February 08, 2022

The 2021 True Top 50

With last year fully in the rearview mirror, it's time once again to tally up the numbers and reveal the biggest-spending campaigns of 2021, per DRMetrix.

(Click to see the complete chart)

You may notice that 2021 looks a lot like 2020. For one thing, the strategy of building branded lines has clearly consumed the industry — and it's no wonder. With the recent announcement that Tristar is selling off its cookware brands for up to $450 million (the second time in recent years a DRTV marketer has cashed in big), there's now a clear path to a lucrative exit for those who build successful brand portfolios.

Whatever the cause, single hits are becoming a thing of the past. Indeed, just five brands (Copper Fit, Bell+Howell, MicroTouch, Gotham Steel and GraniteStone) accounted for almost half of the top 50, and not one of the top 10 campaigns was for a one-off product.


Yet again EMSON is your 2021 True Top Marketer. The company exceeded even last year's astounding output with 18 campaigns in the top 50 (more than 1/3 of the chart). This is now Emson's fourth title, and the firm has been AdSphere's "Advertiser of the Year" for several years running. In other words, Emson is the undisputed champion of short form.

Here's the complete 'Big Five' ranking:

  1. Emson
  3. IdeaVillage
  5. Telebrands
  7. Allstar
  9. Ontel

For those paying attention, that's the same ranking as 2020. Yet while Emson had four more top 50 campaigns than last time, IdeaVillage, Telebrands and Allstar each had two fewer campaigns. Ontel held steady at three campagins.


Speaking of undisputed champions, HUTTON-MILLER is your 2021 True Top Producer. Like in 2020, they had the most variety in top-50 hits: the most brand variety (GraniteStone, Sharper Image, Bell+Howell, Fuller), the most category variety (cookware, kids, DIY, beauty) and the most hits with different clients (Allstar, Emson, Ontel, SAS and Top Dog). There's just nothing like 'em in the market today!

Below are the top five producers in our industry right now in ranked order:

  1. Hutton-Miller
  3. Blue Reef
  5. Cole
  7. Opfer
  9. Paddock

Blue Reef Productions had the most producer credits. Cole Media Group and Paddock Productions continue to deliver the hits year after year. And Opfer Productions deserves special mention because the company doubled its winners from the previous year, notching four campaigns in the top 50 — three of them in the top 10. Kudos to Scott Opfer and his team for being on a nice roll lately.

Congratulations to the champions of 2021!

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