40 Strangest Agency Names, and Where They Came From

The stories behind the industry's most oddly named shops

Headshot of David Griner

If you were launching a new agency today, what would you call it? A group of young social-media marketers in Paris recently went with Kids Love Jetlag, which joins sister agencies Hello, Sunshine and Furious Monkeys as part of France’s eccentric Fred & Farid Group. Since hearing about this new shop, we’ve been thinking a lot about oddly named agencies. Some, like Razorfish and David & Goliath, have become so mainstream, they no longer register as strange. Others, like StrawberryFrog and Barton F. Graf 9000, will probably always seem quirky. So, as an exercise in hilarity, we’ve compiled a ranking of what we consider the weirdest agency names in the advertising business. Check out the list after the jump, then let us know your picks for pre-eminent peculiarity in the comments. (Image above via Alan O’Rourke on Flickr.)


40. Taxi

http://www.taxi.ca Location: International, based in Canada
Explanation from the site: “We believe a small team of experts should drive every piece of business—as many as can fit in a cab.”

39. Odopod

http://odopod.com Location: San Francisco
Explanation: Reportedly named for Godzilla’s island of Odo and the idea of a compact team, or pod.

38. Bonehook

http://bonehook.com Location: Portland, Ore.
Explanation: “I wanted to strip what we do down to the bare essentials,” founder David Burn tells AdFreak. “We go out and fish for our dinners, in order to survive. Additionally, I was hoping to convey my love of the Pacific Northwest and native culture.”

37. Big Spaceship

http://www.bigspaceship.com Location: New York
Explanation: In a 2010 interview with iMedia Connection, founder Michael Lebowitz said he liked the name Spaceship for its sense of exploration, but he wanted to add a word, since Spaceship.com was already taken. “We settled on ‘Big’ primarily because it’s inclusive; there is room for everyone on a big spaceship, and it has notes of a mothership.”

36. Droga5

http://www.droga5.com Location: International, based in New York
Explanation: Reportedly named for the label that founder David Droga’s mother would stitch into his underwear when he was a child, to clarify which sibling it belonged to.

35. The Bank

http://www.thebank.co.uk Location: International, based in London
Explanation: Named as an ironic homage to a bank whose “ill treatment” the owners blamed for the failure of their previous business, a music production studio.

34. Razorfish

http://www.razorfish.com Location: International, based in New York
Explanation: Co-founder Jeffrey Dachis reportedly put off selecting a name until he had to open the agency’s first bank account in the mid-1990s. On the spot, he selected Razorfish from a list of 10 brainstormed options.

33. Naked

http://www.nakedcomms.com Location: International, based in London
Founding partner Will Colin tells AdFreak: “We believed that 21st century brands must ‘go Naked’ to the consumer—no longer using communication as an image cloak but instead as an open transaction in which people are equal partners with the brand.”

32. Wikreate

http://www.wikreate.com Location: San Francisco
Explanation from the site: “Our agency is built on the wiki model: a platform based on collaboration with field experts and associates under unified company and project management.”

31. Steak

http://www.steakdigital.co.uk Location: International, based in London
Explanation: Launched in 2005 by former search-engine employees, Steak set out to help marketers make the most of new digital opportunities. Their mission was “rare medium, well done.”

30. Creature

http://www.welcometocreature.com Location: Seattle
Matt Peterson, principal and creative director, tells AdFreak: “When you say Creature, no two people have the same vision come to them. It’s undefined and often never before seen. That sentiment goes into every project, client and solution we work on. Each its own ‘Creature.’ Each uniquely built to the business issue we are trying to solve. We are the Creature the problem requires. Our name also allows us to become a slightly different company than we were the day before, morphing to new places where creativity is needed.”

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@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."