Intro: 2017 Ranking of the Top Advertising Agencies

When sales begin to decline or consumers lose interest in your product or service, your business could be in big trouble.

Effective advertising can provide just the boost you need to put your business back into the black. However, what do you do if you don’t have a creative graphic designer or a talented strategist on your in-house team?

You will want to find one of the top advertising agencies to make sure that you create a splash with your product advertising and campaign.

The best advertising companies can take a look at your existing business structure to see which areas may need a little more attention, and then craft an advertising campaign specifically around your circumstances.

Best Advertising Agencies & Companies Red Award Emblem

Award Emblem: Best Advertising Agencies & Companies

From short commercials to social media management to prototyping, you can find an array of advertising companies that can create momentum for your business.

To help you find just the right advertising company for you, AdvisoryHQ has compiled a list of the top advertising agencies to make your research easier.

Take a look at what these advertising firms have to offer your business before you make a decision on your advertising campaign.

AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Advertising Agencies

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that advertising company):

Top Advertising Agencies | Ranking Comparison

Advertising Firms

Examples of Scope of Work

BBDO WorldwideCommercials, print advertisements
DDB WorldwideMotion graphics
Droga5Prototyping, experiential marketing, brand strategy
Ogilvy & MatherConsumer analysis, digital marketing, customer engagement
MullenLowe GroupPublic relations, performance analytics, digital marketing
Wieden + KennedyCommercials, music videos

Table: the above table of best advertising companies and top agencies is sorted alphabetically


Advertising Companies


BBDO Worldwidehttps://www.bbdo.com/
DDB Worldwidewww.ddb.com
MullenLowe Grouphttp://mullenlowegroup.com/
Ogilvy & Matherhttp://www.ogilvy.com/
Wieden + Kennedyhttp://www.wk.com/

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Before You Hire an Advertising Company

Hiring an advertising company can require a significant investment of your income, but you do so in hopes that you receive the best return on investment.

When you set out to hire an advertising company, you want to ensure that you are hiring the best advertising agencies for your company’s personal needs. Just because they worked for someone else doesn’t mean that they are a great fit for you.

advertising companies

Top Advertising Agencies

Here are a few things you may want to consider asking the advertising agencies before you sign on the dotted line with any of the top advertising agencies listed in our ranking:

Who are your previous clients? Inquiring about work they’ve done in the past tells you what sort of industries this advertising company has experience working with.

While it isn’t to say that they aren’t creative enough to expand their portfolio to encompass your services, it is important to take note of it.

If they specialize in product advertising, but you are a printing press that only offers services, you may be better suited toward a different advertising firm.

What sort of advertising strategies do you employ? Understand what their specialties are. If you were hoping for a direct mailer advertising campaign, but they generally only shoot commercials, it might be time to search for a new advertising firm.

How often will we evaluate the plan? You should know upfront how often they are assessing the data and analytics from your campaign. If you’re working with one of the top advertising agencies, you should know how often you will plan to meet with them to review the success (or failure) of a specific advertising attempt.

Of course, be sure to keep in mind the personality of your own business and how well you can work with the individuals on the team at the advertising agencies you are considering hiring.

You will be spending both a lot of time and a lot of money with them, so you want to be sure that you are happy with the service you receive in terms of your advertising and your customer service.

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AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top rated firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review—Ranking of the Top Advertising Agencies

To find out more details on which advertising firms made the cut for our ranking of the top advertising agencies, take a look at the six individual sections below.

We’ve compiled an extensive list of the detailed reasons why these advertising firms offer the best scopes of work, locations, customer service, and unique aspects of diverse creativity to create effective advertising for your company.

BBDO Review

Founded in 1891, BBDO originally opened its first, very tiny operation in New York City under the name Batten Company.

In years to come, when it merged with Barton, Durstine, and Osborn, the brand-new company Batten, Barton, Durstine, and Osborn (BBDO) was officially created.

From a one-room workhouse to one of the top advertising agencies, BBDO has come a long way in the nearly 130 years since its doors first opened.

The company now stretches across 289 advertising agencies scattered across the globe with more than 15,000 employees working toward making it one of the best advertising agencies around.

BBDO - top advertising agencies

Image Source: BBDO

Key Factors that Enabled this Company to Rank as One of the Best Advertising Companies

Find out some of the impressive reasons that BBDO made our list of the top advertising agencies in the upcoming sections.


BBDO has received accolade after accolade for its work: the Most Effective Network in the World and Network of the Year from both the Cannes Festival and the Gunn Report several years running.

