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Ad Age

August 5, 2020

By Judann Pollack

Small Agency of the Year, 11-75 Employees, Gold: YARD NYC

Last year was one of real highs and lows for YARD NYC: It pitched and won an assignment from Walmart to reshape perceptions of its beauty and fashion credentials only to lose it months later after the retailer brought the business back in-house. Then COVID hit and the agency was faced with its first layoffs this year.

“These tough moments could have defined us. Instead, they inspired us,” says YARD NYC in its entry.

The shop mobilized and remotely pitched and won three new clients: Clorox Wellness, Faherty Brand and UBS Bank. Though won this year, the new accounts came on top of a string of successes for YARD in 2019, including winning on a global pitch for Diageo’s Tanqueray. And its work for OLLY health and wellness brand, themed “Happy inside out,” helped drive retail sales 90 percent and led to Unilever acquiring the brand last year. 

Female-led YARD also brought a new attitude to Crate & Barrel, which had become tired and lost its way with design-forward consumers. The agency’s “Live the way you love” brand platform explored the relationships between humans and objects. Its 2019 holiday campaign drove a four-fold jump in engagement from the prior year and a 20 percent increase in return on ad spending versus a year prior. 

And for Tanqueray, YARD’s campaign helped modernize the perception of gin, which was often seen as the stuffy old cocktail for the country-club set, sparking what it calls  a “ginaissance.” YARD’s lively “Gin is in” push leaned heavily into digital and social, helping to spark a 19 percent sales increase for the brand globally.