Ponies Weigh In As Fast Horse Takes The National Stage

June 25, 2015

effies_largeThe last couple of weeks have been especially exciting around here. In early June, we walked away from the Effie Awards in New York with three Golds and a Silver Effie. The capper came at the end of the evening, when we were named the “third most effective independent agency in North America,” behind great creative agencies like Wieden+Kennedy and Droga5. We followed that up earlier this week by snagging a Bronze Lion at Cannes, which marked the second year in a row that we took home a Lion.

We are not driven by winning awards. But I would be lying if I said they are not important to our future. We have big goals. Awards like this allow us to measure ourselves against the best, and put us on a stage where the elite in our industry play. From the beginning, that’s where I wanted Fast Horse to be. So, yeah, recognition like this matters to me. But more importantly, bursting onto the national scene like this also means something to my Fast Horse colleagues. And that matters most to me. Here’s a sampling of the feedback I received when I recently asked my fellow Ponies to describe what our recent showing at the Effies meant to them:

“I can’t think of any more straightforward, frank recognition of what can transpire when you take three dozen of the most witty, strategic, creative, hard-working people around and pair them with clients who have interesting products to sell and fascinating stories to share. In that sense, the formula sounds so simple — too simple — but in practice, concocting that perfect chemistry has always seemed incredibly rare and elusive, if not altogether impossible. I had a long-held suspicion that Fast Horse had somehow discovered the ideal formula, and winning these awards on advertising’s biggest stage provides definitive confirmation.” – Client Relationship Manager

“I’m continually impressed by the kick-ass work done by my colleagues and the agency. I’ve always said that I work with the smartest, most creative and hardest-working people in the business. And now we have an award that proves what I’ve known all along.” – Client Relationship Director

“My jaw honestly hit the floor when I heard this news.”  — Senior Director

“There is no higher compliment in the industry than to be considered ‘effective,’ and I will give a noogie to anyone who says otherwise. To be thought of as a peer to two brilliant agencies like Droga5 and Wieden+Kennedy? For once, #blessed seems appropriate. There are so many smart, talented and creative people in the industry, but consistently cracking the code for clients and exceeding desired results has always set us apart. Much of our success is owed to being independent. We are not limited by the interests of investors or the C-suite of a multinational corporate behemoth — we work for each other and our clients. It makes the recognition feel incredibly personal.”  – Client Relationship Manager

“For me, the award solidified what I already knew: that Fast Horse is an incredibly unique place with amazing opportunities for employees to learn, contribute and have an impact on some of the most recognizable brands in the world. I’m still in awe of our team and how much influence and client trust we have, not just for a small agency of hooligans in the Midwest, but for any agency in the nation. Whenever I describe Fast Horse to friends, family, people at networking events and previous professors, they are always so shocked to hear that we aren’t an organization of at least 100-plus people — and honestly, I sometimes can’t believe it either! For me, the Effies proved that our Ponies are pretty damn awesome, and it’s about the grandness of the ideas, not the size of the agency. I think that we always knew that, but it’s pretty cool that others are taking notice — especially on such a grand scale. There’s really no place like Fast Horse anywhere in the nation. I firmly believe that, and I’m SO proud and grateful to be part of the team during such an exciting time for the agency. — Associate

“I like playing with the big dogs.” — Intern 

“Working on the ‘If We Made It’ program was, bar none, the most effectively collaborative experience I’ve witnessed. There’s an endless amount of talk about collaboration and ‘breaking down barriers’ and ‘being a good partner.’ And a lot of it’s just that — talk. But with Newcastle, and this program in particular, the brand team, the in-house PR team, the legal team, the creative agency, the media-buying agency, the Fast Horse crew and everyone else was impressively constructive and productive and collaborative. No politics. No defensiveness. No bullshit. You can’t convince me that the connection between this sort of working relationship and the results we all earned for the client is a coincidence.”   — Client Relationship Director 

“At one point I was employee no. 9 at Fast Horse. That was kind of a long time ago, and so many things have happened in the months and years since. As an agency, we’ve really never been too concerned about awards. Earning our clients’ business – and growing that business – has always been most important. But (the Effie) accolades felt a little different. While I don’t think we’ve ever felt a need for validation, being named a ‘most effective independent agency’ alongside W+K and D5  was somehow more important. Perhaps it was the surprise of it all. We certainly didn’t know that was even in the cards. So it was really cool. One more rung on the FH ladder, yet it still seems like there are many, many exciting steps left to climb.” — Senior Director

“Coming to Fast Horse and winning this Effie is a HUGE deal.  While I can’t say I helped contribute to that specific award, it makes me excited to be able to be part of a growing agency, that’s doing great work, and is able to complete with the big dogs. It makes me excited for the future – so I can help win more awards, and feel that sense of accomplishment.” — Client Relationship Manager 

“Okay. I may get mushy.  For me personally, this is such a big deal. I joined FH to help build something and from the moment I started, I’ve felt like I’ve had part ownership in this place – even though my name isn’t on the door.  When I heard the news it made me extremely proud. Each one of us has worked so hard to get us to this point, and we do it because we believe that what we are creating is, and will be, unlike anything out there. And, as we continue to tackle new frontiers, recognition like this gets me even more jazzed because I honestly feel that nothing can stop us.” – Senior Director