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  • Writer's pictureJerry Ketel

The Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Best Portland Ad Agencies

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

Portland is home to a diverse, dynamic, and thriving creative advertising ecosystem, providing a range of services that cater to businesses of all sizes and industries. In this all-inclusive guide, we'll explore the different types of ad agencies in Portland, their services, and how to find the best agency for your unique needs.

Understanding the Advertising Landscape in Portland

the Portland, Oregon sign in downtown Portland
Beauiful downtown Portland, home to some o the best ad agencies on the planet.

Portland's Creative Agency Scene

The advertising industry in Portland is rapidly evolving, with agencies now offering various marketing services, from traditional advertising to modern digital marketing strategies. These agencies specialize in creating compelling campaigns that resonate with your target audience and help you achieve your marketing objectives.

Types of Ad Agencies in Portland

Portland has several types of ad agencies catering to different needs and budgets. These include:

Full-service advertising agencies

Creative agencies

Digital marketing agencies

Social media marketing agencies

Web development and design agencies

Market research firms

Public relations firms

Understanding each type of agency's services is crucial when selecting the right partner for your business.

Services Offered by Portland Ad Agencies

Full-Service Advertising Agency

A full-service advertising agency provides a comprehensive suite of marketing, media planning and advertising services. They often excel in various areas, such as digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media marketing. They also offer traditional advertising services like print, radio, and television.

A video shoot for a Portland creative agency
Video is an important tool for creative Portland advertising and markeing agencies.

Creative Agency

Creative agencies focus on developing unique and innovative marketing campaigns that capture your target audience's attention. They are often full-service marketing firms specializing in branding, graphic design, and content creation. They collaborate closely with clients to develop and execute a clear brand message through various marketing channels.

Digital Marketing Agency

Digital marketing agencies promote businesses online through search engines, social media platforms, and other digital channels. Their services often include search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, and content marketing.

Social Media Marketing Agency

Social media marketing agencies help businesses build their online presence by creating and managing social media campaigns. They develop engaging content, foster online communities, and track performance metrics to optimize campaigns and drive results.

Web Development and Design Agency

Web development and web design agencies focus on creating visually appealing, user-friendly, and optimized websites. They ensure that your website is responsive and functions seamlessly across various devices and platforms.

Market Research Firm

Market research firms gather and analyze data about specific markets or industries, helping businesses make informed decisions about their marketing strategies and identifying growth opportunities.

Public Relations Firm

Public relations firms help businesses build and maintain a positive public image. They develop and execute PR strategies, manage media relations, make strategic communication programs, and create press releases and other promotional materials.

Key Services to Look for in Portland Ad Agencies

Brand Development

Brand development or brand strategy is the process of creating a cohesive brand identity that resonates with consumers. It includes logo, packaging, and marketing materials that reflect your brand's unique personality and values.

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing agencies create buzz-worthy content that spreads organically across social media platforms, capturing consumers' attention and driving engagement. By leveraging the power of viral marketing, Portland ad agencies can help your brand build a strong online presence and generate lasting customer loyalty.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing involves promoting a website or business through paid advertising on search engines like Google or Bing. This includes pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and display advertising.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the process of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engine results, increasing its visibility and driving organic traffic. It involves keyword research, on-page optimization, and off-page optimization, such as link building and content marketing.

Reputation Management

Reputation management services help businesses monitor and manage their online reputation. This includes monitoring online reviews, responding to customer feedback, and social media management, and developing strategies to improve a company's online presence.

Content Marketing

Content marketing focuses on creating valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and engage a target audience. This includes blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, and social media content that educates, entertains, or informs potential customers.

Paid Search and Display Advertising

Paid search and display advertising strategies involve placing targeted ads on search engines and other websites to drive traffic and conversions. These campaigns can be customized based on factors such as location, demographics, and interests, allowing businesses to reach the right audience at the right time.

Social Media Campaigns

Social media campaigns are a powerful way to engage with your audience, build brand awareness, and drive conversions. By developing targeted campaigns on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Portland ad agencies can help you connect with your audience and grow your business.

Finding the Best Advertising Agency in Portland

a meeting wih an advertising agency
It takes work to find the right marketing and advertising partner.

Determine Your Goals and Budget

Before searching for an advertising agency in Portland, defining your marketing goals and establishing a budget is essential. This will help you find an agency that aligns with your objectives and can deliver results within your financial constraints.

