CHICAGO, July 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Chicago-based marketing agency, commonground, was honored in Minneapolis last week during the fourth annual Ad Age Small Agency Conference for small and mid-sized agencies. commonground won the Small Agency of the Year Gold Award in the 11 to 75 employees category for excellence in agency culture; attracting the best talent in the marketplace; using creativity to boost the bottom line; and having the business acumen to pursue new business and get the win.
"We are extremely proud to win the small agency award for agencies with 11 to 75 employees," said Ahmad Islam, commonground co-founder and managing partner. "This national recognition from Ad Age speaks to the unique culture and diverse talent in our agency. Our explosive growth over the past two years is really a result of our team and client partners collectively embracing commonground's unique approach at a time when marketplace dynamics are causing clients to think differently about what they are seeking from agency partners. As a company we recognize that our people and our partners are the cornerstone for our success and this award affirms that belief."
Sherman Wright, commonground co-founder and managing partner adds: "The Ad Age award validates the vision Ahmad and I set forth when we started the agency in 2004. It also lends credence to our commitment to a new agency model in a new marketplace that reflects the world as we see it today. Ahmad and I have received a lot of individual recognition this year, but we're especially proud of this award because it's about the entire commonground family—the employees and the clients."
commonground was among twenty-two agencies recognized at the Ad Age Small Agency Conference. According to Ad Age judges, this year saw an increase in entries from minority-owned shops and what are typically described as "multicultural" shops. A number of such shops took home awards based on results they're garnering not just for ethnic marketing, but for general-market marketing as well.
"The creative ideas and the strategic thinking we are seeing out of the small agency community is highly impressive," said Ad Age Agency Editor Rupal Parekh, one of the judges. "The work these shops are doing is original, unexpected and above all has a huge impact on their clients' bottom lines. I'd stack up any of the shops on our list this year against big agencies in terms of quality of output. They are really leveling the playing field."
"The Ad Age award serves as recognition of commonground's tremendous leadership and talent," said Andy England, Chief Marketing Officer of MillerCoors. "For the past eight years, commonground has developed iconic advertising and marketing for our brands. We are pleased that the agency has been awarded gold in their category. It is a well-deserved honor."
Founded in 2004 by Sherman Wright and Ahmad Islam, commonground has grown from four to more than 70 employees in the nearly eight years since it's inception. The agency's portfolio includes such clients as The Illinois Lottery, The Coca-Cola Company, Miller Coors, Unilever, Bacardi USA, American Family Insurance, Nike, Jordan Brand and Wrigley. commonground offers clients an integrated scope of services including brand strategy, cultural consulting, account planning, advertising, event marketing, consumer promotion, shopper marketing, digital/mobile solutions, content and property development.