Advertising Agency Profile: TBWA\Chiat\Day LA

Get To Know Advertising Agency TBWA\Chiat\Day LA

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TBWA\Chiat\Day is a full-service advertising firm based in Los Angeles, California, and is the American division of TBWA Worldwide, a global agency network. It is part of the Publicis Omnicom Group, which owns a multitude of agencies around the world. Once the agency of record for Apple, TBWA\Chiat\Day champions Gatorade, Intuit, and Buffalo Wild Wings, among others, as of August 2019. It does about $2 billion worth of business annually. This agency is not to be confused with its sister company TBWA\Chiat\Day NY. 


TBWA\Chiat\Day has a rich history of powerful, ground-breaking, disruptive advertising. It was founded in 1968 after a merger between Jay Chiat & Associates and Faust/Day Advertising. Guy Day became president over the flip of a coin. And that fast and loose attitude has been a calling card of the agency ever since.

It's the kind of ad agency the late Steve Jobs and Apple wanted to do business with. It's a creative, unapologetic attitude that commands respect and tells you, instantly, that this is no ordinary ad agency. And when you step inside the building, that becomes even more evident. The architecture is unique, with trees, park benches, and even a basketball hoop gracing the center of the bustling environment. It is no ordinary agency.

Apple and the Super Bowl

In 1971, the agency took itself from contender to power player with the hiring of Lee Clow, now Chairman and Global Director of TBWA Worldwide. He truly did embody the soul of unencumbered creativity that Chiat/Day was looking for. The agency proceeded to do groundbreaking work for clients like Honda, Yamaha, Alaska Airlines, and then in 1984, Apple. It was the infamous Super Bowl spot, directed by Ridley Scott, that made the creative world sit up and take notice of the creative power of Chiat/Day.

It's not unrealistic to say that the 1984-themed Super Bowl commercial changed the advertising industry forever. It also helped Chiat/Day secure new clients including the mighty Nike, Pizza Hut, and Porsche. An impressive roster to say the least.

In 1990, Chiat\Day was named "Agency Of The Decade," and that led to the merger in 1993 that created TBWA\Chiat\Day, one of the largest and most creative agencies in the world.

In 1997, TBWA\Chiat\Day once again stunned the industry with the Apple "Think Different" ads, and again in 2003 with the "I'm a Mac" powerhouse of a campaign. It had many imitators and put Microsoft in the unenviable position of trying to defend itself.

The Infamous Sign Outside the Building

While many agencies opt for the traditional signage, an agency with Lee Clow at the helm had to do things differently. This is the sign that greets potential new clients and visitors to the agency:

  • "Ad Agency, 2001. Anarchists, schmoozers, dictators, grandstanders, purists, malcontents, philosophers, lollygaggers, visionaries, cheerleaders, accountants in gray and yellow structure. On loan from The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles."