Small Agency of the Year, 76-150 employees, Gold:Fitzco
Fitzco founder Dave Fitzgerald bought back the agency from Interpublic Group of Cos. in 2020—some 22 years after selling it. And since then, the shop says it has been reborn in more ways than one.
Since going indie, Fitzco has retained all its client relationships, increased revenue 70%, grown its head count 60% and acquired 11 new clients.
One impressive feat was its agency-of-record win for McCormick & Co.’s hot sauce brand Cholula. The agency won the brand after a competitive review last year in which it also successfully defended the French’s Mustard account it held since 2018.!
Fitzco has created popular campaigns for French’s, for which it dreamed up mustard ice cream, mustard beer and mustard-based hot dog buns. It declared 2021 “the year of the sandwich” and launched French’s “MustSwitch” campaign, meant to have consumers switch from mayo to mustard on their sandwiches. It partnered with chef Tom Colicchio to encourage healthier eating behaviors, touting the fact that French’s mustard has 0 fat and 0 calories.
The agency created a pop-up shop in New York City for the client where it sold the MustSwitch sandwich; people “paid” by trading in their jars of mayo or pledging to ditch mayo and to use the mustard instead. The sandwiches sold out in six hours and the campaign drove a 15.8% increase in sales, according to the agency.
In a completely different vein, Fitzco created a line of merchandise for conservatives who are pro-vaccine to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations. The pro-bono campaign, called “Delta variant Force,” launched in November and aimed to brand COVID-19 as an enemy of America while asking “Americans to fight for their country and ‘bare arms’ against COVID-19,” the agency said.
The effort raised money for Crush Covid SOS, a crowdfunding initiative by the CDC Foundation helping combat the Delta variant by deploying resources for sta#ng, oxygen and shots, according to the agency.
The website features T-shirts, hats, bumper stickers and other merchandise—bearing phrases such as “Delta Meet the Alpha” and “Hell Yeah, I Bare Arms.”