Research and Shortlist Agencies

Conduct thorough research to identify potential ad agencies in Portland that offer your needed services. Check their websites, portfolios, and client testimonials to understand their expertise and experience. Create a shortlist of agencies that match your criteria.

Evaluate Their Expertise and Experience

Evaluate the expertise and experience of each shortlisted agency. Look for agencies with a proven track record of success in your industry and have worked on similar projects. This will ensure that they understand your unique challenges and can deliver effective solutions.

Schedule Consultations

Schedule consultations with your shortlisted agencies to discuss your project in detail. Use these meetings to assess their communication skills, responsiveness, and overall approach to your project. This will help you determine if they're the right fit for your business.

Compare Proposals and Pricing

Once you've received proposals from your shortlisted agencies, compare them regarding services offered, pricing, and overall approach. Look for an agency that offers a comprehensive solution and demonstrates a clear understanding of your goals and objectives.

Make a Decision and Establish a Partnership

After evaluating your options, select the agency that best aligns with your needs and budget. Establish a strong working relationship with them by setting clear expectations and maintaining open communication throughout the project. Who are the best advertising agencies in Portland?

PDX Advertising Ingenuity: Meet the Players Portland is a creative Mecca known for its coffee making, culinary delights, and connection to nature. Because the city was isolated on the west coast for many years, it grew into its unique identity. That identity pays attention to craft. Maybe it’s the long gray winters. People tend to be introspective and work on their projects. It’s why “things look different here.” This sense of craft and attention to detail has spilled over to the communication arts, including graphic design and advertising. Portland is home to some of the most creative agencies in the world. Here are a few of them.

Big Brand Leadership Wieden and Kennedy is best known for its work for Nike. An icon of Portland ad creativity, W+K has made iconic campaigns for the brand that is still memorable today. And they’ve been doing it for over 30 years. Along the way, the agency built itself into the world's largest independent advertising agency network, with offices in Portland, New York, Amsterdam, London, and more. Their calling card is compelling creative work for big national and international brands. If you think you’ve got the budget, give them a look.

Quintessentially Creative North, the advertising and digital agency, is a creative firm that is media agnostic. It doesn’t matter what type of medium they use. They strive for results. They are particularly good at small films—which just happen to be what people watch on the internet. They also like making music and have their own label. If you are wincing at the label “creative,” you should know that North is very strategic. They solve problems. Check them out. The Social Media Agency

Swift is an all-digital ad agency that began with a mission to make social media campaigns relevant. And boy, have they accomplished that. Their unique ad campaigns for large and small brands have spread nationwide. Swift is female-founded and female-led, with women comprising 80% of leadership. 40% of staff identifies as BIPOC. They will give you equal attention when you give them a call.

Digitally Inspired Agency Tactics

Thesis is a digital strategy firm. This is anachronistic since everything is digital in the advertising world. But Thesis understands all forms of digital communications, from online advertising to email marketing. They do rigorous research and analysis to inspire data-driven dot-connecting. Motion design and mobile apps are in their wheelhouse. And if you need a website design, they can do that too. In short, innovative ad strategies for the digital space. They are worth a look.

an ad campaign from Portland ad agency CreateGood
An ad from CreateGood promoting environmentally safe pest conrol

Advertising for Good

CreateGood Studio was built to do good work for good companies and people. Rebooted from a legacy agency, Leopold Ketel & Partners, CreateGood is a boutique advertising and branding agency with big brand experience. Founder Jerry Ketel and his experienced team work in a Hollywood model, bringing together the brightest minds for the right project. They love refining and redefining brands as well as creating brands from scratch. Their niche is making unique ad campaigns for companies that want to positively impact the world. They get results.


Portland's fully integrated advertising agency ecosystem offers various services to help businesses grow and succeed in today's competitive market. Whether you're looking for a full-service advertising agency, a social media marketing specialist, or a web development firm, Portland has the talent and expertise to cater to your unique needs.

From market research and search engine marketing to reputation management and branding, these agencies have the tools and knowledge to help you achieve your marketing goals. By partnering with a local agency that understands your business and target audience, you can create powerful marketing campaigns that resonate with your customers and drive results.

So, don't wait any longer – explore the dynamic world of Portland ad agencies. Unlock your brand's full potential with the help of their creative and strategic services. With the right team by your side, you can elevate your brand and forge a strong connection with your target audience in the ever-evolving digital advertising landscape.

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