From tapping into the power of Kpop to embracing the possibilities of the metaverse, 2021 was a year of extraordinary firsts for IW Group, a leading creative agency specializing in engaging diverse audiences, and its clients. As the pandemic continued to limit in-person activities and on-set production, the firm explored new creative approaches that not only yielded award-winning campaigns for clients McDonald’s and Jack Daniel’s but also an unprecedented expansion into new consumer segments — including LGBTQ+, Hispanic and Indigenous — for the traditionally AAPI-focused agency.
Characterized by a renewed emphasis on innovation, transformation and purpose, IW Group’s landmark 2021 has culminated with being named Ad Age’s 2022 Multicultural Agency of the Year. One of the marketing industry’s highest honors, it is part of the trade organization’s prestigious A-List & Creativity Awards, which recognizes the best forward-thinking leaders, top agencies and creative innovators of today.
“It’s an absolute honor to be recognized by one of the industry’s foremost authorities in creative excellence,” said Bill Imada, IW Group’s Founder and Chief Connectivity Officer. “These past few years haven’t been easy but they’ve also brought forth extraordinary opportunities from both new and existing clients. Their faith in our agency and our team’s passion for innovation is what enables us to produce significant work, which leads to significant awards.”
Bolstered by diverse young talent and guided by veteran leadership, IW Group scored new clients in 2021 across a broad range of industries including consumer, entertainment and healthcare. Upskilling agency personnel has also been a key priority, with internal training courses on emerging tech and digital trends (e.g., metaverse, NFTs and VR) offered regularly to staff. With an eye towards the future, the firm also recently opened an office in the metaverse, which will be utilized for virtual events, client presentations and staff meetings.
“As brands continue to double down on their commitment to multicultural youth, agency partners who are both culturally and digitally fluent will be imperative,” said Nita Song, IW Group President and Chief Momentum Officer. “Our team’s diverse backgrounds — both personally and professionally — and our talent development programs have aligned us with the zeitgeist and are preparing us for the future.”
For the year ahead, IW Group will pursue agency growth; with plans to expand its award-winning entertainment practice, scale up its content department and formalize its burgeoning metaverse marketing capabilities. Additionally, the firm is exploring new client opportunities with overseas brands seeking to enter the US market.
“Our non-traditional approach to tradition and the opportunity to introduce new representations of culture not only fuels our creativity but also drives our purpose as an organization,” said Telly Wong, IW Group’s Chief Content Officer and SVP. “Our mission is to create work that not only excites our clients and resonates with audiences, but also inspires our team.”