The L.A. Egotist Gives Us a Whirl Through the West Coast

By Kiran Aditham 

As part of our ongoing collaboration with The Denver Egotist, the folks from the network’s Los Angeles quarters chime in with a look into the agencies scattered throughout the traffic-congested City of Angels. Let’s read on to see who’s now and who’s next, shall we?

Let’s be honest here. The first thing that comes to mind when you think of LA is Hollywood. Music and Movies. Advertising takes a back seat to all the glitz and glamour of Tinsletown. Which is where we step in: to highlight and showcase any and all creativity happening in Los Angeles. But to be honest, right now LA is suffering from a little writer’s block. We are struggling to break through the barriers of some really shitty advertising.

LA currently services some of the largest and most creative brands in the world like; Pepsi, Gatorade, Honda, Toyota, Playstation, and Apple. We have more automotive accounts here than any other city (we think). And yet, we still can’t seem to move the needle.

So, It’s our intention at the LA Egotist, to challenge the Los Angeles agencies to strive for better work that their brands, their consumers and this city deserve. Just read the comments here on Agency Spy. Damn, we are some mean ass mother fuckers and pretty damn funny ones, too. But we all are demanding better.

Here’s a breakdown of where things stand here on the LA walk of fame/shame:

180 LA
Recently, they have been doing some really good work on Sony. Most notably the Rocket Project. With the recent win of Mitsubishi and their launch work with the Live Test Drive, we are guessing 180LA is going to for sure get the time in the spotlight they have been waiting for. We just hope the curse of Mitsubishi doesn’t strike again. They will, however, need to step up with more digital work. We’re getting tired of the TV spot, Guys.

Here is an agency that seems to get it and no none of us work there. Trust us. If anything, we’ve been a little hard on 72 on our site in the past. But only because we know the potential they have. They are small, nimble, creative and extremely fucking hard working (and we hear extremely low paying too). They seem to be focusing a lot of their efforts on digital right now. Smart move. We would like to see them move a little beyond the iPhone app genre, however.

Crispin Porter & Bogusky
Once just a broadcast and digital production satellite office is now turning into a major creative contender. With the recent transfers of Tiffany Rolfe and Jason Gaboriau to be co-ECDs, we are guessing this will be bad news for other local agencies. Your creatives will much rather work on fart jokes and win awards than on your shitty sales events. It looks like they will be bringing the Old Navy account back to LA as well as Baby Carrots. The latter we are digging so far, the former we are hoping will go away quickly.

Dailey & Associates
Incase you all don’t remember, they’re that one agency that… wait, nevermind. We’re not gonna even pretend to know who the hell they are or what they’ve done. Next.

David & Goliath
We keep seeing decent Kia TV spots and Las Vegas billboards around town, but, ummm, where is the digital and where is all the “brave” work? We’ve always been a fan of D&G but nothing too impressive recently. We do thank them in advance for winning the Carl’s Jr. account away from Mendohslon Zien. Holy shit that was some of the most disgusting fast food advertising we’ve ever seen.

They did that one thing. Oh wait, no they didn’t. What the fuck happened to this office? They did some cool work for Activision a few years back. Then they lost the account and since then dissappeared. Are you guys still alive?

Deutsch LA
We’re expecting big things from DeutschLA this year and we hope they can deliver. They have a great client roster like HTC, Volkswagen, Playstation & CiCi’s Pizza (we were seeing if you were still reading). But haven’t seen too much other than the Kevin Butler spots. Which we still love but once again I think we all are growing tired of the TV spot. Recently they’ve brought in a new CCO to lead the charge after Eric Hirshberg’s departure to Activision. Time will tell.

Donat Wald
They, ummm. Hmm. See “Dailey & Associates”

Goodness Mfg
We are also anticipating really good things from this agency. They seem to be creative, quick and nimble, like 72andSunny. We don’t know too much about them but wish them luck this year. Send us your shit so we can showcase it.

Ignited LA
We still haven’t see any work from this agency. Are they for real? Or was it all some sort of viral campaign.

Kastner & Partners
You know all those really terrible and annoying Red Bull commecials? You can thank them for that. We are in the process of serving them a cease and desist.

