Observatory, a Stagwell (STGW) Agency, Named to Fast Company's World's Most Innovative Companies List for Third Straight Year
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Stagwell agency recognized for its content-centric campaigns, brand partnerships and premium brand entertainment
LOS ANGELES, March 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Creative agency Observatory is named to Fast Company‘s list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2022, making this the third year in a row that the Emmy-, Cannes Lions Grand Prix-, and Sundance award-winning agency has earned a spot on the prestigious list.
Fast Company’s 2022 list honors businesses that have evolved to meet the needs of their consumers in an ever-changing world. In 2020, 2021 and now 2022 Fast Company has ranked Observatory as one of the 10 most innovative companies globally in the advertising sector for “fulfilling the promise of branded content” and creating campaigns that attract and engage audiences, rather than interrupt them.
The Fast Company article stated: “The term ‘branded entertainment’ has been applied to everything from a 30-second commercial to a TikTok ad, but few agencies specialize in seamlessly blending brand goals with actual entertainment that people want to watch like Observatory.” Observatory joins the company of Wieden+Kennedy, TBWA/Chiat-Day and Droga5, who are among the few agencies that have made the list three times or more.
“Wow, a three-peat! What validation for ‘The New Upper Funnel’ – a model we’ve been committed to since we first reimagined CAA Marketing in 2006, then doubled-down on when we spun out of CAA to become Observatory in 2018,” said Jae Goodman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Observatory. “Our work to create content-centric campaigns, brand partnerships with culturally-resonant intellectual property, and premium brand entertainment was once complementary to traditional ad campaigns. Today that work is at the center for the world’s leading brands, many of whom we’re lucky to call Observatory clients.”
Observatory is in its third year of working alongside Nike to establish its premium entertainment studio Waffle Iron Entertainment and is currently working with Corona, Old Navy, a leading CPG company, and other brands, to build premium content studios of their own. In addition to multiple active projects in development and post-production, Waffle Iron Entertainment debuted The Day Sports Stood Still, which The Guardian named the documentary one of “eight of the most anticipated documentaries of 2021” and HBO’s first-ever distribution of a film funded in partnership with a brand.
In 2021 Observatory’s client base grew by 60 percent with key new business wins including Treasury Wine Estates’ entire 19 Crimes portfolio, Blue Bunny, a Fortune 200 financial services firm, a major American sports league and the entertainment division of one of the leading CPG companies. Old Navy, Chipotle, and Corona have also returned as clients.
Some of Observatory’s most notable work of 2021 focused on sustainability. A decade after Chipotle’s award-winning film featuring Willie Nelson covering Coldplay’s “The Scientist,” Observatory once again teamed up with Nexus Studios to craft a stop-motion animated tale of hope and optimism for the future of family farmers, this time with Kacey Musgraves reimagining another Coldplay classic, “Fix You.”
The two-minute, 20-second film was broadcast on TV on Thanksgiving Day in its own commercial pod — a first-ever — during the NFL’s Raiders versus Cowboys game on CBS. The film resonated with many, earning 11.1 million views on YouTube, 27.2 million views on TikTok and was the highest social engagement ever for any piece of Chipotle branded content or ad.
Fast Company‘s editors and writers sought out the most groundbreaking businesses across the globe and industries. They also judged nominations received through their application process.
The World’s Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company‘s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the economy’s most dynamic sectors.
“The world’s most innovative companies play an essential role in addressing the most pressing issues facing society, whether they’re fighting climate change by spurring decarbonization efforts, ameliorating the strain on supply chains, or helping us reconnect with one another over shared passions,” said Fast Company Deputy Editor David Lidsky.
For the second year in a row, to coincide with the issue launch, Fast Company will host its Most Innovative Companies Summit on April 26–27. The virtual, multiday summit celebrates the Most Innovative Companies in business, and provides an early look at major business trends and an inside look at what it takes to innovate in 2022. Fast Company‘s Most Innovative Companies issue (March/April 2022) is available online here, as well as in-app form via iTunes, and on newsstands beginning March 15. The hashtag is #FCMostInnovative.
Observatory is a 4x Emmy, 4x Cannes Lions Grand Prix, and Sundance-winning agency for the content era, building brands and driving business results through campaigns that attract and engage audiences rather than interrupt and annoy them. Honored as a Fast Company 2020, 2021, & 2022 World’s Most Innovative Company, Observatory is a global full-service creative ad agency with deep roots in entertainment. Starting in 2006 as CAA Marketing (a division of Creative Artists Agency), the agency became independent in late 2017 with backing from Stagwell Inc. Observatory does not publish its client list. A range of work is available at www.observatoryagency.com.
ABOUT FAST COMPANY
Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies, and thinkers on the future of business. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc., and can be found online at www.fastcompany.com.
ABOUT STAGWELL INC.
Stagwell is the challenger network built to transform marketing. We deliver scaled creative performance for the world’s most ambitious brands, connecting culture-moving creativity with leading-edge technology to harmonize the art and science of marketing. Led by entrepreneurs, our 10,000+ specialists in 34+ countries are unified under a single purpose: to drive effectiveness and improve business results for their clients. Join us at www.stagwellglobal.com.
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