While many advertising companies may be able to boast a handful of awards they’ve accumulated over the years, BBDO has an impressive reputation as one of the top advertising agencies year after year.

Their awards span from 2005 all the way to the present day, with very few gaps in between their recognition.

Scope of Work

BBDO can help you with a number of effective advertising options. From commercials to print advertisements, they are one of the top advertising agencies due to their broad range of high-quality effective advertising.

In recent years, they have completed an advertising campaign for Gatorade based around the idea of keeping consumers motivated to purchase the product with an engaging activity.

Sponsored by Gatorade” combined a multitude of advertising strategies: an activity to keep consumers motivated to change, a rewards system to retain customer loyalty, and beautiful graphics for their product advertising.

They have an impressive compilation of their product advertising on their website, as well as some of the results. You can see where consumer behavior shifted in a handful of their case studies to give you ideas for how to better market your own products.


When it comes to locations, BBDO is one of the top advertising agencies in part because of its massive presence. While it may have only one brick-and-mortar location in the United States, it has a heavy influence in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Their advertising companies are all over, which can give you some indication that their advertising strategies are relatively successful to be able to maintain so many branches.

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DDB Worldwide Review

DDB Worldwide focuses on creating content, referring to itself as one of the best advertising agencies in the world. They are aiming to complete it faster at a lower cost for more optimum usages.

Their influence dashboard compiles massive amounts of data in terms of the effectiveness of their advertising campaign efforts, allowing them to consistently refine their processes.

DDB Worldwide has worked on a number of advertising services for companies such as Sprint, Volkswagen, McDonald’s, IKEA, Glad, and the Sydney Opera House.

Key Factors that Enabled this Company to Rank as One of the Best Advertising Companies

Want to know what made AdvisoryHQ recognize DDB Worldwide as one of the best advertising agencies? See below for a few of the compelling reasons we ranked it as one of the top advertising agencies.


DDB Worldwide has a stunningly long list of awards they have won for their outstanding work in the advertising industry. While you can see the full list of their awards and accolades here, take a look at some of their most impressive titles that contributed to why we ranked them as one of the best advertising companies:

  • 101 Lions at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (including Creative Effectiveness Grand Prix and several Gold Lions) for 2016
  • 32 Pencils at the D&AD Awards for 2016
  • 32 Awards at the London International Awards for 2016

That list does not include awards won for their effective advertising in previous years, but they are well recognized across the advertising industry.

Scope of Work

The vast majority of the items listed under their case stories are for short commercials, infomercials, or other types of motion graphics. They feature stunning imagery as an effective advertising tool, as well as research statistics, clever concepts, and a modern appeal.

They were responsible for the “Help Kenya, Not Kanye” advertising campaign that helped to raise money for missions work in Africa by comparing it to the cost that Kanye charges and pays for various items. They changed the conversation and had brilliant statistics to prove what an effective advertising strategy it was.

Customer Service

Creating a personable space where their employees relate their contributions and philosophies in regards to their company, DDB Worldwide offers something that sets it apart from other advertising companies.

While other advertising agencies may scribble out a few paragraphs regarding their corporate history, the videos make DDB Worldwide feel more like a very professional but local and intimate business.

It is always a significant benefit if you have the ability to meet with your advertising company in person versus solely communicating over the phone or via email. Fortunately, they have several locations on each continent.

In the United States, their office spaces dominate the major cities where the top advertising agencies tend to converge: Chicago, New York City, Brooklyn, Miami, and San Francisco.

Droga5 Review

Droga5 is one of the top advertising agencies that describes itself as both “creatively led” and “digitally native” with a focus on humanity. While they did recently celebrate their ten-year anniversary, there isn’t much available on the history of their company because they seem to focus more on the present: where they currently are and where they are headed.

Beginning with one major project in 2006 that could have led to jail time for an agency less than thirty days in the making, they have achieved great success ever since.

Perhaps this is in part due to their risk-taking nature to formulate effective advertising that has never been seen or done before.

They have worked with many major companies including Pizza Hut, UNICEF, HBO, Google, and Prudential, and this impressive list of clients continues to grow.

Their list of previous work is incredibly lengthy and worth a decent read through before making a commitment to their company for yourself.

Droga5 - advertising agencies

Image Source: Droga5

Key Factors that Enabled this Company to Rank as One of the Best Advertising Companies

See below for a handful of the reasons why AdvisoryHQ ranked Droga5 as one of our top advertising firms.

