Hot off the presses!

Zulu Alpha Kilo makes Fast Company’s 2024 Most Innovative Companies list

March 20, 2024

Hot off the presses!

Every year, Fast Company ranks the world’s most innovative companies across 54 industries and sectors. The editorial team seek out the most groundbreaking businesses across the globe and industries. After being recognized by Fast Company’s World-Changing Ideas 3 consecutive years (2020, 2021, 2022), Zulu Alpha Kilo makes Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list for 2024.

The World’s Most Innovative Companies list is one of Fast Company’s most highly regarded editorial efforts of the year, providing a snapshot and road map for the future of innovation across some of the economy’s most dynamic sectors. Ten winners are selected in each category, and this year Toronto-based creative company Zulu Alpha Kilo (Z.A.K.) is in the winners’ circle.


The ‘creative company’, as Zulu Alpha Kilo founder & Creative Chairman Zak Mroueh likes to refer to his agency, earned a spot in the prestigious Small and Mighty (51 to 200 employees) category of the 2024 Most Innovative Companies list. Mroueh was especially pleased that his company made the list outside the advertising category. While the indie shop may be known for its advertising, design and digital, with its mission to ‘fight sameness’, many of its creative solutions don’t resemble ads at all.


For example, when online learning platform D2L wanted a B2B campaign, Z.A.K. instead created a one-of-a-kind rethinking of the school desk. The ‘Unstandardized Desk’ uses hinged triangular panels made from Nordic wood that can be arranged in different shapes and configurations, allowing students to create a version of the desk that suits their individual learning needs. 



In a collaboration between the shop’s New York and Toronto offices, Z.A.K. developed and prototyped Splash Spots – an idea that would transform New York City’s fire hydrants into summer cooling stations that deliver twice the fun with half the water. 


Splash Z.A.K.


“Anytime we launch a new office, we want to take on a project that showcases innovation, creativity and gives something back to the city,” said Mike Sutton, President & CEO at Zulu Alpha Kilo. “In New York, it was Splash Spots on behalf of non-profit Street Labs.”


Hard on the heels of the biggest interest rate hike in four decades, Z.A.K. introduced “Fixed-Rate Pizza”: an extra-large, four-topping pizza and a promise not to raise the price for 12 months. It drove more than 91 million earned media impressions, delivering over 1.1 million Fixed-Rate Pizzas and exceeding revenue targets for Pizza Pizza, Canada’s largest pizza chain.


Interac, Canada’s leader in debit payments wanted an innovation that would reinforce the brand promise of helping you ‘stay in control of your money so you can get more out of life'. Based on the insight that in-store music uses over-stimulating beats to make you spend more, Z.A.K. created the ‘Sound Shopping, the first digital tool designed to calm you down and help you spend less. 


Using more than 140,000 shades of diverse Canadians who found their unique skin tone match through Sephora’s Colour iQ mobile app, Z.A.K. created an immersive installation.  It harnessed the power of Sephora’s shade-matching AI technology to showcase the diversity of beauty in Canada.


For HomeEquity Bank (HEB), Z.A.K. created “Metaverse Homes for Heroes,” a campaign that addressed the issue of homelessness among Veterans. The initiative created homes in the Metaverse to raise funds and bring public attention to the housing challenges faced by too many of our Veterans. It was the first-ever CSR initiative in Decentraland.


All of these projects contributed to this year’s recognition as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies. 


“We’re so proud of this recognition from Fast Company. This is a huge honour," says Mroueh. “It’s a testament to our entire company and all our offices working together as one team towards creating work that is truly innovative, non-traditional and drives meaningful business results.”


Most recently, Zulu Alpha Kilo was also featured as a standout shop to watch on Ad Age’s 2024 Agency A-list.


About Zulu Alpha Kilo
With offices in New York, Toronto, and Vancouver, Zulu Alpha Kilo has been consistently recognized as one of the top independent creative agencies in the world. Prominent honours include Ad Age’s Small International Agency of the Year (2022, 2021, 2017, 2016), Ad Age Agency A-list standout shop (2024), Campaign US’s Independent Agency of the Year (2021), Forbes’ Top 100 Innovators of the Year and Best Small Companies in North America (2018), and Fast Company’s World-Changing Ideas (2022, 2021, 2020).

Proof you've obliterated SaMeNess, congratulations on the win team Z.A.K. !!