It's R/GA. Is anyone surprised? I'm not. R/GA has figured out how to build a successful agency model out of combining storytelling + experience. In my mind, that's the "magical" formula—key to success of the future agency model. Sounds simple, but it isn't because if it were—all agencies would be producing the caliber of work that R/GA usually does.
Here's a few excerpts from Adweek which caught my attention:
"But R/GA delivered more than visions in 2006, expanding revenue over 35 percent to an estimated $150 million, the bulk of the growth coming from existing clients like Avaya, Nike and Nokia. On the new-business front, R/GA won the global lead digital agency role for L'Oréal Paris, besting the network firepower of Euro RSCG 4D and McCann WorldGroup's MRM Worldwide. For its enviable financial performance, envelope-pushing creative and knack for building compelling brand experiences, R/GA is Adweek's Interactive Agency of the Year for 2006."
"The line between technology and creativity is more of a gradation," says Nick Law, R/GA's North American chief creative officer. "That's a hard thing for a lot of traditional agencies to accept."
:R/GA is complementing its applications by moving more directly onto the turf of general ad agencies. Law points out the agency produced more than 100 videos last year that, while not 30-second spots, are representative of a new type of broadband storytelling. R/GA is building out its digital studio, equipped to shoot in-house at a less expensive cost. It shot 11 digital video vignettes for Avaya, using tongue-in-cheek humor to show the benefits of complex products like remote data hosting, IP phone systems and IT monitoring. The videos are being used on the Avaya Web site, in online ads and at trade show presentations. They were done on a shoestring budget thanks to R/GA's all-digital production infrastructure. "When you look at a traditional agency, they can't do anything inexpensively," Greenberg says.:"
I don't think that everything R/GA does is the golden egg. For example, while I'm a huge fan of the Nike ID work, some of their other work such as the commerce portion of NIkewomen.com puts sizzle in front of substance. However, they do try to push the envelope and in my opinion get it right more often than getting it wrong. Agencies, pay attention—Experiece People + Storytellers are uniting—and brands will demand this, if they aren't already.