Mother LA
Like Ignited, we are still unsure if this is some weird ruse from Mother NY but the thought of this being a real office inspires alot of creatives in town. Hopefully it’s for real. If so or if not, their site was brilliant with the watermarked stock photography and based on that being the only work we’ve seen they’re batting a 1000.

M&C Saatchi LA
If you ever seen a really creative travel print ad it was probably from them. Other than that we think they live in a tree and make cookies late nights.

Mendohlson Zien
With the recent loss of Carl’s Jr. we might as well toe tag them now. We are hoping Secret Weapon follows shortly after. We still can’t eat anything with lettuce.

Ogilvy West
Ugh, this one is tragic and sad. We’re not even sure if this office is still alive. They had a rough year last year. They managed to lose Yahoo!, and Mattel all in the same month. And the Yahoo! work was some of worst work the industry has ever seen. Do you remember the print and OOH ads? That wasn’t stock photography. They actually shot that shit. But from what we understand most of that came from the SF office. So we’ll blame the SF Egotist for that debacle.

They were quick out the gate when they first opened a couple years ago. We remember a funny and strange viral campaign for Coffee Bean called Mascot Roommate. It made us laugh back in the day but we imagine this was the beginning of the end. Know your demographic, Guys. Coffee Bean is a respectable coffee chain not a coin opp video arcade. We are hoping they can turn things around, though. Everybody loves a comeback story.

The country club for creatives. That’s seriously what it’s known as here in LA. Nobody takes it seriously. But somehow they do turn out a decent spot for Honda every once in a while. But you know who else turns out decent spots every once in a while? Every other agency. They did recently hire so-and-so from MAL and we hear the rumblings of big changes. So, you never know.

Saatchi & Saatchi LA
Honestly, we can’t think of anything to critique. Saatchi is kind of in the safe zone. Ever since Mike McKay came aboard, the work has been pretty decent. All the Prius work has been great. We liked Swagger Wagon. We loved Nog Pong. But we will have to see what happens now that McKay has recently left for BBDO.

Secret Weapon
They did that one funny Jack N The Box commercial a long time ago. But since then we’ve been waiting for them to stop.

Standard Time
Smaller shops are gonna have an advantage in the current climate. We hope to see good things from them but haven’t seen anything yet. Send us some work. We’re not quite sure how clever they are trying to be with the name. Pretty brave to have “Standard” in your agency name.

Team One
They did that one Lexus, remember? And then they did another one. And another one. And another one. Yawn. We hear Team One is just like RPA with more T&A. Advantage, Team One.

TBWA\Chiat\Day LA
Ah, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Everybody’s favorite agency….to hate on. WTF people? Where did all this hatred come from? Did Rob Schwartz show up to your kid’s bar mitzvah and leave an “upper deck” in the guest bathroom?

We understand that this was once the mecca of advertising. But it’s not anymore. Let’s move on. Yes, they do terrible work on Pepsi, Gatorade & Visa but the recent Nissan work seems to be taking a turn for the better. And let’s not forget the Refresh Project. That was pretty cool, right? And that C.O.D. Black Ops spot was epic. Agency Spy, we need you to extend an olive branch on this one.

Even their shitty work is great. Is it Lee? Or is it just the hipster Apple brand? Unfortunately their digital is usually just the TV spot in a banner and for some reason all the blogs love it. Did we miss something? Whatever it is Media Arts Lab seems to deliver great creative continuously with the occassional hiccup: like the really awkward Face Time campaign for the iPhone 4.

Yes. that’s really their name. They own the record for an account quicker than any other agency in the world. Maybe it was the name that lost them Mitsubishi in a matter of minutes. Give a call they might be able to help out with a few new names and pitch videos.

Zambezi for sheezy. We just like saying that. We are really curious about this shop. Still not sure how they landed the Vitamin Water account. And the work is all over the place. The TV is an interesting approach. But it feels very random compared to everything else.

The Los Angeles Egotist highlights the best creative in LA and is THE site for all SoCal people in creative careers. We’re one of several Egotist sites that will be reporting on local scenes for Agency Spy. In the meantime, you can read about, talk about and submit great creative work daily at