Personal Touches

They may not be very forthcoming with information on the origins of their advertising agencies, but they certainly have a lot of information about their current advertising services and their staff.

Find the entire company listed by the department on their website for a personal look at the face behind all of their names, as well as their qualifications and experience.

While it isn’t always necessary to know where your advertising companies hire their employees from, it is a huge advantage to see that their staff is well qualified in enacting advertising strategies and advertising services before you hire them.

Scope of Work

Finding out what the top advertising agencies can do for your brand is important before you commit to hiring them. Droga5, like several of the other top advertising agencies on our list, can put any number of advertising strategies and services in place for your company.

You will find effective advertising comes as a result of their numerous services, including:

  • Prototyping
  • Experiential marketing
  • Integrated campaigns
  • Brand strategy
  • Full-stack development
  • Measurement and analytics

This only touches on a handful of items from their list of seventeen possible advertising services they are capable of offering to their customers. You can pick and choose the services that work best from this independent advertising firm.


Droga5 was primarily named as the top independent agency of the year at the Cannes Lions Festival this year, among their other accomplishments at various awards shows.

Ad Age & Creativity’s Agency of the Year, as well as the pencils they picked up from the D&AD Awards show, grace their advertising company.

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Ogilvy & Mather Review

Auspicious beginnings brought Ogilvy & Mather from its starting size of a one- to two-man operation and transformed it into one of the eighth-largest advertising companies in the world. Its significant expansion rivals some of the top advertising companies and has been growing since its inception by David Ogilvy in 1948.

They now reach across the globe with advertising firms in more than 150 cities offering a plethora of advertising services.

Key Factors that Enabled this Company to Rank as One of the Best Advertising Companies

See why Ogilvy & Mather ranked as one of the top advertising agencies for its services across the advertising industry below.

Scope of Work

The key to their growth and expansion was the primary focus on just one of their advertising services: building up brand recognition in the minds of consumers.

True to their original roots, Ogilvy & Mather love to devise advertising strategies and advertising services to work toward building brands.

Whether you are looking for advertising firms to create digital marketing, product advertising, or an advertising campaign of a different sort, Ogilvy & Mather has one of the largest scopes of work in the advertising industry.

Consider a few of these advertising services that they offer:

  • Consumer analytics: Build your brand better by understanding the behavior of your consumers. It is impossible to have effective advertising with even the best advertising companies if you don’t understand why your customers act the way they do and how you would like to alter their behavior.
  • Customer engagement: Find a way to bring your advertising services to consumers in a way that continuously draws them in.
  • Digital marketing: Advertising agencies these days do seem to put a lot of emphasis on digital marketing, most likely because the majority of consumers are digitally minded. Ogilvy & Mather is one of the top advertising agencies to assist you with a variety of digital marketing advertising services.

An important service to note is their crisis management advertising services. Ogilvy & Mather may be just the team you want behind you when a crisis hits your brand or tarnishes your reputation. Their advertising company has experience in managing the damage done to the reputation you’ve worked hard to build.

Allow them to come alongside you to create effective advertising to help undo whatever trouble has come your way.


Much like many of the other top advertising agencies, you’re likely never far from an Ogilvy & Mather office. You can find them on almost every continent with a whopping fourteen offices in North America alone.

They primarily populate major cities (think Chapel Hill, Denver, San Francisco, Detroit, and New York City, to name a few), but it is a wonderful perk to be able to meet with your advertising company face-to-face once in a while.

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MullenLowe Group Review

MullenLowe Group depicts itself as a fighting octopus armed with its own set of boxing gloves, calling itself a “different kind of beast.” Like several of the advertising companies on our ranking, MullenLowe Group is a publicly held company but tends to operate more as an independent advertising firm.

Along with other well-known and highly respected advertising companies in the industry, they have worked with the likes of Google, Asos, Mattel, and Johnson & Johnson.

Key Factors that Enabled this Company to Rank as One of the Best Advertising Companies

Curious to know how MullenLowe Group made AdvisoryHQ’s ranking of the top advertising companies? See a few of the ways that MullenLowe Group stands out from other advertising companies.

Work Approach

One of the more unique aspects of their business model is the four branches that comprise their overall advertising companies:

  • MullenLowe: This section is their integrated marketing communications network, available in more than 65 different markets.
  • MullenLowe Open: Open specializes in consumer behaviors with retail and e-commerce experience.
  • MullenLowe Profero: Like many advertising companies, this is their full-service digital marketing agency, complete with the capability of creating strategy, design, and analytics.
  • MullenLowe Mediahub: Mediahub is the creative branch responsible for communications planning, global search, and performance media with global capabilities.

