July 01, 2008
The Top 60: Area 23
Draftfcb Healthcare communications shop Area 23 opened for business in 2007, and by all accounts, its success has exceeded expectations. The agency's already-impressive client roster includes pharmaceutical giants Pfizer (accounts include Relpax and Revatio), GlaxoSmithKline (Lamictal) and Roche (Actemra, Micera). The company also recently won Boehringer Ingelheim's Micardis account.
The agency's name, consciously suggestive of military base Area 51 and the mysterious and secretive happenings associated with its folklore, illustrates how diligently the agency's managing directors have worked to forge a unique marketing identity amidst a sea of more conventional competitors. “We attacked Area 23's operating philosophy the same way we'd attack a brand assignment,” notes Michael Guarini, managing director, accounts. “We really live and breathe our philosophy, which has proven instrumental to our growth and the success of our clients.”
While industry-wide recruitment struggles prove to be no exception for Area 23, the agency's managing directors are optimistic that their strategy is paying off. “Hiring the right mix of talented people is always a challenge,” says Stephen Bateman, managing director, creative. “We enjoy the challenge of taking people out of their comfort zones. If we're able to hire people who can think outside of traditional lines of structure, we're really going to see a creative and nurturing environment come together.”
“It's hard not to be optimistic about the future,” adds Guarini.