People want to have active relationships with brands and brand excitement fuels those relationships."

IRVINE, California – Advantage Marketing Partners agencies AMP Agency, Brand Connections and Upshot have been named three of the Chief Marketer 200, which lists the top brand engagement and activation agencies serving the United States.

The Chief Marketer 200 highlights agencies across the categories of experiential, sports and entertainment, promotion, retail, social media, digital, design, business-to-business brand engagement, business-to-business demand generation, business-to-business experiential and marketing technology. Agencies are selected based on testimonials from their clients, high caliber work, case study submissions, innovative and creative executions, and inspiring concepts that are propelling the industry forward.

AMP Agency was noted for its ability to “take clients to market through a data-led experience that plays out across the digital and physical worlds.” The agency’s modernization campaign for Apple & Eve, for example, included a content hub of historical brand information, store locations and a social campaign, plus a mobile coupon that helped drive more than 80,000 direct sales. AMP also assisted Puma in honoring International Women’s Day with its #DoYou campaign targeting Gen Z consumers and starring WNBA player Skylar Diggins-Smith and New York City Ballet principal dancer Lauren Lovette, women who each turned personal challenges into opportunity. An anthem video swept social media, as did the offshoot #DoYouStories. The blend of storytelling, social media content and influencer marketing resulted in 1 million video views and 2,000 uses of #DoYouStories.

“We’re proud to attribute our recognition on the Chief Marketer 200 list to our continual commitment to offering our clients data-led total experience management across digital and physical, affecting change at every touchpoint in the customer journey,” said Advantage Solutions President of Digital & Media Gary Colen, who also serves as CEO of AMP Agency. “Our focus on creating highly differentiated, data-driven audience-building capabilities has consistently proven to help brands and retailers scale consumer engagement and deliver meaningful results to the bottom line.”

One-to-one engagement

Brand Connections, once best known for its work with beauty and personal care brands, has cultivated a significant presence in the baby-product sector, working with Bump Club and Beyond, which Advantage acquired in 2018. Brand Connections remains productive in the beauty segment, this year producing an outdoor event in Huntington Beach, California, promoting Walmart’s exclusive Maybelline x Summer Mckeen lip-gloss collection, which attracted fans from more than three hours away.

“Brand Connections has been recognized for the third consecutive year,” said Andrea Young, president, Advantage Customer Experience for Advantage Solutions. “This success is undoubtedly a result of the team’s ability to drive high-touch, one-to-one elevated engagements, in person and virtually, and creating trial-driving opportunities that have led to greater brand consideration, category credibility and, ultimately, dollar sales.”

Upshot, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, has enhanced its capabilities, from analytics to 3-D design. The agency won a Shorty Award for best use of Pinterest for Tazo last year and has earned five MUSE Creative Awards, which honor creative professionals whose work “transcend beyond modern times.” Upshot saw success with its Dia de los Muertos promotion for Mexico’s Victoria beer by focusing on the true nature of the holiday rather than its north-of-the-border perception as a Hispanic Halloween. The campaign generated an 8% boost in year-over-year sales and a 50% in social media engagement.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized as one of the top brand engagement and activation agencies,” said Upshot Executive Vice President, General Manager Ellen Slauson. “People want to have active relationships with brands and brand excitement fuels those relationships. When you activate that excitement through the line in social, media and retail, it amplifies participation and drives business results.”

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