This is the fifth year we’ve published our survey of excellence in shopper marketing in the Hub, but it is also a year of several firsts.
Most notably, this is the first year we’ve published a Top 20 of brands and agencies — not just a Top 12. We did so because, quite simply, shopper marketing is growing. Heck, if Fortune can recognize 500 excellent companies, then the Hub should honor at least 40!
This is also the first year that our rankings have included a brand from outside the packaged-goods realm — LG Electronics (#11). It’s the first time a niche player — Mike’s Hard Lemonade — made the list (#8). On the agency side, it’s the first time a multicultural agency — Mass Hispanic — is represented (#12). We also have a new, number-one on the brand marketer side: Nestlé, up from number-five last year.
Inspired by these many “firsts,” our partners at the University of Tennessee created the first-ever breakdown across all 13 criteria that determine the Hub Top 20 (link). This puts in boldface that excellence in shopper marketing is about getting many things right. As you peruse this chart, you’ll also notice a number of new players bubbling up, hinting at many more “firsts” yet to come.
Things do change but they also stay the same. For the fifth year running, Mars Advertising rose to the top as the number-one shopper-marketing agency: our congratulations times five to them. However, for the first time, the top six agencies were tightly bunched. Game on!
Our kudos to this year’s Top 20, and thanks to you for making this annual event what it is today.