Minneapolis Small Agency Hotlist

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Written by Kyle Tsuchiya

You’ve heard of Olson, you’ve heard of Carmichael Lynch, you’ve heard of Periscope, and you’ve heard of Fallon. Minneapolis has an abundance of great agencies in town, and there are many smaller agencies that you may not know about. Here is a list of some of the best small marketing agencies (less than 150 employees) in Minneapolis.



Capabilities Include... Business Strategy, Brand Architecture, Consumer Insights and Target Definition, Creative Development and Expression, Social Media Strategy, Content Planning, and Community Management

Clients Include… Porsche, True Value, Betley, Medifast, American Standard


Solve markets themselves as an “Independent Advertising and Branding Agency.” They have only existed for 5 years, but they’ve already gained widespread recognition. Among other accolades, they’ve been named Ad Age’s “Small Agency of the Year” in 2013 and 2016, making them the youngest agency to ever win the award. They take pride in not being confined by a traditional approach, which can be seen in their 5-minute internship program that reimagines how to recruit and hire interns. With an expanding and impressive portfolio, a wide range of client experience, and a cool downtown office, it’s clear that Solve is the real deal.


Hanley Wood Marketing

Capabilities Include… Brand Strategy, Content Marketing, Graphic Design, Photo and Video Production, Social Media, Email Strategy and Development, Websites, Analytics

Clients Include… FedEx, Sherwin Williams, 3M

Hanley Wood Marketing is a brand strategy and content marketing agency. Their portfolio shows that they do a tremendous job of creating content that inspires. They don’t do work on the ‘sexiest’ brands (i.e. Nike, Coca-Cola, Airbnb, etc), but the clients they have consistently receive high-quality work. Just take a look at what they are accomplishing for their biggest client, FedEx. The courier company was looking for a thought leadership platform, and they wisely turned to Hanley Wood. The agency developed FedEx Access, which is a successful integrated program that includes print, website, email, and social media.


Preston Kelly

Capabilities Include… Account Planning, Digital and Social Strategy, Media Planning, SEO/SEM, UX Design,

Clients Include… Nickelodeon Universe, YMCA, Medtronic

Preston Kelly is a full-service agency that revolves around generating “Iconic Ideas.” According to their website, “Iconic ideas accelerate business results. Engage key audiences and move them to share. Most importantly, they unify your efforts and inspire your organization.” Their iconic ideas have not gone unrecognized; the Effie Index consistently ranks them among the 100 most effective agencies in the country, and Ad Age deemed them the best small agency in the midwest in 2010. To top it all off, their Northeast Minneapolis office is within walking distance of Glam Doll Donuts… Sounds like a great place to work to me.

Shoutout to Chuck Kelly, Preston Kelly’s CEO and a member of our board of advocates!


Hunt Adkins

Capabilities Include… Identity and Design, Digital Strategy, Connection Planning, Media Planning/Buying, Social Media

Clients Include… TCF National Bank, Minnesota Timberwolves, Mayo Clinic, Boston Scientific

To say Hunt Adkins has a bold personality is an understatement. They are a full-service, digitally focused ad agency that, according to their website, likes to “blow sh*t up.” It’s certainly attention-grabbing, and so is their portfolio of work. One that stands out is the work they do for the Mayo Clinic. After rebranding their regional health system, Hunt Adkins became the Mayo Clinic’s Agency of Record, meaning they provide leadership across all of the medical group’s marketing needs.


Fast Horse

Capabilities Include… Non-traditional Consumer Marketing, Advertising, Social Media, Branded Content

Clients Include… Coca-Cola, General Mills, Heineken, Mentos

It would be remiss to not include Fast Horse on this list. CLAgency has an amazing relationship with this fast-growing and award-winning integrated creative agency. The founder, Jorg Pierach, is on our board of advocates, and the future leadership of CLAgency spends their summers at Fast Horse learning the ins and outs of agency life as interns. The agency was recently named Twin Cities Business magazine’s best advertising and marketing firm, and it’s pretty clear why. A recent endeavor of theirs for Mentos, appropriately titled #SamHasMentosGum, involved a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (booooo) handing out 43,000 packs of gum. Sam had to accomplish this task in just 6 days, and when he did, DJ Khaled gave a free concert on campus. How fun!