Adweek: Two Man Agency Undnyable Wins MOD Pizza Project
by Nandika Chatterjee
Undnyable, a two-man shop based out of Portland, Oregon recently won a national campaign project for MOD Pizza following a competitive pitch.
The agency, which has a mix of clients and agency talent based in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, was founded by Justin Hooper, the chief creative officer, and was originally an agency of one for five years until Steve Williams joined this year. Now, Williams, creative director and writer, alongside Hooper and a small band of valued contractors and freelancers, plans to tackle MOD Pizza’s first national TV brand effort.
According to Hooper, their long-standing work-friendship along with Williams’ years of ECD experience and the fact that “he’s an insanely talented writer who knows how to smoke brisket and other meats in his backyard,” sealed the deal on their partnership.
Hooper started the agency after working at 72andSunny Los Angles for six years. He created Undnyable as a way to continue to maintain the partnerships he had developed with his clients.
The shop got its name because as Hooper sees it, most agencies often name themselves based on what their culture or ethos is instead of what they can deliver to clients.
The agency name answers two key questions: what do they want from their clients? And, what do they want clients to become in the mind of customers that will ensure future growth? The answer, as Hooper saw it, was undeniably, Undnyable.
“As a marketer, our job is to make our clients shine, not ourselves,” Hooper told Adweek. “The brands we partner with are unable to be denied or disputed in their categories. What brand doesn’t want to be Undnyable?”
Being creative-led means that clients, like MOD Pizza, are ensured complete transparency and direct access to seasoned problem solvers.
“We would make a lousy agency softball team, but as a two-person agency, we move fast and show up in ways that clients crave but don’t typically find with bigger agencies,” Williams, most recently an executive creative director at indie agency DNA, told Adweek.
Winning the MOD Pizza business
Williams clarified that the team isn’t “big agency haters,” instead it is a responsive solution to a culmination of issues they noticed from their big agency days. As a considerably smaller agency, pitching to a client becomes more personal—a way for the duo to pitch themselves.
Hooper explained that despite the agency’s “perplexing high rates,” of success pitching new business he was “starstruck” by the possibility of winning MOD Pizza, a 500-location national pizza chain, which previously utilized Mekanism for its creative work. They approached the pitch as if the shop already had the business.
The two came up with campaign ideas that delivered on the MOD brand ethos, converted sales and showed off their category experience with previous work with Carl’s Jr. and Old El Paso.
According to Williams, the pizza company checked all the boxes for Undnyable. In addition to having a distinct understanding of its brand identity and being ambitious to create a positive impact, “their pizza is delicious.”
He explained that the clients had the right mindset to make their partnership work, all in all a “rare combination.”
“With Undyable, MOD gets a nimble, creatively-driven, no-BS team with a ton of food and QSR experience, who are 100% focused on their business from kickoff to campaign launch,” Williams concluded.