Cornett Honored with 2021 Ad Age Small Agency Southeast Gold Award

“Shoot for the moon,” as the saying goes. “Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Cornett landed among the stars Wednesday, earning our first-ever Ad Age Small Agency Award. Our body of work in 2020-21 was chosen as the Gold winner in the Southeast Region. 

The awards were announced by Judy Pollack, Ad Age’s Executive Editor, and Brian Bonilla, the publications agency reporter, during the 2021 Small Agency Conference & Awards Wednesday evening. 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 Small Agency of the Year Awards have long been a part of Cornett’s goals and aspirations. To be an Ad Age Small Agency of the Year you have to not only do great, breakout creative work, but also be a great agency to your people and the industry. 

In the past year, we have produced incredible work for VisitLEX (The Queen’s Gambit work), A&W Restaurants (Tender Lovin’ campaign) and beyond. We’ve also spent a lot of time making sure our employees were taken care of in the face of the global pandemic the world has experienced. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce rewarded those efforts when it named us one of the Best Places to Work in Kentucky in March. 

And our contributions to the industry have been formidable. Cornett was honored to join forces with nine other agencies to launch BLAC (Building Leaders And Creators) in February. The initiative is an internship community effort designed to bring more Black people into advertising further prepared to thrive and lead.

Cornett’s leadership, behind president and CEO Christy Hiler, has also increased its visibility and thought leadership with guest commentaries in industry trade publications and by speaking at several industry conferences, including the Ad Age Small Agency Conference & Awards. 

The Ad Age Small Agency Awards are in their 13th year of existence. They showcase the best the business has to offer in terms of strong revenue growth, new business acumen, excellent culture and game-changing creativity and innovation for clients. They honor work that works—marketing that delivers solid return-on-investment for clients.


In addition to the overall Small Agency of the Year Gold and Silver Awards, recognition is given in three size categories, Agencies from 1-10 employees, 11-75 employees and 76-150 employees. Gold and Silver Awards are also given for seven regions, six types of campaigns and categories of Culture, Experiential, Media and Newcomers.

Louisville-based Nimbus was the Southeast Silver winner. They were also named AdAge’s 2021 Multicultural Agency of the Year in June.

We are thrilled to be recognized, but also honored to be listed among the other amazing agencies and incredible work rewarded this year. The full list of winners is below.

2021 Ad Age Small Agency Award Winners

Small Agency of the Year Gold – Translation

Small Agency of the Year Silver – Mischief

  • Small Agency of the Year 76-150 Employees – Gold – Chemistry
  • Small Agency of the Year 76-150 Employees – Silver – SCC
  • Small Agency of the Year 11-75 Employees – Gold – Circus Maximus  
  • Small Agency of the Year 11-75 Employees – Silver – Lightning Orchard
  • Small Agency of the Year 1-10 Employees – Gold – Even/Odd
  • Small Agency of the Year 1-10 Employees – Silver – Party land
  • International Agency of the Year Gold – Gigil
  • International Agency of the Year Silver – Zulu Alpha Kilo
  • Northeast Gold – Yard NYC
  • Northeast Silver – Mojo Supermarket
  • Northwest Gold – DNA
  • Northwest Sliver – Opinionated 
  • Midwest Gold – Highdive
  • Midwest Silver – Curiosity 
  • West Gold – Quantasy + Associates
  • West Silver – Erich & Kallman
  • Southwest Gold – Bandolier Media
  • Southwest Silver – 3Headed Monster 
  • Southeast Gold – Cornett
  • Southeast Silver – Nimbus 
  • Experiential Gold – Tech and Soul
  • Experiential Silver – The Baite Shoppe 
  • Media Agency Gold – Movers & Shakers
  • Media Agency Silver – Media Matters
  • Newcomer Gold – Special Group US
  • Newcomer Silver – Broken Heart Love Affair
  • Culture Gold – Color Creative
  • Culture Silver – O’Keefe, Reinhard and Paul
  • Campaign – B2B Gold – Zulu Alpha Kilo – ADCC All-Nighter
  • Campaign – B2B Silver – DCX Growth Accelerator – Open Web
  • Campaign – Digital Gold – Zulu Alpha Kilo – Equity Bank
  • Campaign – Digital Silver – Day One Agency – Chipotle & e.l.f. Cosmetics
  • Campaign – Pro Bono Gold – Chemistry – Big Facts, Small Acts
  • Campaign – Pro Bono Silver – IW Group – Wash the Hate
  • Campaign – Integrated Gold – Special Grup US – Uber Eats Eat Local
  • Campaign – Integrated Silver – We Believers – Burger King Cow’s Menu
  • Campaign – Experiential Gold – The Bait Shoppe – Natty Light
  • Campaign – Experiential Silver – Opinionated – Powell’s Books
  • Campaign – Media Gold – Zulu Alpha Kilo – Goldfish Crackers  
  • Campaign – Media Silver – DCX Growth Accelerator  – American Booksellers Association

Back to News