Bigger Agency Life in a Smaller City
January 10, 2024

Bigger Agency Life in a Smaller City

There's tons of benefits to working in a lesser-known advertising market. Check out these great agencies.

Sarah Latz

When people think about advertising, they typically think about the big 3 markets: New York (Madison Avenue, obvi), LA, Chicago. But there are tons of hot, lesser-known agencies in other cities, and we’re here to tell you about a few of them!

The one major advantage to living in a smaller city like Austin, Richmond, Kansas City, Philly etc, is the lower cost of living. Big cities often come with higher living expenses, like rent, and transportation. And without a hugely significant salary difference. In this economy, anything helps. 

Also, working outside of a big city market can provide a better work-life balance. New York and Chicago are often associated with long commutes and high-stress environments. A more relaxed pace of life can provide mental space and time for passion projects, hobbies that inspire you, and spending time with family and friends. 

Working in a smaller market can actually offer you a closer-knit community. In smaller cities, even though the advertising network might be a bit smaller, people often know each other and there is a stronger sense of community. We’re HUGE fans of meaningful connections and having a strong support system.

Check out these amazing agencies—all of which are nationally-known names, with big-named clients.

Portland, ME

Notable work: Popsicle Product Innovation
Developing graphic T-shirts that disguise a household summer treat’s biggest flaw.

Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners
Philadelphia, PA

Notable work: The Savvy Man for Black Box Wine
Watch this spot on RTOP's website

Richmond, Virginia 

Notable work: AXE Body Spray: The Mistaverse
Watch this spot on Martin's homepage

Austin, TX

Notable work: 
Popeye's: The Chicken Wars
See the work on GSDM's website

Miami, FL 

Notable work: Burger King: The Moldy Whopper

Kansas City, MO

Notable work: AMC + Coca-Cola: Flavor Maker
See the full campaign on Barkley's website

At any of these agencies, you’ll find huge opportunities for growth, and have an awesome resume and portfolio-building experience. Another great resource for creatives to check out is The Creative Ham. It lists almost all the marketing and advertising agencies in key cities world-wide.

At book180 portfolio school, we host free recruiter and agency panels to help young creatives get the lay of the land. Reach out to us at if you're interested in learning more!