Sharing Success Insights at Adweek’s Fastest Growing Summit

Honorees detail paths to business and personal gains amid challenges on various fronts

100 global agencies and 10 solutions providers received honors during Adweek's Fastest Growing virtual summit. Adweek

On Thursday, Adweek virtually honored agencies and service providers, of all sizes and types, from all over the world whose impact and presence in the marketing and advertising ecosystem continued to expand despite these challenging and uncertain times.

At the start of our second annual Fastest Growing celebration, Doug Zanger, senior editor of Adweek’s Agencies team, kicked off the event by sharing this year’s winners from the impressive list of recipients.

Categories included the Top 10 Fastest Growing Agencies by Percent Change in Revenue and the Top 10 Fastest Growing Solution Providers by Percent Change in Revenue. There were separate categories for large and medium agencies, as well as shops that are over 20 years old. Agencies were also recognized according to location, including internationally and by different US region.

Check out the full list of winners (and how Adweek calculated the results) here.

Chicago-based shop Highdive gained widespread praise for its Jeep Super Bowl ad starring Bill Murray, which transported the veteran actor into scenes from his 1993 hit film Groundhog Day. The agency was also crowned as Adweek’s No. 1 overall Fastest Growing agency, as well as the No. 1 Fastest Growing agency in the Midwest.

Joined by Highdive managing partner Megan Lally and co-founder and co-CCO Mark Gross, Zanger moderated a conversation that touched on the state of creativity. Highdive executives also discussed how the Chicago market is currently faring and how their previous experiences at big agencies set them up for success.

Though Gross noted that agencies and platform companies have placed greater emphasis on the need for data-driven storytelling strategies, the industry is still grounded by “fantastic, simple ideas.”

“We’re a smart, great idea-driven business,” Gross said. He observed that advertisers aren’t just competing for consumers’ attention against rivals’ creative executions or even traditional entertainment like movies; brands must vie for engagement with TikTok and YouTube videos as well.

“You have to be that much better creatively,” Gross said. “That has changed our mindset.”

Zanger also spoke with Shalonda Cornitcher, co-founder and executive producer of Passerine, Wesley Ter Haar, founder of MediaMonks and Kristi VandenBosch, president, U.S. of Oliver. The trio shared insights and stories about overcoming various barriers to success and how they each devised a clear approach to growth.

“That mindset is about having and holding a vision for where you want to be, and then finding organic and authentic opportunities to align yourself with things that get you closer to that mark,” Cornitcher said. Being open and flexible to alternative ways of reaching that vision, as well as cultivating “a culture of care,” can ensure that her team arrives at the goalpost emotionally and physically intact, she added.

@monicroqueta Mónica is a breaking news reporter at Adweek.