MullenLowe Group can build an advertising campaign around a number of ideas, but they strive to break out of the norm and create something unique just for you. They primarily work by doing what they refer to as “hyperbundling.” Across their four branches of services, they combine services that can help boost brand awareness to give it an “unfair share of attention.”

This may involve advertising strategies to boost brand recognition, digital marketing or social media management, more effective public relations, design, marketing, or performance analytics. Overall, their aim is to maximize your advertising campaign on every front instead of just in one aspect.


It seems that MullenLowe consistently receives recognition for its work in the advertising industry and sets itself apart from other advertising companies.

They have won top prizes for the Best Use of New, Emerging, or Experimental Media, as well as Best Use of Research and Consumer Insights. They’ve also won several CLIO and OMMA awards for Best of Show, Best Viral Advertising Campaign (their World’s Toughest Job video), and Best Use of Content Integration.

MullenLowe Group - advertising company

Image Source: CLIO and OMMA awards

If you’re looking for one of the award-winning advertising agencies, MullenLowe seems to consistently bring home a wide variety of awards from various conferences across the industry. As individuals and as various company branches, they have an extensive list of awards that continues to grow.

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Wieden + Kennedy Review

Wieden + Kennedy has been vying for a spot as one of the top advertising agencies for quite some time due to their diverse influence of culture and artistic influences.

Not only are they skilled at creating an effective advertising campaign and product advertising, but they also spend time promoting their own company.

They take advantage of various radio shows, entertainment programs, and blogs to help boost their own name recognition among the other advertising companies on the market today.

Key Factors that Enabled this Company to Rank as One of the Best Advertising Companies

See below for a list of the compelling reasons we selected Wieden + Kennedy for inclusion on our ranking of advertising firms.

Scope of Work

They have a long list of major clients, which includes businesses like Nike, Old Spice, and Herbal Essences, among others. Their brand is one of the top advertising agencies because of the large variety of work that they contribute: music videos and tracks, short commercials, and other high-quality motion graphics.

Their commercial segments have been featured during the 2016 Rio Olympics and have advertised for the likes of Netflix, Corona, and Coca-Cola.

Before selecting one of the advertising companies listed here, it’s a good idea to take a look at their portfolio collection. Wieden + Kennedy’s portfolio is several pages long with their top contributions to product advertising for other companies.

Get a feel for their style and talent to see if it lines up with your expectations for your own business and advertising campaign.


While Wieden + Kennedy is one of several global advertising agencies, they are unique among the best advertising agencies because of the individual branches they maintain.

Each of their eight offices has slightly different specialties and programs that cater to their markets and the talents of the individuals who work with them.

For a full list of the experience, credentials, titles, and pictures of their staff, you can visit their People page. The transparency of the qualification of their employees, designers, and advertising managers is a great touch.

For example, Portland maintains a program that combines advertising companies with tech entrepreneurs to create social hubs and new platforms. Amsterdam runs an apprenticeship program, and the Delhi office runs an art collection that sells art at affordable prices.

Their eclectic collection of different interests and creative pursuits is a part of what makes them one of the best advertising agencies.

They are constantly pursuing something new and different. With each office creating their own one-of-a-kind pursuit, they are working toward leading the advertising industry consistently in a new direction.

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Conclusion: Hiring the Top Advertising Agencies

When you need to plan product advertising, a social media advertising campaign, or any other sort of advertising to boost the growth and sales of your business, you want to be sure your money is well invested.

By hiring one of the top advertising agencies in the industry, you can be certain that your brand is receiving the attention you know it both needs and deserves.

Advertising companies recognize that advertising is a necessary component for successful businesses to maintain a pattern of growth with their customers. However, they each find a unique and creative approach to bring to the table to create effective advertising for you.

You need to first decide what you believe your company needs from advertising firms before you can proceed to hire just one individual advertising company.

Consider a few of these questions before you get started:

  • Do you already have data compiled about consumer behavior that tells you what direction your product advertising needs to go in?
  • Do you have an excellent strategist on staff who just struggles to put services through to completion, or do you need a full range of services?
  • What sort of advertising strategies fit your business the best (motion graphics, social media marketing, etc.)?

While the questions you can ask yourself before hiring an advertising company are nearly endless, these should give you a great starting point. Evaluate your honest answers, and then compare the profiles of our top six best advertising companies to see which one might be the best fit for you.

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