4 small agencies that scored big clients

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Sub Rosa and Target

2012 was an amazing year for Sub Rosa, which houses only 30 employees in its New York office on a busy day. The agency brought three of its biggest clients (General Electric, Nike, and 2012 business win Target) to the 2012 London Olympics, which Sub Rosa founder and CEO Michael Ventura called "one of the most salient memories of 2012."

"Unlike many traditional agencies, we operate at the intersection of strategic advisory services, solution design, and actual implementation," Ventura says. "Our work at the Olympics allowed us to utilize all our skill sets in providing each of our clients a holistic point of view and an ability to partner with them across research, design, prototyping, testing, and final project outcomes. It was truly a humbling experience to be on the world's stage with such fantastic brands, and we were very proud of the work we put out during that time."

Cutting through the noise at the Olympics while remaining true to your brand is no easy task. Working within the local laws and parameters of the International Olympic Committee, Sub Rosa was effectively able to create bespoke experiences for each brand. "Being able to do this on the world's stage, during one of the most highly internationally attended events in the world, was certainly something of which we can be proud," Ventura says.

Unlike Harris at Mekanism, Ventura doesn't consider it appropriate to lump Sub Rosa into the category of underdog. "'Underdog' is a term typically applied to unlikely winners," Ventura says. "We don't view ourselves in that light. We are confident in our capabilities and our approach, and we compete with some of the biggest agencies and consultancies in the world on projects. That said, we're not the kind of firm that's looking to eat the competition's lunch. We know what we do well, and we know what we don't want to do."

Tricia Despres is a freelance writer.

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