Advertising Agency Profile: TBWA\Chiat\Day LA

Get To Know Advertising Agency TBWA\Chiat\Day LA

TBWA\Chiat|Day Office Space
TBWA\Chiat|Day Office Space. Screen Grab via YouTube

TBWA\Chiat\Day is a full-service advertising based in Los Angeles, California, and is the American division of TBWA Worldwide, a global agency network. It is part of the Publicis Omnicom Group, which owns a multitude of agencies around the world. Once the agency of record for Apple , TBWA\Chiat\Day is now championing the services of Netflix, AirBnB, and Nissan. This agency is not to be confused with its sister company TBWA\Chiat\Day NY.

 

 

In Brief

TBWA\Chiat\Day has a rich history of powerful, ground-breaking, disruptive advertising. It was founded in 1968 after a merger between Jay Chiat & Associates and Faust/Day Advertising. Guy Day became president over the flip of a coin. And that fast and loose attitude has been a calling card of the agency ever since.

It's the kind of ad agency that the late Steve Jobs and Apple wanted to do business with. It's a creative, unapologetic attitude that commands respect and tells you, instantly, that this is no ordinary ad agency. And when you step inside the building, that becomes even more evident. The architecture is unique, with trees, park benches and even a basketball hoop gracing the center of the bustling environment. This is no ordinary agency.
 

Lee Clow Joins the Agency

It was in 1971 that the agency took itself from contender to power player, with the hiring of Lee Clow (now Chairman and Global Director of TBWA Worldwide.

He truly did embody the soul of unencumbered creativity that Chiat/Day were looking for. The agency proceeded to do groundbreaking work for clients like Honda, Yamaha, Alaska Airlines, and then in 1984, Apple. It was the infamous Superbowl spot, directed by Ridley Scott, that made the creative world sit up and take notice of the creative power of Chiat/Day.


 

Life After the Apple Superbowl Commercial

It's not unrealistic to say that it was a commercial that changed the advertising industry forever. It also helped Chiat/Day secure new clients including the mighty Nike, Pizza Hit and Porsche. An impressive roster to say the least. The well-read and well-respected paper The Economist said of Chiat/Day "No other agency has got so big while maintaining such a fine reputation for cutting-edge work." And so, that client roster grew and grew. In 1990 Chiat\Day was named "Agency Of The Decade," and that lead the merger in 1993 that created TBWA\Chiat\Day, one of the largest and most creative agencies in world.
 

Think Different and I'm a Mac

In 1997, TBWA\Chiat\Day once again stunned the industry with the Apple "Think Different" ads, and again in 2003 with the "I'm a Mac" powerhouse of a campaign. It had many imitators and put Microsoft in the unenviable position of trying to defend itself. Even the mighty Crispin, Porter and Bogusky, along with Jerry Seinfeld, couldn't put a dent in the armor of a truly monumental idea. And just when it was at the height of success, Apple and TBWA\Chiat\Day pulled the ads in preparation for another campaign.
 

The Infamous Sign Outside the Building

While many agencies opt for the traditional signage, an agency with Lee Clow at the helm had to do things differently.

This is the sign that greets potential new clients and visitors to the agency:

"Ad Agency , 2001. Anarchists, schmoozers, dictators, grandstanders, purists, malcontents, philosophers, lollygaggers, visionaries, cheerleaders, accountants in gray and yellow structure. On loan from The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles."
 

TBWA\Chiat\Day LA Client Roster

The current client roster (2016) for TBWA\Chiat\Day is impressive. The biggest name that TBWA\Chiat\Day was known to work with, Apple, is no longer listed on the agency's website, and that relationship has been strained since the death of Steve Jobs. However, billings for the agency are around $2 billion per year, and current clients include:

  • Airbnb
  • Best Friends
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Disney
  • Energizer
  • Gatorade
  • Grammys
  • Henkel
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Miller Lite
  • Netflix
  • Nissan
  • Nixon
  • Pacific Standard Time
  • Plan
  • Principal Financial Group
  • Redfin
  • Southwest
  • Twitter

     

TBWA\Chiat\Day NY Client Roster

There is now a TBWA\Chiat\Day office in New York, and although it shares the same working principles as its sister company, it does in fact have a different set of clients. As of 2016, those clients include:

  • BNY Mellon
  • GoDaddy
  • H&M
  • Hearts on Fire
  • Kenwood
  • McDonald's
  • Michelin
  • Nissan
  • Nutrilite
  • SportChek
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Travelers