2019 MedAdNews Awards Agency of the Year Finalist

  • Apple – Working From Home – This nearly 7-minute ad is a sequel to an ad called “The Underdogs” from a year or so ago. What I loved about this ad is that it is probably the best encapsulation of how teams get things done despite the many stresses and indignities of extended working from home – all done in an engaging and smart narrative. To all the snarky LinkedIn articles about how “you’ve been working from home for 20 years and it’s the future”, I say to you: “I’ll be knocking down the door the day the office reopens.” Apple also gets honorable mention for another great ad this week in their climate change commitment ad, which is one of the best emotional heart grabbers I’ve seen since Nike’s Find Your Greatness.
  • BMW Stage Your Driveway – Part of our process at SOUND is ensuring a rich understanding of a brand’s core audience. BMW clearly has a rich understanding of their core audience. Through their research, they discovered a strong correlation between the car buying and house buying journey and targeted luxury home buyers/sellers with the value-added service of being able to rent a car to stage the driveway. They dramatically decreased cost per lead while also increasing the value of the house. Smart journey tailgating strategy.
  • Burger King – King of the Stream – Burger King continues its media hijacking strategy by tapping into an increasingly growing community, the online game streaming community on Twitch. They made branded donations to streamers to break through into media that would typically not have advertising at all.
  • Chipotle Virtual Farmers Market –The one thing I’ve been impressed with during COVID-19 is the ingenuity of businesses to rapidly pivot to new revenue streams for themselves and their suppliers. Chipotle does an excellent job pivoting to allow the consumer to buy directly from their suppliers and gives consumers helpful “how to” TikTok videos for how to make it just like they do.
  • Parkinson’s No Escape Room – I’m a sucker for a good experiential campaign. The No Escape Room is an escape room where the puzzles are all related to the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Excellent execution to demonstrate what it’s like to suffer from symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Stella Artois – Daydream – You know we’ve hit peak pandemic when ads are depicting daydreaming about day drinking in the middle of a workday all set to an M. Ward cover song. Really cool art direction and great use of escapist emotion. Side note: please don’t day drink in the middle of a workday – it’s generally frowned upon outside of work events and qualifies for at least 2 of the 4 CAGE symptoms of alcoholism.


  • Palm Springs (Hulu) – Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti star in a Groundhog Day-esque movie that takes place at a wedding in Palm Springs. Not sure if I loved this movie because I really like the Lonely Island and movies about time travel or the fact that it depicts a beautiful resort in Palm Springs where people can actually have non-socially distanced, unmasked fun, without infecting everyone with a deadly disease, but, hey, either way, I loved it.
  • Beastie Boys Story (Apple TV) – Beastie Boys doc produced by Spike Jonze is an enjoyable and surprisingly heartfelt tour of the last 30 years of their career. Cool format, great storytelling, and incredible soundtrack. Made me immediately want to dig back into their catalog.


  • Dark (Netflix) – Speaking of time travel, my wife and I are both currently binging this appropriately named series about a small German town where there is a sudden rash of disappearances. I won’t say any more, but this excellent mystery box slow burn is beautifully art directed. A word of caution – this is originally a German series dubbed to English. The English dubbing is pretty bad. Like one level above Godzilla movies bad. I’d recommend either listening to it in German with English subtitles or getting used to the bad dubbing, but either way, the series is brilliant.


  • HAIM – Women in Music Pt III – Excellent new album from HAIM, maybe my favorite album of the summer. I love 10 of the 16 tracks on this album.
  • Run the Jewels – RTJ4 – If there is another album that isn’t more of the moment than this one, I’ll be surprised. DJ El-P and MC Killer Mike reunited for their 4th studio album that is excellent from start to finish. Jeff and I saw these guys in concert for their last album…they were incredible.
  • Lady Gaga – Chromatica – Remember when Lady Gaga was the pop queen diva who made ear-wormy songs that were all over the radio like “Poker Face”? Yeah, me too. This album is her return to form.

Written by Nick Rhodin

Managing Partner,
Executive Director of Strategic Planning

Nick is devoted to discovering and leveraging core customer insights to drive brand strategy development.

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