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Fueled By a New Belief For Brands

In the early part of the last decade, it was becoming increasingly clear in our industry that large, established brands with robust marketing departments had an addiction problem. They were addicted to large, established agencies whose reputations were best in class, but whose languages and ways of connecting with consumers had become antiquated. Dagger’s founding group met in 2012 at one such agency (Atlanta’s largest), while working on large brands that seemed to suffer from this particular affliction - UPS, Wells Fargo and Chick-fil-A to name a few. The more we saw them struggling to apply their agencies’ outdated playbooks to the needs of a consumer who had evolved beyond those game plans, it became clear to us that the market was driving a need for a new kind of agency - one that could help large, historically slow-to-adapt brands move rapidly toward a more content-oriented mindset, and reorganize their priorities to fit a world where social and mobile disruption were now complete. In other words, an agency that could help big brands behave less like big brands, and more like modern media companies. Recognizing this need for a baggage-free shop that at a DNA level was wired to help large, legacy-type clients speak the media company language they wanted to and needed to, a small group splintered away from the comfort and security of their large, highly regarded agency and Dagger was born.

Over the past six years, Dagger has built its business leading large, historically slow-moving clients toward this nimble media company mindset. We’re a small agency that’s built to work with big brands. We earn ourselves a place at the table, and then our philosophies spread like wildfire within the organizations with whom we partner, often leading to rapid organic growth. It’s a blueprint that amply sustained Dagger during its first five years, but in 2019 we set our most aggressive new business agenda yet. Specifically we targeted five RFPs, all for household name brands and high-ranking Fortune 500 companies - Coca-Cola, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Aflac (social media RFP), and later in the year we pitched to be Aflac’s brand AOR. Five pitches, five wins. Resulting in revenue growth that allowed us to increase our staff to over 50 for the first time, and allowing us to more than double our physical footprint. Our expansion included the addition not only of new state-of-the-art office space, but also a pro-grade shooting studio and full scale post-production facility. All these developments led to Dagger being listed in the AdWeek 100 as the fastest growing agency in Atlanta.

Also of note for 2019 was the addition of our first Chief Creative Officer, Al Patton, who joined Dagger in January and had a transformative effect on our creative offering. A twenty-year veteran of New York’s top creative agencies, including a decade-long run at R/GA overseeing the Nike and Samsung accounts, Al hit the ground running with the talented team at Dagger and together we haven’t looked back.

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