ADG Creative

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Location: Columbia, MD
Founded: 1991
Industry: Advertising and marketing

Three-Time Winner

ADG Creative

Jeff Antkowiak
Chief Creative Officer


ADG Creative has grown from a small boutique ad agency to a competitive communications solutions provider for both federal and commercial clients. Taking creative risks has been vital to helping ADG keep an innovative edge in its work. “We’re in the business of creative, so obviously our ideas should be original, fresh and absolutely daring. But you’d be surprised how constant the battle is to fight off the demons of mediocrity,” says chief creative officer Jeff Antkowiak. To win that battle each day, ADG constantly tweaks its organizational structure to ensure it accommodates the nature of its work. “This means looking at our teams and asking, ‘What’s the best way to create creative collisions with our people?’” ADG supports both federal and commercial clients, so one of its key tasks is understanding each world and how it relates to the other.

QUICK TIP:  “We hire people who are inquisitive, ambitious and never satisfied.”

Another ingredient of ADG’s success is a fine-tuned hiring approach. “We hire uber-creative and driven people from a wide variety of disciplines and turn them loose,” Antkowiak says. This has required the company to put a lot of work into its onboarding, but Antkowiak believes the payoff is worth it. “[Our hiring] has been the secret sauce that’s allowed us to constantly challenge the expected norm and come up with the kinds of ideas that make our customers just a little bit nervous … in a good way.”