Today’s media agencies face a new slew of challenges, as more clients slash budgets, issue RFPs and take everything in-house, from planning to programmatic. But clients aren’t the only ones making big changes. Both OMD and Initiative bounced back from challenging years with strategic pivots, picking up new business from brands like Daimler Mercedes, Liberty Mutual, Revlon and the U.S. Army. Breakthrough network Essence transcended its reputation as Google’s digital resource to score new partnerships with BP, Peloton, T-Mobile and more while doubling its headcount and adding 11 offices around the world. On the work front, these shops proved their media mettle with headlining campaigns for Amazon, McDonald’s, Target, USA Network … and who could forget the International House of Burgers? Read on to find out why these three earned Adweek’s Media Agency of the Year honors.