2020 Winners

2020 In-House Agency of the Year

Cisco Systems, Inc.

Cisco’s in-house agency, The Hatch, was born to unify and simplify the marketing of one of the world’s most iconic technology companies. Over three decades, Cisco’s business had seen exponential growth across a vast portfolio of products, services and strategic acquisitions. Creative teams were operating in silos across the company, resulting in customers experiencing many different versions of Cisco.

To achieve a consistent brand, leadership streamlined the global agency roster from 400 to 40 and built a world-class in-house creative team. As a result, The Hatch established a symbiotic marriage of in-house and external talent, all operating in service of One Cisco. The mission: bring Cisco’s brand to life by connecting with audiences at a human level and unifying every touchpoint.

To achieve this, The Hatch went back to the roots of the company: Connection. The Bridge to Possible campaign was born, underscored by Cisco’s logo, based on the Golden Gate Bridge. Cisco has always been the bridge between what is hoped for and what can be. The Bridge to Possible pulls it all together and provides a north star.

Since its launch, The Bridge to Possible has drawn over 10.3M unique visitors to Cisco.com. And, customer journeys are 20% more effective when brand content is included. In 2019, The Hatch’s team of 77 oversaw 1,332 projects with creative autonomy, ranging from globally integrated launches to web designs to app icon development.

Externally, The Hatch is known for its creativity and excellence. Internally, the team is recognized as faithful brand stewards for the 75K+ global employees who build bridges for Cisco’s customers and communities every day.

Client testimonial:

“The Hatch has been an incredible partner to me and my team as we aim to tell compelling stories to show what we at Cisco help make possible. Throughout the creative process, they dig in to truly understand the heart of the story and help bring it to life in a beautiful way. I can always count on The Hatch to exceed my expectations on the quality of work and bring forward innovative thinking. I trust them to push the boundaries of creativity—all in the spirit of telling the best story possible.”

—Katy Hayes, VP Communications, Office of the CEO


Capital One

For over 25 years, Capital One has been on a mission to Change Banking for Good. These people come to work on a mission—literally. And, the in-house creative team helps lead the way.

In 2019, Capital One Creative rolled out a portal with new brand standards, launched a partnership with the world’s largest retailer, and introduced customers to its first-ever virtual assistant, Eno. The team concepted a national ad campaign featuring small business owners and implemented Workfront to drive efficiency and enablement, increasing YOY throughput by 20%.

They also hosted an internal conference with Adobe, as the first bank to go all-in on Creative Cloud. And, they funded a custom photo shoot to capture under-represented groups in banking, generating over 350 images used today. Supporting 200+ marketing partners companywide, they initiated 500 user-testing sessions and executed over 4,000 pieces across direct, digital, social, print, video and events.

With 110 associates in four states, what sets this team apart is its ability to come together, utilizing broad skillsets to drive results and build integrations with internal partners—executing world-class creative from start to finish within the walls of Capital One.

Whirlpool Corporation

In response to increasing demand for content without increasing budgets, Whirlpool moved a full scope of work for its iconic KitchenAid brand from the incumbent external agency to its own Creative Studios—adding six new strategic creative roles to the now 32-person internal multi-media production and design studio.

By leveraging inside access to brand, product, shopper, sales and legal partners, the agency team streamlined briefing, ideation, approval and production processes—going beyond reducing costs to raise the bar on creative output by delivering insightful strategies, integrated storytelling and innovative solutions. Their passion for the brand purpose, consumer mindset and shopper journey inspired trust that invigorated the work while supporting two high-profile product launches.

Instilling a spirit of teamwork, respect and shared values was integral to Whirlpool Creative Studios' success. With a mantra of “all-in” to explore boldly, learn constantly, share generously, flex willingly, speak candidly and enjoy wholeheartedly, they achieved incredible results. The investment in the inaugural in-house creative team exceeded expectations in its first year—netting over $1 million in savings, reducing headcount by 30%, building invaluable internal partnerships and gaining leadership buy-in to accelerate expansion.