North Jersey-based advertising agency, Looney, today announced it is the state’s only full-service firm to make both the 2020 Inc. 5000 and AdWeek 100 lists. With a 25% uptick in new business inquiries since March 2020, Looney plans to continue its expansion in 2021.
Looney’s 24-person team currently owns and occupies a converted Victorian building at 7 N. Mountain Ave. in Montclair, and the firm is planning an expansion in 2021, with 7,500 additional square feet of production space. A number of these variables comprise what the firm sees as a wider migration to “Main Street,” outside major metros.
“While Madison Avenue has historically been the center of the nation’s advertising industry, many clients are increasingly drawn to ‘Main Street’ firms like ours, which enable them to connect with our integrated creative, strategic, media and production teams easily, without the hassle of traveling into New York City,” said Looney CEO and Founding Partner Sean Looney. “Talent is everything and being right outside a large metro area is a huge advantage for clients looking for efficiencies. We expect to see this trend continue post-pandemic.”
This changing dynamic – with top-tier companies venturing beyond “city limits” – has its roots in the overhead costs and subsequent pricing that larger New York City firms are saddled with, he contends, along with ease of access to proven talent that has exited the antiquated holding company model. Looney’s sizable office and production space – which accommodates social distancing guidelines – has also allowed work to continue at pace.
New national and global clients for the creative agency include Gym Source, Bahlsen, Benzel-Busch Motor Car Corp., Rowan College, Hudson Valley Credit Union, Weill-Cornell and Liberty Mutual, among others.
Looney’s AdWeek 100 award, the publication’s second annual showcase, listed 100 global agencies and solution providers that “have demonstrated staggering growth in uncertain times,” the publication noted. Similarly, Inc.’s respected list honors 5,000 of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., and those “with the most proven track records,” the publication notes. Looney cited nearly 150% growth the past two years.
Commenting on the agency’s recent honors, Looney’s Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Debbie Looney, added: “Our agency has the expertise and ‘scrappiness’ required to drive consistent long-term growth. We’ve onboarded numerous national clients in 2020 and have generated real results, rivaling firms traditionally clustered within major metros.”
Recent standout campaigns for the agency include bringing the sales process for luxury auto dealer, Benzel-Busch, fully online amid COVID-19. Looney also helped launch new industry initiatives including valet service, virtual test drives and a “360º sanitization” process with conceptual videos, direct marketing, PR, search engine marketing and social media content. This highlighted the ease and convenience of owning a car in the new normal.
These efforts generated a 178% increase in engagement across Facebook and Instagram, a 59% completion rate for all videos (more than two times the industry average), a 37% increase in leads over the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, and a 36% increase in new users over Q1. The campaign yielded 8.2 million impressions overall.
For leading national fitness equipment retailer, Gym Source, Looney created an entire “community” that motivated itself to stay both mentally and physically healthy during the 2020 quarantine. The in-depth campaign included everything from online consumer education to a national #YourHomeYourGymChallenge sweepstakes, which asked people to upload workout videos and celebrate their exercise regimen.
The campaign was created and launched within two weeks and included television, out-of-home advertising (OOH), digital, social media and influencers, including San Francisco 49ers’ tight end, George Kittle, and professional boxer Danny Musico. Looney’s work for Gym Source was also named one of the best social media campaigns of the year by Digital Journal.
Looney’s campaign for Gym Source garnered over 11 million video views, an 81% increase in engagement on social media, and reached more than 1.6 million unique users. The website saw triple-digit growth in traffic, and e-commerce sales increased 1,600% year-over-year. Overall, the agency launched half a dozen campaigns during the first three months of the pandemic.
In addition to the Inc. and AdWeek rankings, the firm was also named to Agency Spotter’s list of the Top 100 advertising agencies for 2020. Looney was selected from more than 2,400 applicants based on credentials, focus and expertise.