Harvest Creative Puts Muscle Into ADDY Prep

By Sarah Baker

The biggest event of the year for the advertising industry is fast approaching, and local agency Harvest Creative is responsible for the theme, “Hustle + Workflow.”

On Saturday, Feb. 25, the American Advertising Federation Memphis will hold its ADDY Awards ceremony at The Cadre Building, 149 Monroe Ave.

This year’s theme is “Hustle + Workflow,” a wordplay on the movie “Hustle & Flow,” which was filmed in Memphis in 2005. The film follows the story of a pimp who, amid a midlife crisis, attempts to become a successful hip-hop emcee.

“We were just having some fun, and we wanted it to be something Memphis-related that we could apply to all of the different elements of the ADDYs,” said Andrew Holliday, partner with Harvest Creative. “Hustle + Workflow was definitely Memphis through and through, so that’s where that one came from.”

Saturday’s event is the culmination of a more-than-four-month process by Harvest Creative, the marketing and branding firm founded in 2006 at 348 N. Main St.

Harvest began its initial planning stages in October by nailing down the theme, and scripting out and building a website before all was revealed in late November.

“I think the nature of our theme kind of lends itself to being a good time,” Holliday said. “We want to live up to the theme, let’s put it that way.”

Next came preparing for the “Call for Entries” phase, asking all local firms to enter the contest by submitting physical samples of their work from the past year. During this stage, Harvest was tasked with creating three different posters and cutouts – with the help of Signs and Designs and Bob Bane Photography – that were sent to all of the agencies around town, as well as a student version.

“We brought in some different local creatives that came in from several of the different agencies around town and they volunteered to let us snap some photos and use them as our spotlight subjects,” Holliday said.

After that came the “Call for Tickets” period, which also featured three variations.

“We basically have three different designs for the tickets, so if you just ordered one, there’s no telling which one you’d get,” Holliday said.

Other arrangements by Harvest along the way included email reminders to AAF members about event details and deadlines, creating the Best of Show and the judge’s special awards – which are always theme-related – and creating the actual keynote presentation for Saturday’s event, made up of digital files from each agency’s submissions.

Finally, and perhaps the most labor-intensive, came Harvest’s assembly of the actual winners’ book, a 40-page book which spells out all of the different winners and all of the pieces that won gold. Everyone in attendance will receive a copy of the book at the end of the ceremony.

“The turnaround from when we produce the actual keynote and the winners’ book is fairly short because we have to wait until the judges come into town to actually do the judging and get all of that information for us to have it to put in the book,” Holliday said.

Harvest racked up at last year’s ADDYs, presented by Red Deluxe Brand Development, receiving the Best of Show, People’s Choice Award and Outstanding Art Direction. Including Holliday, the agency employs only eight people.

“We had a good showing the last couple of years at the ADDYs, and so some of the folks on the board that had been charged with it the last few years asked us to do it and we took it as an honor that we had been asked and stepped up and did it,” Holliday said. “Several of the folks on the board have already begun discussing some of the different potential agencies that we’ll approach and ask them to do it for next year.”

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

“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.”

Harvest is also implementing the first Official ADDYs After Party at Paula & Raiford’s Disco, 14 S. Second St.

“It’s not a super-formal after-party; we just wanted to try to streamline and get everybody to go to the same place and kind of extend the party and have some fun,” Holliday said. “Little more informal setting, I guess. And it fits our theme so well and it’s right down the street, so we had to take advantage of that.”