McKinney (advertising agency)

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IndustryAdvertising, Marketing, Experiential Marketing, Media, Strategy
  • Charles McKinney
  • Mike Silver
Area served
ParentCheil Worldwide

McKinney is an advertising agency based in Durham, North Carolina, with offices in Los Angeles and New York City.


The agency was founded in 1969 as McKinney & Silver by Charles "Chick" McKinney & Mike Silver. The agency was later renamed McKinney and has been part of Cheil Worldwide since 2012.[1]

McKinney moved from Raleigh, North Carolina, to the American Tobacco Campus in Durham, NC in 2004.[2] Ten years later, McKinney CEO Brad Brinegar appeared in the short documentary "Because No One Else Would,"[3] which was produced by Goodtree & Company and Horizon Productions to celebrate the restoration anniversary of the American Tobacco factory.

In 2012, McKinney was named the most effective independent agency in the world by the Effie Awards and Warc.[4] In 2013, McKinney's creation of the Mezamashii Run Project for its client, Mizuno, led to that company being recognized as the most effective brand in North America.[5]

In 2013, following the purchase by Cheil, McKinney opened an office in New York.[6] In 2019, the agency expanded to the West Coast and opened an office in Los Angeles with the acquisition of the Operam Creative Group.[7]

McKinney was named one of 10 agencies to watch by Ad Age in 2015.[8] Also in 2015, McKinney Chief Creative Officer Jonathan Cude was named to the Adweek 50 List of Vital Leaders in Tech, Media and Marketing.[9]

McKinney created the Joni Madison Mtern Diversity Scholarship in 2016, in honor of the agency’s long-time COO who now holds that position at the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ advocacy group and political lobbying organization in the United States. In 2017, the 4As named Group Creative Director Jenny Nicholson to its list of 100 People Who Make Advertising Great.[10], and in 2018 McKinney created the Startup Stampede in partnership with the American Underground, a Google Tech Hub.[11]

In 2018, Joe Maglio was named CEO of McKinney, with Brad Brinegar (CEO from 2002–2018) remaining as chairman.[12]

Notable campaigns[edit]


  1. ^ "South Korean Agency Adds to American Footprint". New York Times.
  2. ^ "McKinney + Silver Heading To American Tobacco Campus". WRAL.
  3. ^ "Because No One Else Would".
  4. ^ "Cheil Worldwide Acquires U.S. Agency McKinney, World's Most Effective Independent Ad Agency". Business Wire. Berkshire Hathaway. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  5. ^ Precourt, Geoffrey. "How Mizuno used an influencer strategy to become North America's most effective brand". WARC. Ascential. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  6. ^ "North Carolina's McKinney Is Latest Shop to Try New York". Advertising Age.
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  8. ^ "From EVB to Big Spaceship, These Are the Agencies to Watch in 2015". Advertising Age.
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  12. ^ Oster, Erik. "McKinney Names New CEO, Eliminates President Position". AdWeek. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  13. ^ "ESPN, McKinney Debut Suggestive 'Take It All In' Campaign for SEC". Ad Week.
  14. ^ "Poignant video campaign shows the power of finishing high school as an adult". Mashable.
  15. ^ "Ad of the Week: Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard deliver again for Samsung". Campaign US.
  16. ^ "Kristen Bell And Dax Shepard Make Life Look Effortless, Adorable, In New Samsung Spot". Fast Company.
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