The Escape Pod is a fiercely independent, full-service creative powerhouse known for category-changing work that drives results. The agency was founded in 2007 by ad industry veterans Norm Bilow and Vinny Warren, creator of the legendary Budweiser “Whassup!” campaign, one of Advertising Age's Top Ad Campaigns of the 21st Century. We bring our clients' brand propositions to life in the most powerful manner possible, through advertising that is strategically sound, creatively exceptional, and makes optimal use of any media.
Ad Age names The Escape Pod a 2019 Small Agency of the Year Winner
Ad Age named independent, Chicago-based agency The Escape Pod 2019 Small Agency of the Year, Silver in the category of Companies with 76-150 Employees. Now in its 10th year, the Ad Age Small Agency of the Year Awards honor independent agencies in the U.S. and internationally based on creative excellence, new clients won, enhanced service offerings and innovation. This win builds on momentum from The Escape Pod’s recognition as Small Agency of the Year, Midwest Gold in 2017.
“We founded The Escape Pod to provide clients a better experience, and our model has not only survived, but thrived, because clients need speed, efficiencies and differentiated ideas now more than ever. With our Silver win for national Small Agency of the Year, we are happy to share this honor with some other notable recent second place finishers including the Golden State Warriors, Avatar, Roger Federer and Serena Williams,” said Norm Bilow, Co-founder and Managing Director of The Escape Pod.
E.J. Schultz, Assistant Managing Editor at Ad Age, credited the win to The Escape Pod’s bold advertising approach that helps clients “escape the sea of sameness,” along with notable work including the provocative Gun Share installation for The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and the “Skywinder” campaign for EGO Power+ that shows skydivers loading the brand’s electric string trimmer thousands of feet in midair. Ad Age also cited new client wins for the agency, including #1 shot brand Fireball Whisky and Merrick Pet Care, and key investments in talent and production studio Gravity Well, which enables the agency to create 80% of its content internally with speed and efficiency.
“When you know what you stand for and what you do best, there is a strong sense of purpose in everything you do,” said Celia Jones, CEO of The Escape Pod. “Clients hire us because the status quo is broken and they need breakthough strategy and creative to drive growth. From the start of the agency more than 12 years ago to today, our mission is to bring our clients’ brand propositions to life in the most dramatic manner possible. Even though the business has changed in many ways, having a consistent north star has enabled us to navigate the challenges, add new people and capabilities, while remaining true to our original vision,” Jones added.