Much of how VMLY&R became the top Advertising Network for 2020 is revealed in its numbers. A nearly 5% year-over-year revenue growth in North America included a 12% increase in healthcare revenue. Almost 5,000 new employees were added to the VMLY&R headcount, bringing the total to 12,000 in 85 offices worldwide, and 34% of new hires were BIPOC (the figure was even higher in the second half of 2020, at 41%).
However, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. VMLY&R’s growth was also the result of its award-winning work. At the beginning of 2020, VMLY&R created a completely new brand identity and platform for Intel with the “Do Something Wonderful” campaign. For Wendy’s, a gaming-focused Super Wendy’s World effort on Twitch and a breakfast marketing campaign helped increase same-store sales by 7%. And the agency’s $500 million integrated campaign for the U.S. Census helped drive the response rate to nearly 99% — despite the obstacles created by the pandemic.
Back at VMLY&R, the agency responded to the George Floyd death and Black Lives Matter protests by recommitting to DE&I initiatives, including promoting two DE&I leaders to its executive committee, and naming Myron King to the new position of chief integration officer.
Finally, VMLY&R’s industry-leading role in consumer experience took on new relevance during the pandemic, as clients turned to the agency for solutions to keep customers engaged. COVID-19 also led VMLY&R to recommit to mental health and parental programming for employees while a new FLEX program encouraged staff to schedule time away from their screens.