Ready for Their Closeup


Saatchi & Saatchi

It’s all Toyota all the time at the Torrance office of this global agency—taking the form of everything from sales brochures and outdoor ads to multiple multiplatform campaigns in a given year. It’s big business (Toyota is the agency’s second largest client after Procter & Gamble) and a key part of Saatchi’s history, given that the automaker has been a client for more than 40 years. The office got a little more crowded last month when it took home four Gold Lions from Cannes for its Tundra Endeavour campaign. –Andrew McMains

From left, John Lisko, executive communications director; Margaret Keene, ecd; Chuck Maguy, president; Kurt Ritter, chairman/West Coast operations; Mark Turner, chief strategy officer; Chris Adams, ecd. Photographed in the Hollywood Hills.

Photo: Jeremy Goldberg

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David Angelo always thought agencies did a lousy job branding themselves. So when striking out on his own 14 years ago, he created a concept that wasn’t just a clever play on his name—it underscored a commitment to challenger marketing strategies. Perhaps no better example is Kia, its first client and at the time a little-known auto brand that’s now one of the fastest growing U.S. nameplates. The agency’s challenger mentality extends to its own culture, where employees must claim a “Goliath” to beat—be it a business challenge or personal bête noire, like when the avocado-loathing Angelo forced himself to eat one in front of the agency. Now that’s leadership. –Noreen O’Leary

David Angelo, founder/CCO. Photographed atop The Standard, Downtown L.A.

Photo: Jeremy Goldberg




Drawn to SoCal’s optimism, lifestyle and culture, in less than a decade 72andSunny has become one of the industry’s bright lights. Housed in the old Playa Vista offices of Howard Hughes, it now employs more than 300 people, nearly 10 times the size of its Amsterdam HQ. Marketers like Anheuser-Busch, Activision and Carl’s Jr. have signed on, while others including Target and Google have expanded their relationships beyond initial projects. Next, the MDC Partners shop takes its Southern California beach vibe to the more cynical environs of New York where it will open a third outpost. –N.O.



Matt Jarvis, partner/chief strategy officer, and Evin Shutt, partner, director of brand operations. Photographed in the Biergarten at The Standard, Downtown L.A.

Photo: Jeremy Goldberg


CAA Marketing

What began 15 years ago as a handful of ad guys looking to find their way inside a talent-management colossus has evolved into a little engine that could, underscored most famously by the runaway success of the Willie Nelson-meets-Coldplay-meets-animation push for Chipotle. The Back to the Start campaign (which snagged two Grand Prix at Cannes last year) represented the promise fulfilled of marketing plus star power. Ensconced in the second floor of a marble and glass fortress in Century City (across the avenue from Candy Spelling’s place), the team also cranks out superstar work for the likes of Coca-Cola, General Motors, Diageo and Mattel. –A.M.

Jesse Coulter (l.), co-CCO, and David Messinger, co-head. Photographed at a private airstrip in the San Fernando Valley.

Photo: Jeremy Goldberg


Deutsch L.A.

It’s rare for a satellite office to rival the profile of its New York HQ, particularly when it’s built upon the personality of a Manhattan media star like Donny Deutsch. But since opening in 1997—without a single client—CEO Mike Sheldon has helped build an autonomous West Coast powerhouse known for work like the Darth Vader Super Bowl ad for Volkswagen. Nearly one-third of its work is now in the digital space, on behalf of clients like VW, Target, Dr. Pepper and Pop Secret. Deutsch is still on the hunt for a chief creative officer. Meanwhile, Sheldon (who moved to L.A. to race motorcraft) rallies the troops with an agency motorcycle club, now mapping out a trip to Big Sur. –N.O.

From left, Kyle Acquistapace, partner/ director of media and data strategy; Mike Sheldon, CEO; Jeffrey Blish, partner/chief strategy officer; Winston Binch, partner/chief digital officer; Kim Getty, partner/director of account management; and Vic Palumbo, partner/director of integrated production. Photographed in Beverly Hills.

