand ideas generated by smaller companies receive the recognition they deserve,” according to the pub. And by “small,” the agency should have 150 or fewer employees. Below is the complete list of Gold and Silver-winning agencies across the 16 different categories that are judged each year.

Small Agency of the Year
Gold: Zulu Alpha Kilo, Toronto, Canada
Silver: DeepLocal, Pittsburgh, Pa.

1-10 Employees
Gold: Humanaut, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Silver: Reach Agency, Santa Monica, Calif.

11-75 Employees
Gold: Zambezi, Culver City, Calif.
Silver: Chandelier, New York

76-150 Employees
Gold: Proof, Austin, Texas
Silver: ISL, Washington, D.C.

Gold: Fake Love, New York
Silver: Badger & Winters, New York

Gold: Solve, Minneapolis
Silver: Archrival, Lincoln, Neb.

Gold: Breensmith, Atlanta, Ga.
Silver: Republica, Miami, Fla.

Gold: Proof, Austin, Texas
Silver: Loomis, Dallas, Texas

Gold: Young Jenkins, Boulder, Colo.
Silver: Duncan & Channon, San Francisco, Calif.

Gold: Wexley School for Girls, Seattle, Wash.
Silver: eROI, Portland, Ore.

Gold: Anonimo, Mexico City, Mexico
Silver: Mr. President, London

Campaign of the Year — Integrated
Gold: Organic Valley, Save the Bros (Humanaut, Chattanooga, Tenn.)
Silver: Warner Bros., Be the Batman (Battery, Los Angeles)

Campaign of the Year — Digital
Gold: Krispy Kreme, World’s Tastiest Coupon (Baldwin&)
Silver (tie): Stance, Shop With the Force (Zambezi)
Silver (tie): Netflix Socks (DeepLocal)

Campaign of the Year — Pro Bono
Gold: Jesse’s Deli, #JessesPricedOut (DCX Growth Accelerator, Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Silver: Bridges Academy, Educating the Exceptional (Terri & Sandy, New York)

Campaign of the Year — B2B
Gold: Justworks B2B (Circus Maximus, New York)
Silver: Braintree, Targeting Smart People (Noble People, New York)

Gold: Connelly Partners, Boston, Mass.
Silver: Adlucent, Austin, Texas