Johannesburg-based full-service advertising agency, Volcano, has been recognised as the Ad Age International Small Agency of the Year 2014. Scooping silver in the international category, Volcano is also the first ever African agency to be honoured at the awards.
Held in Austin, Texas, last week, the Ad Age Small Agency Awards pay tribute to independently owned agencies of 150 people or less. With just 70 staffers at the time of entry, Volcano was pitted against much larger companies in far more advanced markets, making the accolade an even greater one. Cited as the most hotly contested category at the awards in 2014, the International Small Agency of the Year award considers business growth, creativity and campaign efficacy when selecting winners. Volcano saw a substantial increase of 18.4% in its revenue year on year, acquiring a considerable number of new clients and most importantly, produced market-share grabbing creative executions which went far to prove the agency’s mettle against far bigger global shops.
Subsequent to the judging of the Ad Age Small Agency Awards entries, Grey Global acquired a majority stake in the Volcano Group, re-establishing the global advertising giant as a leader in providing creative and effective full-service integrated marketing communications solutions across the African continent.
Paul Jackson, Grey Africa’s Managing Director, who attended the Ad Age awards, says they are immensely proud to be honoured with this award. “We are ecstatic to have won this award and this will further motivate us to continue to create and design impactful ideas for our clients that will start earlier and live longer.”
Ad Age’s Small Agency Awards offer indie agencies from around the world a chance to show off the innovative work and inventive brand ideas and concepts that often get overlooked in award shows dominated by big global network agencies. The competition was very tough and each year the volume of Small Agency Awards entries increases, as does the calibre of agencies entering.
“We were pretty blown away by the incredible talent and powerful ideas coming out of the small agency community,” said Abbey Klaassen, associate publisher-editorial and audience, Ad Age. “Their ambition and abilities make these kinds of firms highly attractive to clients seeking creative and agile partners as well as to potential acquirers. Perhaps it’s not surprising then, that between the time they entered to the time the winners were announced, two of our international agency honourees where snapped up by larger firms.”
Jackson concludes that Grey Africa will focus on producing great creativity that delivers outstanding results while continuing to grow a strong Grey presence in South Africa as well as in key African markets with the same drive and commitment that earned Volcano this prestigious award.