Dong Draper Releases the ‘Dong List’ That Ranks 40 Agencies

By Kyle O'Brien 

Popular social media account Dong Draper, aka copywriter Sai He, has released the “Dong List,” a ranking of 40 top agencies, and Wieden+Kennedy has come out on top.

The “Dong List” is a crowdsourced opinion poll on 40 big name ad agencies that went out to Dong Draper’s nearly 20,000 Instagram followers (the Twitter account has over 16,000 followers). Over the course of two days last week using Instagram Stories sliders. He explained why he made the Dong List by writing on social that he wanted to see how public opinion stacked up against “pay-to-play industry rankings that only judge an agency’s own case study. And we all know case studies don’t exactly tell the whole story.”


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That stated, He noted that the list isn’t an exact science, though the polling data was included in the posts for transparency. On the first day, agencies received on average approximately 2,000 votes, while agencies from day two received roughly 1,000.

“My best guesses for the discrepancy are voter fatigue as well as posting day one on a Thursday while day two went live on a Friday,” He told Adweek. “Of course this is non-exhaustive, as I only polled about 40 agencies total and there are many agencies on the A-List (e.g. Work & Co, We Believers) that I did not poll as part of this exercise.” The A-List refers to Ad Age’s annual agency rankings.

He went on to say that he doesn’t think the list should be taken that seriously. “If it was going to be serious, there’d be criteria like ‘What agency do you wanna work for the most?’ or ‘What agency is doing the best work?’ Rather, this is simply an overarching sentiment about agencies based on what people think.”

What the list does show are discrepancies between it and A-list agencies. For example, Deutsch landed as number four on the 2021 A-list and VMLY&R as number nine, while on the Dong List, both are near the bottom 50th percentile.

Rounding out the top five on the Dong List are Droga5, Mother, 72andSunny and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.