ADDY Awards Highlight Ad Industry's Top Work

By Sarah Baker

The gold-plated columns and crystal chandeliers of The Cadre Building were right in line with the American Advertising Federation Memphis’ 2012 ADDY Awards ceremony, themed “Hustle + Workflow.”

All “pimps, players and winners” that produced the best in local advertising and all of the disciplines associated with it were recognized Saturday, Feb. 25, in the historic Downtown building at 149 Monroe Ave., with the tagline, “Damn, it feels good to be a winner.”

AAF Memphis presented 63 gold and 68 silver awards during the ceremony, emceed by “The Bell Ringer” – Stan Bell from V101.1.

Harvest Creative presented the theme, based on the 2005, Memphis-made movie “Hustle & Flow,” which follows the story of a pimp who, amid a midlife crisis, attempts to become a successful hip-hop emcee. But, playful theme aside, the night is a well-deserved celebration to an industry that often puts in long nights, endless revisions and a devotion to design, said Andrew Holliday, partner with Harvest.

“It’s a really important event for the advertising community,” Holliday said. “It’s our one event of the year where we all kind of come together and compete and mingle and enjoy a good night out. It’s fun to see what everybody else has been doing throughout the year and some of the different work. And it’s important to keep us relevant to the rest of the country.”

Harvest picked up seven honors, including Best of Self Promotion for Harvest Holiday Tractor.

Red Deluxe Brand Development took home Best of Show – presented by AAF’s 2011 Silver Medal Award Winner Bob Vornbrock – for its “Play It Down” cinematography for client Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation. The 30-second video was part of a Public Service Announcement to educate teenagers about protecting their hearing.

The campaign, which also included an interactive app, earned Red Deluxe five other gold awards in addition to its Best of Show recognition. Red Deluxe took home 23 honors overall, including honors for its presentation of last year’s ADDYs theme, “You Have Failed to Conform to the Federation.”

Taking home the most ADDYs, however, was archer>malmo, with 33 total awards. The advertising and marketing agency scored Best of Copywriting for its Beale Street Caravan campaign, and also picked up three gold awards for the poster series.

In addition, archer>malmo racked up several honors for its Taropop illustrations and T-shirt designs.

Following closely was design and advertising firm Combustion, with 31 total honors. The agency won Best of Outdoor and several other gold honors for its Elvis Presley Enterprises billboard campaign, as well as Best of Print for its Indie Memphis poster and Best of Web/Interactive for client Memphis College of Art’s Facebook page.

Other multiple award winners were inferno, Counterpart Communication Design, Sullivan Branding, Switch Creative, Modern Production Concepts, Exhibit A Inc., Simple Focus, and Tactical Magic.

The second annual People’s Choice Award – the only award that is voted on by Memphis’ advertising peers – was given to The Orpheum Theatre for its Orpheum Summer Movie Poster Series. The picture ads – featuring images from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “The Big Lebowski,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” – also scored the Orpheum a gold ADDY in the Poster Campaign category.

All gold awards were the standard crystal-inspired, 3-D triangle ADDY, but the “Hustle + Workflow” inspiration was sprinkled throughout the remaining awards. All Silver award recipients, for instance, were given a silver-foiled split of champagne, as opposed to the usual certificate of years past.

Also, Best of awards resembled 40-ounce malt liquor bottles, and the Best of Show trophy mimicked an 80-ounce beverage container. And Harvest implemented the first Official ADDYs After Party at Paula & Raiford’s Disco, 14 S. Second St., to keep the “Hustle +Workflow” celebration going well into the early morning hours.

Judges were Monika Royal, recruiter with TiER1 Performance Solutions in Covington, Ky.; Chris Wells, associate creative director/art director with Crowell in Salt Lake City; and Bill Brookshire, senior art director with Stone Ward in Little Rock, Ark.

ADDY entries were up 10 percent this year, a testament to the local advertising industry’s strength, Holliday said. Also, the judges were “extremely complimentary” of the work.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “Entries being up, which it doesn’t sound like that’s happening everywhere else, it’s a really good thing that here in Memphis, everyone seems to be growing and prospering and that’s a positive note. And having seen the work, the work was really strong this year, so we’re excited to see things going in the right direction, at least here in Memphis.”

The 2011 ADDYS top award winners will now advance to the District 7 ADDY Awards competition. District winners will then advance to the AAF’s national ADDY Awards.