Photo: Jeremy Goldberg



Launched in 2010, Mistress’ project-oriented business model reflects an industry in which clients are increasingly promiscuous when it comes to agency relationships. None of the shop’s five founders are from L.A., and only one, Christian Jacobsen, was actually living there when they formed Mistress via Skype. All were drawn to a market defined by entertainment and the ephemeral stuff of the consumer culture. Early projects were branded shows for Red Bull and Hot Wheels. (Another branded-content project for Hot Wheels just won a Gold Lion at Cannes.) While the agency’s ethos may be rooted in fleeting client flings, Mistress has committed to some serious relationships with the likes of Mattel, Jägermeister and Disney Interactive. –N.O.

From left, Scott Harris, partner/creative; Blake E. Marquis, partner/design; Jens Stoelken, partner/strategy; Damien Eley, partner/creative; and Christian Jacobsen, partner/strategy. Photographed near the Mistress HQ in Venice Beach.

Photo: Jeremy Goldberg



Cast in yellow, the Playa del Rey base is the spiritual home and creative center of global agency TBWA. But interestingly, the work most associated with the office, for global account Apple, comes out of smaller digs next door known as TBWA\Media Arts Lab. It earned the top prize in the Press Lions competition at Cannes this year for its print ads for Apple’s iPad Mini. Each ad, on the back cover of titles like Time and Wired, pictured a tablet whose display was the front cover of that magazine. (Other accounts include Pepsi, Nissan and Southwest Airlines.) Some 550 staffers occupy the main digs, which includes a basketball court—oh, and a 125-foot dog run. –A.M.

From left, Lee Clow, global director of media arts, TBWAWorldwide and chairman, TBWAMedia Arts Lab; Carisa Bianchi, president, TBWA L.A.; John Norman, CCO, TBWA L.A. Photographed at Randy’s Donuts, Inglewood.

Photo: Jeremy Goldberg


Gifted Youth

The runaway success of Funny or Die, known for its branded videos, led to advertiser requests for traditional spots. Thus was born Gifted Youth, working its magic for clients like Old Milwaukee and GameFly while drawing on FOD talent like co-founder Adam McKay. It’s been quite the first year, with recognition at the Clio Awards and shortlisted entries at Cannes. It also produced one of the year’s most popular videos, for Pepsi MAX. With more than 37 million views, "Test Drive" features stock car racer Jeff Gordon taking a car salesman on the test drive of his life. Shot by Peter Atencio of Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, it underscores the caliber of Hollywood talent flocking to the startup. –N.O.

Chris Bruss, president, Gifted Youth, and vp/branded entertainment, Funny or Die. Photographed at The Standard, Downtown L.A.

Photo: Jeremy Goldberg



Started in an Amsterdam canal house 15 years ago, 180 was similarly drawn to the water when it opened in Santa Monica in 2007. Founding client Adidas was also its first account in the U.S. And yet, the roster has grown to include Expedia, Sony and Mitsubishi. This year, when Pepsi wanted to create an ad with Beyoncé, the marketer didn’t go to its lead agency, TBWAChiatDay—rather, it tapped smaller Omnicom corporate sibling 180LA for the spot, Mirrors, which aired around the world. –N.O.

Michael Allen (l.), president/managing partner, and William Gelner, CCO/managing partner. Photographed in Venice Beach.

Photo: Jeremy Goldberg



In documentary Clouds Over Cuba, Tool shows off the creative range it has come to be known for. With the film, marking the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, the production company trucked out supporting interactive information, videos and declassified audio recordings that let viewers experience the standoff in real time. (The result: an impressive 11 Lions at Cannes.) Created by Tool founder Erich Joiner and interactive director Ben Tricklebank, the film—the centerpiece of a campaign from The Martin Agency—showcased Tool’s filmmaking as well as digital bona fides. Other standout digital work includes Jam With Chrome for Google. –N.O.

Brian Latt, president. Photographed in Venice Beach.

Photo: Jeremy Goldberg


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