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50 Best Workplaces of the Year 2021

A highly recommended marketing & advertising agency helping businesses stay ahead of the curve with its creativity: VIA


In the highly competitive world we live in, every smart business leader understands that advertising and marketing play an integral role in their business’s growth and success. Where to start this journey has remained an unanswered question for a long time, and do companies really have the time and energy to devise an elaborate plan of action? It is undeniable that advertising and marketing is a very challenging task; hence it is advisable not to foray into the market by yourself. Look to the experts - they will help you execute precision marketing campaigns that are cohesive, engaging, and exciting and help you reach your potential customers. Globally, there are various companies delivering excellent, but VIA, a nationally awarded shop operating out of Portland ME, stands out from the rest. VIA is a full-service advertising agency. The company exists to manifest growth for its clients by harnessing the power of creativity. To do so, VIA employs all available (and invented) channels, from broadcast television and radio to social media content, product and information design, digital assets, and experiential and promotional campaigns. VIA is a true business partner to its clients and goes deep strategically to understand their business realities and opportunities in order to unleash more than their fair share of the market.

Recognition and efforts to keep going forward

VIA has twice been named Small Agency of the Year, has five times been named one of the Best Places to Work (by Ad Age and Inc. magazine), and in 2020 was named an A-List Agency to Watch by Ad Age. In addition, the company has also won just about every advertising award possible (Pencils, OBIEs, Effies, Clios, Hatches, etc.). But the awards are just the punctuation on what VIA does every day. What the company does for its clients is how VIA measures success. VIA is proud of making Perdue a leading national chicken brand, helping Klondike take the No. 1 position in its category, contributing to 16 positive quarters of growth for Church & Dwight, and supporting Lowe’s Home Improvement in its quest to overtake Home Depot (done during the pandemic, BTW).

In addition to the client work they do, VIA is proud of its advances in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. While we all have much work to do in this area, and it is a journey that may never be complete, VIA understands that diversity of thoughts is the cornerstone of creativity. Recently, the company has announced a joint venture with a company called Beyond Racial Equity, wherein its curriculum of education and action around EDI is baked into the foundation of VIA’s business operations. It provides better perspective which is an essential ingredient in connection with and motivating todays consumers.

Exciting upcoming services

When we asked Leeann Leahy about the company’s upcoming services she stated that, “We are just about to launch a very exciting product that helps predict the virality of ideas in market. To date, it has been a ‘spray and pray’ method for most brands, and agencies around the globe have been heard saying, ‘You really never know for sure; you just have to go for it and see if it gets traction.’ While there is truth in that, we wanted to get closer to knowing in advance if something will take off.” VIA has created this automated data-mining platform. This platform allows them to identify emerging trends by monitoring consumer behaviors/sentiment and measuring their popularity in culture and among brands, culminating in a velocity score that measures an idea’s likelihood of achieving virality. Powered by a combination of social listening tools, the share of search data, and VIA’s black box, this new product helps them see things before they are visible to most. Once opportunities are identified, VIA leverages them for client success.

Formidable leader behind the success

If you drink it, eat it, clean with it, fly on it, invest with it or watch it, Leeann Leahy has probably worked on it. Leahy is the Chief Executive Officer of VIA, an independent agency in Portland, Maine, with national clients like ARM & HAMMER, Perdue, Chick-fil-A, and Unilever. Since she joined as President in 2012 and became CEO in 2015, VIA was named Ad Age Small Agency of the Year in 2019 and Agency to Watch in 2020, posted double-digit growth 2016-2019, and made leaps and bounds in the noble pursuit of fun. That’s just what happens when you have over 20 years of experience. Prior to VIA, Leahy served as President of the NYC-based agency Translation and spent nine years at Lowe Worldwide as Global Planning Director and Chief Strategy Officer. She has worked with a variety of blue-chip clients, including Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, AT&T, the NFL, JPMorgan Chase, Unilever and Chick-fil-A. Today, as the leader of VIA, she balances business and fun and continuously injects inspiration into the agency in the interest of stimulating creativity. A favorite way to do this is through Go.Do’s: Spontaneous agency-wide activities including dance parties, snow sculpture contests, museum tours, improvisation workshops, etc., all designed to take employees out of their comfort zone and expose them to new things. Go.Do’s help to reduce stress, encourage socializing and get us moving.

“Each of our clients has distinct KPIs that we establish at the beginning of our relationship. And within that framework, it is our job to map the strategy for reaching those KPIs. Some brands relish exclusivity and others inclusivity. We must understand the character of each brand uniquely to develop the correct strategy.”